Whenever anyone mentions intimacy, most people (Christians) immediately be like “Yuck!”. Our society is quite prudish and unexpressive and it seems we have unfortunately made intimacy to be equivalent to pruriency. The Bible is full of intimate friendships, between God and people and between people themselves. We can learn a lot about our own relationships by looking at theirs. I can’t help but think we are missing out on the blessings of rich intimate friendships with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We were made for intimacy. Before you throw stones, hear me out. Intimacy is closeness between people in personal relationships and it denotes mutual vulnerability, openness, and sharing. Your relationships with family, friends, and other trusted individuals all include some level of intimacy. Humans are social creatures who thrive on close personal relationships with others, if you avoid intimacy, you may find yourself isolated or in constant conflict with others.
Intimacy is biblical. When looking at His beautiful creation, God saw Adam and said that it is not good for man to be alone, meaning God created us to live in fellowship, to join together in relationships, and to support and love one another as we journey the ups and downs of life. God knows that navigating this sinful world can be hard. He wants to provide us support systems that point the way to Him. He knows there will be great sorrow as the result of the fall and He wants us to not only walk with Him but also supply godly friendships to carry us through. Moses/Aaron, David/Jonathan, Naomi/Ruth, Jesus/John are just a few examples of crazy, deep intimate friendships.
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Proverbs 27:6. We are not always strong enough to resist temptation nor do we always recognize it. At times we make poor choices or do not seek God’s will. That’s called being human. A real friend will tell you when you are going off track. They will be kind, patient, and nonjudgmental because they want what is best for you. We need people that will push us towards purpose, People that have a shut-up card. A lot of us have friends and followers because of social media but we don’t have intimate friendship
It’s important to have discernment when making friends because you can be led astray. Amos 3 vs 3 “How can two walk together unless they are agreed?”. You need to really know the people you confide in. Do they gossip, speak badly of others, or talk about things that are contrary to Scripture? Or, do they comfortably talk about Jesus and how He’s working in their lives? Also pay attention to how they spend their time. Do they enjoy ungodly forms of entertainment and recreation?
It can be difficult to seek out and cultivate friendships, especially in our adult lives. It takes time and commitment, but it is worth it because friendship is one of the tools God uses to sanctify us and to allow us to experience more of Him as we share more with each other. Just as Jesus took the initiative in choosing us as His friends and in securing peace between us and God through His sacrifice (John 15:16), so, too, we must take the initiative to build friendships. The Bible says “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). We were created to be in community with others and to do life together. Pray that God brings you more godly friendships!