Intimacy – a big feeling built on small moments

By Dave Henning / November 30, 2017

“Intimacy is a big feeling, but it’s built on small moments (emphasis John’s).”- John Ortberg

“I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.”- Philippians 1:9 (NLT)

In today’s blog, Pastor John Ortberg discusses myths about intimacy four, five, and six.  (Chapter 2, I’d Like You More . . .).

Myth #4: Intimacy = sex.  Intimacy involves emotional investment, as opposed to the purely physical act of sex.  In addition, psychologists refer to elaborate praise of a loved on as “positive sentiment override.”  This happens when one’s numerous, positive thoughts and feelings about another actually disempower negative feelings.

Interestingly, though, John notes that the Bible never tells us to fall in love.  Rather, the Bible often speaks of growing in love (emphasis John’s).

Myth #5: Everyone responds to intimacy the same way.  Since all of us possess different personalities and temperaments, we give, receive, and interpret gestures of intimacy in different ways.  As a result, avoid discouragement  if you fail to connect on the first try.  Although nurturing an intimate relationship takes time, it’s worth the effort!

Myth #6: Once you’ve achieved intimacy, it can’t be lost.  Of the many items on your to-do list, cross off intimacy as a choice.  Hence, Pastor Ortberg compares intimacy to a campfire.  Unless you add fuel on a consistent basis, eventually the flame flickers out.  In contrast, words of affirmation provide power, intimacy-building tools.   Sometimes embarrassingly simple words!

In conclusion, John explains real intimacy.  He writes:

“Real intimacy isn’t built on grand romantic gestures, but on ordinary life moments when we lean into another person instead of turning away.  It works the same in friendships, marriages, families, and at work.  We listen . . . notice . . . help out.  Again.  And again.  And again.”

Today’s question: What small moments help you build intimacy with God?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Christ – knocking at the door”

About the author

Dave Henning

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