What Does The Bible Say About Lack Of Intimacy

Intimacy is a strong form of emotional bond with another person, characterized by trust, love, and warmth. This type of connection is often found in relationships, romantic or otherwise. In the Christian worldview, it is seen as a reflection of God’s good and perfect character. This, then, begs the question: what does the Bible say about intimacy and lack of it?

The Bible speaks frequently about the importance of intimate relationships and God’s desire for deep emotional bonds. In Genesis 2:24-25, it states “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” This demonstrates God intended marriage as a commitment between two people and a relationship of deep friendship and companionship. Likewise, the Bible praises intimate relationships between individuals such as the bonds between Jonathan and David in 1 Samuel 18:1-4, or Ruth and Naomi in Ruth 1-17.

The primary importance of intimate relationships are Jesus’s two greatest commandments to “love the Lord your God with all your heart” Matthew 22:37-38 and to “love your neighbor as yourself” Matthew 22:39. These two ideals form the core of interpersonal relationships including intimacy. In addition, Ephesians 5:25 instructs husbands to “love their wives as Christ loved the church,” indicating their responsibility to do so.

The Bible also addresses situations in which a lack of intimacy is prevalent. In Matthew 19:3-6, Christ not only speaks on marriage but also insists on the necessity of fidelity within marriage. This implies being open and honest with each other and fostering affection and commitment within any relationship.

Alongside this, the Bible speaks on the consequences of broken relationships and sets the standard of performance of interpersonal relationships. In the book of Proverbs, marriage is described as “a refuge in time of trouble” and “a source of joy” Proverbs 5:18-20, emphasizing how broken relationships are like a stronghold that does not provide strength or support.

In summary, the Bible offers a comprehensive guidance on the importance of intimacy and why it is essential to any relationship. It stresses that intimacy can be seen as a reflection of God’s character of love and kindness, and when nurtured, it is a source of joy and contentment. Likewise, the consequences of a lack of intimacy are also highlighted, illustrating why it matters to maintain close and meaningful relationships.

Understanding Love

The Bible’s teachings around relationships, particularly intimate ones, are ultimately rooted in its discussion of love. The most famous Bible reference to love is 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 which describes love’s characteristics as “patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not proud, not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered, and is not resentful.” This definition of love is a clear guidepost for understanding how relationships should be cultivated and maintained.

The book of John outlines this concept of love even further, introducing the concept of sacrificial love. In John 3:16 it states “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life.” Jesus’s death on the cross and His willingness to give up His own life for the benefit of humanity is the ultimate example of sacrificial love. In the same way, the Bible encourages us to expend ourselves for the benefit of our relationships.

The Bible also speaks against unhealthy, worldly thoughts around relationships, such as lust and pride. 1 John 2:15-17 speaks directly against our human inclination to focus on material desires, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a spiritual commitment to our relationships. The same theme is echoed in Colossians 3:5-7 and James 4:1-2. This then serves as a reminder as to why relationships should be founded on love, rather than selfishness.

In conclusion, the Bible gives us numerous lessons about love and how it should be expressed in a relationship. By understanding these rules, we can model our relationships, intimate or otherwise, after Jesus and His example of unconditional, sacrificial love.

Identifying Unhealthy Relationships

The Bible also warns believers of unhealthy relationships, both physical and emotional. Key passages here include the example of the adulterous woman in John 8:3-11 and that of a quarrelsome wife in Proverbs 21:9. These examples provide guidance in understanding when a relationship has drifted away from God’s intended course and how to identify signs of and behaviour caused by addictive relationships.

In Proverbs 5:1-7, wise instruction is given not to be ensnared in an immoral relationship and to abstain from foolish behaviour. This reinforces the Bible’s instructions on relationships, highlighting how these should be built on trust and self-control, versus acting impulsively or in an exploitative manner. Furthermore, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 provides additional instruction as to how unnatural relationships should be avoided and how one can remain faithful to God and their relationship partner.

