Intimacy with someone has a certain place for holding some things back; not telling the person all about you right away. I will explain. God has created us in his image, and we all know that is very mysterious. That has a lot to do with our finite minds trying to conceptualize an infinite God; so of course He will appear mysterious to us. But think of it this way; God could reveal to us everything about himself if he wanted to (and if we could handle it), but he does not. For this reason, my relationship with God is always new and exciting. My intimacy with God consists of me attempting to know a mysterious God, and that means moving from discovery to new discovery, from surprise to surprise. My relationship with God does not grow stale unless I am discontent with the mystery. My relationship with God is intimate and exciting when I embrace the mystery and look forward to the next new discovery about the heart of God.
If God revealed everything about himself to me in one moment I would have nothing left to desire; I would have no level of intimacy having known everything I needed to know. My relationship grows stale because the excitement of new discovery is lost.
Now, created in the image of God, our relationships with one another are very much the same. Perhaps we are intended to live with a healthy level of mystery. Within every relationship we have there should be some varying degree of mystery. Even within the most intimate relationship two humans can know, marriage, there should always be some level of mystery.
Many people would likely disagree with me, saying that marriage should be the one human relationship where you know everything about the other person. I think that is the very reason so many marriages grow stale so quickly. As human beings, our great need and desire is to know and be known. Now many married couples are asked to “get it all out” as soon as possible so that you may know each other and everything about each other, and we call that ‘intimacy’.
Realizing we are all created in the image of God, we have to realize this is certainly NOT in the image of God. Intimacy is found in a level of mystery. I cannot explain the thrill I get when my relationship with God reveals some new face of God I have never known before.
I also cannot quite explain how thrilling it is to learn something new about my wife I had never known before. There is excitement about seeing my wife in a new light. THAT is embracing the image of God in Tonya, the mystery of my wife.
Embracing the mystery of another person for the sake of intimacy does not mean hiding everything; it simply means a random new and exciting discovery (or revelation) here and there. Tonya should be learning new things about me for the rest of our lives, and that should excite her. I should be excited to learn new things about my wife.
“I never knew that about you; thank you for showing that part of yourself to me. I am closer to you now than I was before you showed me.”
Most marriages, friendships, relationships are driven by this “share everything” type of honesty, and that appears to be a great intimacy…for a short time; until you realize there is nothing left to give or show. You have ruined the mystery. You have ruined the excitement of discovery. You have ruined the mystery of intimacy.