Mankind’s Need for Intimacy
Jack and Trisha Frost
One of our greatest weaknesses is our inability to admit need. If we do not realize we have need of something, then we will not pursue it. We will not make it a priority and a driving force in our life. Think what it is like trying to find or give a gift to someone who has no need of anything. Yet because the Father loves so much He continues to try.
Many people today (even Christians) do not acknowledge their deep, God-given need for intimacy. Intimacy is a willingness to know and be known by others. We are living in a season when God is trying to intimately express His love to us but many do not realize their need for it. “Just let me get saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, flow in the power of God, be anointed, be healed, be provided for, have a ministry, be successful. I really don’t see what all the fuss is about with this intimacy stuff!” That is what the prodigal son thought. Initially, he only valued the Father for what He could do for him (give me, give me, give me), not for a relationship of love and intimacy.
For many of us, love means pain. Those who have spoken the words to us, “I love you”, seem to be the ones who have hurt and betrayed us the most. Others, who raised us and should have daily used healing words, never or rarely did. Then there were those who used words of love but only when we performed correctly or lived up to their rigid standards. Some people said they loved us in order to get all of their needs met, they used us up and threw us away like dirty rags.
No wonder so many people do not recognize or pursue their need for intimacy! We have hardened our hearts and conditioned our minds to believe that intimacy is something only a few weak people need. It is so easy to justify our lack of intimacy by thinking, “I wasn’t raised that way. I had to be independent and self-reliant. That’s what it takes to succeed. If anything is going to be done right, I’d better do it myself. You can’t trust people. People will only hurt you. I’ll not risk being hurt again. I’m no fool.”
This type of thinking actually is rooted in fear and fear is rooted in pride. It often hinders us from experiencing intimacy in the Father’s love and with others. Pride is more concerned with what people think than with what God thinks. Pride is actually a fear of man. It is a fear of someone being able to hurt or have power over us. It cuts off the flow of intimacy. We start building walls of self-protection and become a “news, sports, weatherman” (a superficial person who lets no one in). In Christian circles, pride often leads us to surrounding ourselves with religious language, duty, and activity. Intimacy then becomes something of which we feel we have no need. Then we never seem to find rest, security, or a place of comfort. We are left feeling like spiritual orphans and have to harden our hearts further and perform more so we can cover up the feelings of emptiness or pain.
True intimacy involves great faith, risk, and discomfort because of the word that I have found most people do not like: SUBMIT!!! Love and intimacy are something we have to submit to before we can receive them. We are willing to receive salvation. We are willing to receive the Holy Spirit. But few are willing to submit to love because love means pain to most folks. There seems to be a hidden trigger mechanism inside of us that activates each time someone gets too close, too real, too loving. This causes us to either shy away from intimacy and love or to try to work hard enough to earn them.
Wives know just what I’m talking about. Most have been disappointed or wounded many times by their husbands when they draw too close to their husbands deepest feelings, only to have them harden their hearts or withdraw in anger. To submit to love and intimacy is a humiliating thing. It always involves humility. Humility is a willingness to be known for who we really are and then be willing to change whatever is not Christlike. Humility is rooted in love and is the opposite of pride. It involves faith, which is the opposite of fear. We can risk walking in intimacy only when we have faith that is rooted and grounded in the Father’s unconditional love for us.
What Is Necessary For Me To Begin To Move Towards Deeper Intimacy?
First, you must become aware of your need for intimacy. Genesis 1:26 says that you were created in the image of God. 1 John 4:16 says that God is love. God’s image is love! Do you see your yourself as being created by love, and for love, in order to spend your days receiving the Father’s love so that you can give it away to your family and then His? “Love was not put into your heart to stay. Love is not love until it is given away!”
What is your image of yourself? Do you see yourself as a lover, one who is open, transparent, and shares intimately his emotions and feelings with family and friends? Do you see yourself as one in need of others in order to give away all of this love and intimacy you are experiencing in God? Or do you see yourself as independent, strongwilled, in need of no one. “I’ll not let someone else in or they will hurt me again.”
Do you let people touch the deepest part of you, the tender and needy areas? Are you sensitive to others’ needs and seek to meet them? Or are you more concerned with your own needs, successes, and ministry? Do you only allow family and people to touch the surface, while the real you remains hidden behind masks and pretenses? “Light reveals. Darkness hides. Whenever you do anything or say anything to hide what you are or what you have done, that is darkness.” (The Calvary Road by Roy Hession) If I do not clearly see myself as a vessel of love and intimacy and choose to walk in it, then I am walking in darkness and will be insecure. I can only feel real security doing what I was created to do. Before I realized the need I had for intimacy I was very insecure. I covered it well with an appearance of self-confidence. I found my security in ministry. This is called counterfeit affection. Because my love need was not being met through intimacy with God and my wife, I had to compete with others for attention. I had a deep need for approval and felt devastated if I was not receiving it. I had to make a good impression on people. I had to appear successful in life and ministry. Fear of rejection, failure, and man became a constant companion. Outwardly, I appeared calm and all together but inwardly I was full of unrest, striving for acceptance and trying to find value through people. This left me feeling like a spiritual orphan, one who has no sense of comfort or security or rest.