In addition, the Bible offers guidance on being unapologetic about standing up for yourself or for your values in relationships. In Exodus 22:22-24 God commands us to “love the alien as yourself”, providing a strong lesson to believers that they do not “allow their opinion to be taken advantage of.” This further outlines how unhealthy relationships can be recognised and ultimately avoided.

To conclude, the Bible provides a comprehensive discussion of identifying and avoiding unhealthy relationships as well as how to build healthy ones. By understanding these lessons, we can have meaningful relationships which bring us closer to God and our partners.

The Relevance Of Intimacy In Marriage

In the Christian worldview, marriage is seen as a reflection of God’s love for us and our relationship with Him. Intimacy is therefore a very important component of marriage, as it embodies this loving connection. Marriage intimacy is based on mutual trust, respect, and understanding and can deepen as the marriage grows and develops.

In Ephesians 5:21-28, Paul instructs husbands to “love your wives just as Christ loved the church,” and wives to “submit to your own husbands”, thereby demonstrating the mutual depth of commitment expected in a marriage relationship. Additionally, Paul reinforces the importance of intimacy in his letter to the Colossians, stating “since we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, we should have comfort and confidence in each other.” Colossians 3:15 This implies that intimacy is essential to a marriage relationship where each partner is willing to be vulnerable and trust the other.

The Bible also instructs couples on how to share physical intimacy in marriage, highlighting the importance of such an act. 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 provides a framework for how not just to be physically close, but also how to abstain in order to remain “blameless” and “free from sexual immorality.” This further re-enforces how intimacy should be expressed within a marriage as an act of love, commitment, and dedication.

Ultimately, the Bible teaches couples how to view marriage in the context of intimacy. This is done by speaking of its spiritual foundation, how it should be seen as an act of love, and how physical intimacy should be approached with commitment and trust. By understanding these values, couples are able to foster the right environment for an intimate marital relationship.

Intimacy With Others

The Bible also emphasizes the importance of intimacy with others outside of marriage relationships. Proverbs 13:20 states “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise..” This passage outlines the importance of having close relationships with wise people who can help one grow in wisdom and discernment. Additionally, Colossians 4:5-6 similarly speaks of the importance of exercising wisdom in speech and having close relationships “worthy of respect”. This implies that intimate relationships outside of marriage are also important, as we can find strength in the wisdom of others and receive counsel on our relational issues.

Furthermore, 1 Thessalonians 5:11-15 speaks of encouraging one another, praying for each other, and having a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood. This highlights the importance not just of intimate relationships, but also of communal support and understanding. It encourages believers to actively pursue a life of community, comfort, and connection, thereby affirming the inherent value of intimacy.

To conclude, the Bible emphasizes the importance of not just cultivating intimacy in marriages, but also with others outside of marriage. By seeking supportive relationships, we are able to deepen our understanding of God, His wisdom, and the importance of being a part of His loving and friendly community.

Overcoming Fear & Insecurity

The Bible also speaks of overcoming fear and insecurity in relationships. This is a natural part of building intimacy with another person; fear of rejection, fear of abandonment, fear of failure, and fear of the unknown. That said, the Bible provides comfort by assuring us of God’s presence in our relationships.

In Romans 8:38-39, Paul assures us “neither death nor life, nor angels, rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This passage then serves as a reminder that despite our fears and doubts, we are to find security and hope in God’s love and provision.

In addition, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 and 1 Peter 5:7 speak of how God has given us the power to conquer our fears and how He will always be there to pick us up when we stumble. This emphasis on God’s love and support provides a strong assurance that, despite our weaknesses and shortcomings, we are all capable of building meaningful relationships based on trust, openness, and love.

To conclude, the Bible offers comfort to those feeling fearful and insecure in their relationships. It acknowledges our human tendency to experience feelings of apprehension, while simultaneously providing assurance of God’s unfailing love, power and protection. By learning to trust in His provision, we are better able to embrace a life filled with meaningful relationships.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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