The learning curve for Jeremy and I as newly weds is a huge one, as I am sure it is with all newly blissed couples! Life feels like a roller coaster. It includes the anticipation of what's to come, the excitement and thrill of the ride and a little fear and discomfort of the unknown thrown in for good measure.
Last night, Jeremy and I had a date night. We got in our PJ's, ate pizza, watched a movie, and drank a few beers. We have already seen how easy it could be to have a week pass by without us spending quality time together. As well as the joking and laughing, our date nights always seem to include some deep conversation. Making time to enjoy one another and be still together, sets the scene for asking real questions and having the time to listen to the answers. Whether these conversations end with hugs, laughter or tears I have to battle the feeling of being exposed and vulnerable and make a choice to embrace the joy of deepening real intimacy with my husband, and he has to do the same.
Real intimacy is something that society as a whole resists. We live in a world where we feel like we know the personalities from 'reality' TV shows better than we know our neighbours. We collect 'friends' on facebook, and find a few seconds to poke them or spend a few minutes looking through their online photo album and that fills some need for connection, at least for that moment.
With the internet, TV and movies we are fed images and characters depicting the 'norms' of life. We are no longer shocked by extra marital affairs, in fact our TV dramas write so poetically we are sometimes drawn in to stories and are pulling for a character to leave his or her husband to be with this new love?!
I am not sure at which point life reflects art and when it is the other way around.
I feel so blessed to be a part of a church community which although flawed as we all are, seems to have at it's core a message of intimacy. An invitation to true community and teaching that supports these values. I am so encouraged to have friends who desire true intimacy and community in the way I do and I truly believe that my marriage will be better because Jeremy and I have a place to share our lives, and an opportunity to share in the lives of others.
True intimacy is uncomfortable but we are designed for it. The reasons people turn to so many other vices is to fill that void, a gaping hole where intimate relationship should be. With the Lord and with others.
I am starting to see that our real conversation is bringing Jeremy and I closer together. As foreign as intimacy feels at first, we are choosing to be honest and transparent in our conversation. We are not looking for an easy way out. In voicing our hopes, our fears, our sadness and our joy we are inviting the other to really know our true selves. The good, the bad and the ugly.
Our intimacy will continue to build, as we continue to be intentional to make that a priority. We must make time to have fun together, to laugh together and to really listen to one another. When we open up to another person we give them an opportunity to love us in the best way possible, but at the same time we open ourselves to a hurt that will take our breath away. You can't have one without the other, these fruit grow on the same tree, the tree of intimacy.
Lord, give us all opportunities to grow in intimacy. Give us courage to say yes to the invitations you give us, and grant us grace to walk this path of intimacy with each other. Help us to look to you for the example of true love, and to offer our lives and hearts to you fully.