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Cultivating Intimacy: Part 3

Cultivating Intimacy
CC Photo Courtesy of cjuneau via Flickr

We went to the movies a couple of years ago—nothing worthy of an Oscar, just your average big-budget blockbuster. There we were, Nancy and I, eating popcorn, enjoying a soda, sporting our highly fashionable 3D glasses and watching the story unfold—when it happened.

It was subtle. The girl in the movie hinted at her love for a boy in the movie. It wasn’t the biggest part of the plot, rather minor actually. But he wasn’t the obvious choice for her. I would have guessed she would choose the other guy. But she chose him instead.

Then God spoke to me.

It was more of a download, really.

Nancy chose me.

Something unlocked inside me. Something opened up—something hidden for a long, long time. The tears came. I had no words. They flooded my eyes and poured down my face. My stomach was doing that involuntary crunch thing that happens sometimes when the emotion is big.

I hadn’t cried like that since I was a little kid. Not like that.

The movie was pretty light hearted. Nancy glanced over at me and saw the emotional debacle happening next to her. Looking bewildered, she asked what in the world might be wrong with me.

I managed to choke out an “I’ll explain later.”

By the time we climbed into our minivan I had pulled myself together. She looked over at me and raised her eyebrows as if to invite the promised explanation.

I opened my mouth, fully intending to attempt some description of what I had just experienced, when it happened again. My tongue suddenly stuck firmly to the roof of my mouth. My stomach locked up once more time in a hard crunch. My eyes exploded like Old Faithful. I absolutely lost my ability to speak.

I drove us to a nearby restaurant. We sat across from one another, and I choked out one or two words at a time as I was able. Mostly I just stared at her and cried. We sat there like that for more than an hour.

It’s a powerful thing to be chosen.

I think the desire to be chosen is one of the deepest and most visceral longings of the human heart.

We fear rejection. We fear we’re not enough. We fear judgment. Love feels very risky. Choosing another is scary because they might not choose you back. Fear drives a lot of the toxicity in unhealthy relationships.

But perfect love drives out fear.

Want to cultivate intimacy in your relationships?


Choose to be the one who accepts, who serves, who offers benefit to another at your own cost. They might expect you to reject them. Surprise them.

You were made for it.

Don’t make them earn it. Don’t wait for them to do it first. Look beyond the ways they protect themselves and see them, the real them.

Your love might heal a very broken place in their heart. Your acceptance might open a door that’s been locked for a long time.

 *Originally appeared on Destiny in Bloom. Used with permission. 

About Alan Smith

Alan is married to Nancy, and father to Lauren (16), Anna (14) and Teddy (9). He is the pastor of Freedom Ministries at Gateway Church in Southlake,Texas, and is the author of the new book "Unveiled, The Transforming Power of God’s Presence and Voice."
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