Created for Intimacy
We were made for intimacy. When Jesus described the “greatest command” he said it was to: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”(Matt. 22:37-40) The command has to do with the fact that whether or not we want to or not we live in relationship with both the God who created us and others who that same God created. But there’s a choice we have to make. God doesn’t force us to love Him nor does he force us to love those around us. So we are left to choose whether to love or to ignore the command altogether.
But, to love, demands intimacy or another way to describe intimacy is to say, “in-to-me-see”! When it comes to truly loving others there is a revealing that occurs. The more vital or personal that revelation the deeper the intimacy. When Adam and Eve where in the Garden of Eden they were, “…both naked, and they felt no shame.” They enjoyed the level of intimacy both with God and one another that they were meant for.
The Hebrew word “yada” points us to another dimension of intimacy. The Bible tells us that Adam knew (yada) Eve (Genesis 4:1 KJV) and that, “Adam made love to his wife Eve” Genesis 4:1 (NIV). From the context we see that this level of intimacy was reserved for the exclusivity of the marriage covenant. In other words this ultimate “revealing” is set apart from just any “neighbor”.
To be human then is to crave intimacy. It is a longing to know and to become known. This longing can be so great that in our fallen state it becomes difficult for us to distinguish between true, divinely inspired intimacy, and the false intimacy created by the darkness of porn and other sexual sin. Dr. Harry Schaumberg makes this observation in his book, False Intimacy:
“The Fall did not diminish our capacity for intimacy; it created a distortion and an agonizing disruption of intimacy. Each of us longs to break through the limitations of our existence into a blissful unending intimacy with others. Such a dream cannot, however be fulfilled. So we desensitize our hunger and thirst for the pre-fallen state by preoccupying ourselves with career, family, food, sex, leisure, and other distractions. But no diversion can richly satisfy our souls. Inner emptiness, the result of original sin, lies just blow the surface of the illusion we create in order to cope with life.” (False Intimacy pp. 30-31)
Again later in his book Schaumburg describes the impact of sin on sexual intimacy:
“The consequences of the Fall on human sexuality are of immense significance in understanding sexual behavior. On the broadest level, the Fall resulted in our maleness and femaleness being threatened. We became naked and ashamed of our sexuality. The Fall impacted all ensuing relationships, and thereby all sexual relationships.” (False Intimacy page 61)
We can be certain then that where God has created something for our joy, beauty, and peace the enemy has manufactured a counterfeit. A counterfeit that on the surface appears to be legitimate. And for a short time, if we indulge, it would seem to bring about the same benefits. Yet, in time, we discover that pornography is no ally of true intimacy. In fact it is anything but. Pornography is the ultimate impostor. It is the arch nemesis of true intimacy.
The only way to combat such an enemy is to never settle for the shallow, hollow, cheap imitation of pornography. It will demand much from us for sure. There’s no short cuts with authentic intimacy. It requires our fullest attention. It demands our presence and our words. Unlike false intimacy that is primarily concerned with our pleasure, true intimacy shapes our character, and prepares us for eternity. An eternity in which we rediscover just what we were meant for all along, an uninterrupted intimacy with the God who revealed Himself to us, and saved us through his Son, Jesus Christ.
How are you settling for “false intimacy” in your relationships?