Often I hear people say that us guys have trouble with the ‘I’ word, we don’t like to talk about or express intimacy. I have been thinking about this and I don’t agree.
I want intimacy and I long for it in how I serve and follow Jesus, relate to my family and children and even with my mates. Perhaps you experience the same things when we start to talk about intimacy- unhelpful images of kittens, roses and champagne flutes can distort what this is all about.
Intimacy is profound and smashes through superficial veneers. Can a moment on one of the battlefronts in your life have elements of intimacy? As you stand shoulder to shoulder with a brother you love and would die for, as you respond to a call to fight together until then end. As you stand with a brother who is ravaged with addiction and is learning to walk again with you by his side. Can this contain threads of intimacy? Yes it can, I have seen it, felt it and look for it.
As you draw close to your children when they are hurting and you just embrace them and stand together. Or when you partner has been taken out by health worry, money crisis or a sideswipe that you didn’t see coming, intimacy can be so profound in these places that it builds and strengthens an incredible depth to our relationships and how we can be a living model of God’s grace and love to our world.
You see these definitions of intimacy are powerful and call us out beyond a romantic picture that fails to connect with the heart of men. They can inspire us to want more from intimacy. It is not that we don’t want to talk about intimacy, it just doesn’t mean enough sometimes to really matter to us.
Look at the Maori culture and a video that has been watched over 6 million times. Mr Dawson Tamatea, a teacher who had died was being remembered by a group of men, his students, whether you like their culture and tradition or not, you can’t help noticing intimacy in a new way. Have a look for yourself. When we start giving voice to intimacy in ways that connect with men I believe we will see men begin to stand and grow in intimacy.
So often we sing about and explain an intimacy we have in Jesus in romanticised forms and then wonder why men don’t want it or talk about it. Can it be more? Can we help men to discover intimacy in Jesus that will empower and inspire? An intimacy that will awaken the hearts of men to love the Lord God with all their heart and with all their soul and with all their strength and with all their mind? Yes….