Heart Intimacy is Foreign

Negative emotions and pain are not the only reasons people avoid their hearts. Many times, the head is all that is available to live out of because the dynamic of intimacy is a foreign concept. The word intimacy may only have connotations of physical intimacy; however, there is an intimacy of heart that all people long for and desperately need. Heart intimacy is experienced when sharing occurs during a vulnerable exchange. The result is a deep connection. Our greatest need for intimacy is with Jesus Christ. However, women deeply long for heart intimacy with their husbands. Husbands also crave heart intimacy with their wives. In addition, both men and women desire and need heart intimacy with people of their same gender. Being an active participant within a tightly knit community of other believers where transparency, vulnerability, and intimate heart connections are practiced frequently is an extremely critical and vital factor in the health and well-being of all Christians. The results of continual heart intimacy with both a spouse and with others of the same gender dramatically increase the individual’s well-being and contribute to the spiritual growth process both within the family unit and corporately. For an extensive look at church life dynamics, read my first book “The Way Church Was Meant To Be.”

Those who have never had a capacity for heart intimacy created within them can find it extremely difficult to even relate to the idea. They long for it, but it eludes them. This can be the result of lacking a healthy connection with a mother as a young child. It can be the result of a distant father who was emotionally mechanical and shut down within his own heart. Those who had no father at all or who were abandoned in some manner often have little capacity for intimacy and vulnerability in their hearts. There is also the very pervasive occurrence of broken trust and betrayal. This occurs when a person’s heart was open and trusting of a certain person at one time in his life only to discover that the vulnerable trust was broken. Tremendous pain is the result. When trust doesn’t pay off, inner vows are erected that say “I will never” do that again. Many times these inner vows are hidden from sight and are buried deep with the soul. The list is endless of the possibilities of why someone’s heart may be wounded and shut down, leaving only the mind to live from. The capacity for heart intimacy requires a large degree of emotional soundness and emotional health. A person who is a candidate for heart intimacy must know that he himself is desirable and lovable. He must be willing to risk rejection. And, he must have a desire to share the life of another because the other person is viewed as desirable as well.

Without going into too much detail, some form of forgiveness and the releasing of inner vows to never trust again often brings healing of unhealthy heart postures and dynamics in many people. It can, however, be difficult to see exactly where to apply the forgiveness and what the specific inner vows actually are. Christian counseling settings can be helpful, but this method is not preferable because it is an artificial replacement of a functioning group of believers. God’s way of healing and restoration is within the context of deep relationships in the church.

The Lord Jesus Christ is restoring all of us, and we are all in the process of being healed. Again, we are already completely healed within our spirits, and as we walk after the Spirit we are able to live in freedom. However, the unresolved pain buried deep within our hearts and souls can often quench the Spirit in our daily walk with the Lord. This results in a certain degree of “shallowness” even while walking after the Spirit (Mt 13:8). When we are according to the Spirit, God fills the rooms in the house of our heart that have been unlocked and opened to Him. But the rooms within our hearts that remain nailed shut are unavailable for Him to enter and fill. In other words, as we walk after the Spirit, the Spirit will lead us into certain activities, either to think this or that, to feel this or that, or to do this or that. But often we will either refuse to venture into specific places within ourselves, or we will not hear His voice in some regard because it will take us into a place that is hardened, dark, painfully locked away, and has become a forgotten undiscovered territory. Rarely are we ever conscious of this.

As we live more and more of the moments of our day according to the Spirit and in vulnerable community with others, the Lord will address these hardened and painful areas of deception within us. Jesus will gently knock on doors that have been nailed shut or that have never been opened. As we come to the light and are healed and restored in these places, we experience “more room” as we walk after the Spirit than we did prior to the healing. This results in more room in our hearts and more capacity for experience.

Referring again to our water well analogy, when healing takes place, some of the sand in our well has been removed, and more water is able to fill the capacity of the well. We become deepened as we are healed. This results in a more intense and more intimate experience of the Lord within our hearts and souls, the place of experience.

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