Below are some additional interactions on the article: Intimacy. Read it first.
The word intimacy comes from the Latin meaning ‘inmost.’ God created us in his image, which means he designed us for intimacy with him and to develop intimate friendships with a few others in the human family; those few to whom we reveal the inmost parts of ourselves.
- “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few; and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.” —George Washington
- “The exhilaration of being with someone who shares your passions, dreams and love is one of life’s greatest treasures.” —lifescript: healthy living for women website
This quiz is really a set of online flash cards with answers to click on. The issues surrounding intimacy and what it means are handled quite well. (The last 3 or 4 cards pertain to the book so you can skip those.) Check it out and see what you might learn; maybe even look at it with your close friend. See the flashcards »
A pretty cool Bible story of a shared experience that brought about an even deeper closeness is called the story of the Transfiguration. Now, Jesus loved all 12 of the guys he chose to hang out with (called the disciples), but he seemed to have some special—more intimate—moments with three of them; Peter, James and John. This is how the gospel writer, Mark, records the event (also found in Matthew 17:1–13; Luke 9:28–36).
Mark 9:1–10—The Transfiguration
Six days later Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John, and led them up a high mountain, where they were alone. As they looked on, a change came over Jesus, and his clothes became shining white—whiter than anyone in the world could wash them. Then the three disciples saw Elijah and Moses talking with Jesus. Peter spoke up and said to Jesus, “Teacher, how good it is that we are here! We will make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He and the others were so frightened that he did not know what to say. Then a cloud appeared and covered them with its shadow, and a voice came from the cloud, “This is my own dear Son—listen to him!” They took a quick look around but did not see anyone else; only Jesus was with them. As they came down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has risen from death.” They obeyed his order, but among themselves they started discussing the matter, “What does this “rising from death” mean?” What do you think this shared experience did for their relationship? How do you think you would have felt if you were one of the three with Jesus that day?
Philippians 4:1—The apostle Paul writes to his dear friends; a true sign of intimacy and love.
Proverbs 27:14—only close friends could pull this off
Matthew 11:19—Jesus associated closely with outcasts in intimate settings such as a sharing a meal or visiting their homes.
Proverbs 25:19—reliability is a form of relational intimacy
Proverbs 25:9–10—don’t share intimate things with everyone
1 John 4:7–12—intimate friends love each other with God’s love
Small group guide:
War is one of those experiences in life that builds lasting bonds of loyalty and friendship. One such example is captured in the St. Crispin’s Day speech in William Shakespeare’s play Henry V. A version of this speech is in the movie Renaissance Man with most of the words below. Why do you think that shared experiences like this build intimacy among people?
Rather proclaim it… That he which hath no stomach to this fight, Let him depart; his passport shall be made, And crowns for convoy put into his purse; We would not die in that man’s company That fears his fellowship to die with us. This day is call’d the feast of Crispin. He that outlives this day, and comes safe home, Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d, And rouse him at the name of Crispin. He that shall live this day, and see old age, Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors, And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispin.’ Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars, And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’ Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot, But he’ll remember, with advantages, What feats he did that day… This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin Crispin shall ne’er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remembered- We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition; And gentlemen in England now-a-bed Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
Large group guide:
- Make a list of things you think are intimate details that your best friend knows about you. If you don’t have a best friend yet, then what things would you want a best friend to know?
- If you’re in a physically intimate relationship, consider how the physical may be getting in the way of relational intimacy; things like honesty and commitment and attitudes and praying/worshiping together. Talk to your friend about some changes you might want to make.
- Plan a shared experience with a friend that the two of you believe will deepen your friendship (like a service project, or a camping trip, or a Bible study).
- Write a letter to God or make an entry in your journal describing what an intimate friendship should look like. Ask God to provide that deep, committed friendship.