Some Thoughts on Intimacy and Marriage
I’’m certain you’ve all heard the old adage that men spell intimacy with three letters–SEX. Women spell intimacy with four letters–TALK. It’s one of the consequences of original sin. A man typically thinks you approach intimacy by first having sex, whereas a woman typically thinks you approach intimacy by talking first. If we take the other old adage that intimacy is defined as “into-me-see,” the woman’s typical approach is a better fit.
The different approaches are caused in part by one of the differences between a man’s brain and a woman’s brain. Man are typically not talkers, because in their brain, communication is most likely to be on only one side of the brain–the rational part. Therefore when men talk, they talk in order to figure out how to fix something. Because of the way a woman’s brain is wired, communication is both emotional and rational, because she uses both parts of her brain. That’s why talking, from a woman’s point of view, can be an end in itself. But it is also an essential part of knowing and being known.
But here’s some new thoughts I’ve had on intimacy. I was in a weekend workshop recently where intimacy was defined as “Truth and Love.” It wasn’t a faith based workshop, so I don’t even know if they were aware of the Apostle John’s words about Jesus–that he brought to us “unfailing love and faithfulness.” (John 1:17) The King James translation uses “Grace and Truth.”
I never thought of that as a basis for intimacy, but the speaker’s point was that intimacy can only be experienced in the context of truth. If there is defensiveness, intimacy is compromised. If there are lies of either commission or omission, intimacy is compromised. Intimacy can only truly be experienced in the contest of truthful living and truthful loving.
The other new thought for me was that there are three pre-conditions for the experience of intimacy. They are 1.) Accountability; 2.) Vulnerability; and 3.) Empathy. Being accountable is certainly an aspect of truthful living. Vulnerability is also based on both knowing and being known truthfully. And empathy brings the grace and love part of the equation into the equation.
Anything new here for you?