Written by – Kim Johnson- Author of I Am My Sister (Women helping Women) @ immysister.org
It seems that the older I get, the more I understand the difference between sex and intimacy. I think that intimacy is more valuable in a relationship then sex. Hold up! Before you start thinking I’m nuts; YES, sex is important in a relationship, but if you want to see that relationship go to another level, add intimacy in the mix.
I was reading this book called Soul Cravings the other day, and the author sort of put what I was thinking into words; he said, “sex can be the most intimate and beautiful expression of love, but we are only lying to ourselves when we act as if sex is proof of love. Too many men demand sex as proof of love; too many women have given sex in hopes of love. We live in a world of users where we abuse each other to dull the pain of aloneness.”
“Real intimacy is not found just by merging bodies in sex. When Jesus said, “and the two shall become one. . . “I can’t help but think that He meant more than just the physical. After all, how many couples go to bed at night, share their bodies, but not their hearts? Undoubtedly, many of these people would say they are very lonely. Why? Because just as a garden hose is not the source of water, but only an expression, or vehicle for it, so sex is not the source of intimacy, but an outlet (or expression of) it. No matter how hard you try, if real emotional and spiritual intimacy does not exist before sex, it most certainly won’t after.”
So then you say, Kim, what is intimacy? To me, intimacy is a simple touch, a gentle caress, looking into each other’s eyes, connecting mentally, passionately kissing, loving words and touch, etc.
“Granted, sharing who we are with others is often not easy. All love is a risk. I admit, it can be uncomfortable exposing the deepest parts of ourselves. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it all at once, because developing intimacy is like peeling an onion—it can happen just a little at a time while trust is developed” (McManus).
Sistah to Sistah do you hear me? What do you think?
McManus, E. R. (2006). Soul Cravings. Thomas Nelson.