For change to come, I had to first become like the prodigal. In the pigpen, he became aware of his need for intimate relationship with the Father. He only came to that point after he spent much of his life seeking love in all the wrong places. Pursuing security and identity in ministry and success had left me empty even though success had come my way. Three years ago I began to realize my deep need for intimacy with my wife but I felt too inadequate to give it. I had to pursue it in the Father first. Even though I had spent years praying and in the Word two and three hours a day, I realized I really never knew Him because I was afraid to submit to love. Thus my passion had been for the recognition that ministry brought, not for deep, life-transforming intimacy and love.
Secondly, we must realize that our sense of value and self-worth is based upon our ability to love. The way we think about ourselves is how we think God thinks about us. If we are uncomfortable with ourselves we are uncomfortable with others. Therefore, we must find our self-worth in that for which God has created us – intimacy and love!
We see in Genesis 2:18 that it was not good for Adam to have intimacy with God alone.
So God gave Adam the ability to commune with nature and animals (vs. 19 & 20), yet Adam still was not secure and complete. God is helping Adam to become aware of his need for more than communion with God and nature. Man is becoming aware of his need for oneness with a woman. Until Adam saw this, he could not be trusted with a woman. Today, until men see their need for intimacy with God and family more than sports, nature, business, and ministry – it is difficult for them to be trusted with a woman. They may use them, bruise them, and blame them for all the frustration and insecurity that comes when men do not find their value and self-worth in intimacy with their wives, God, and others.
Paul made it clear in Ephesians 5:25-28 that men will not love and value themselves until they begin to love, cherish, cleanse, heal, and restore their wives through intimacy. Until a man moves towards intimacy in relationships, he will be insecure and he will try to find his identity in the world or a religious system. If a man does not feel like he is the greatest husband on earth, his marriage is in trouble. He is not doing what God created him to do – to be a lover who is full of passion and intimacy.
Show me in the Bible where it says that a woman is more equipped to love, to be sensitive, to feel, to express affection, to be tender, to walk in compassion, and to be caring. There are those who say that men live out of their mind and are task oriented while women are feelers and more relational. We’ve embraced the lie as truth and we are in bondage to it. It has held men back from intimacy. Jesus was the greatest lover, feeler, and compassionate man that ever was on earth. He was sensitive to His bride’s every need. Men are to love their wives and others as Christ did. Christ lives in us and we have been empowered to walk in the love and intimacy and care that He did, if we so choose!
I chose three years ago to renounce the lie that I’m not capable of love and intimacy. I had used the excuse for 43 years that I was not raised with that depth of expressed unconditional love and intimacy. I gave the responsibility over to my wife and it left her like an empty shell waiting to crack. Then I (unwillingly at first) received a revelation of love and I knew I must submit to Father’s love. I have been shocked at the changes that have taken place since I yielded to love and intimacy. I have never before felt more comfortable with myself. I’ve been consumed with the Father’s love for me. I have accepted the commission to love my wife as Christ loved the church and sought to heal and restore her to His intimacy! I have become more comfortable with emotions, feelings, and affection! I now know it is my destiny! It is that for which I have been created! It is the image of God in which I have been created!
What if on the day of the great white throne judgment you are asked only one question? Jesus looks you in the eye and then speaks to your wife, “Did your husband love you as
I loved the church and gave My life for it?” What would her answer be? It is one thing for her to hear the words, “I love you!” It is another thing for her to believe it. If she does not believe it, maybe it is because you have looked for value, security, identity, and passion outside of the home. Then she never has been able to receive your love. Therefore, she has been left uncovered, unprotected, and unhealed.
You can never stand before God and say, “I was never loved in my youth so I could not express love to others!” You cannot use this as an excuse because the Father has said to you, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with lovingkindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3) You have been loved but have you been willing to submit to it? His love is more powerful than all of your pain. All you have to do is to lower your walls, fears, and excuses and yield to love and intimacy. When you begin to do so, you will be surprised how easily love transforms you.
It is against the laws of nature and creation for you not to walk in love and intimacy. It is the most natural thing in life you can do when you submit to love. You are created in God’s image of love. You are made for love and intimacy! It is your destiny! You have been created as a gift of love to this world! As you yield more deeply to the Father’s love, it will flow through your spirit, and you will begin to supply your family and the world with love and intimacy! The world will never be the same again!
In the Father’s love,
Jack & Trisha Frost
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