When Adam first met Eve, the Bible states that “they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Gen. 2:25). The picture drawn is one of full acceptance in the face of complete vulnerability. This is what we all crave in an intimate relationship.
Sin, however, has separated us from God primarily, and from each other consequently. Over and over again, in our human relationship, we get hurt when we open ourselves up to someone only to be rejected, if not ridiculed. We are constantly in danger of developing emotional calluses and steeling ourselves from hurt by shutting ourselves off. Every time we are hurt, we must choose to open ourselves up again to being hurt again.
Some of us have been hurt so many times that we are afraid to open ourselves up even to God. Would He accept us if He really knew us in and out? Our closest earthly friends may not accept us, and they are imperfect too. What more of a holy God?
The knowledge God has of us, as David recounts in Psalm 139, can be daunting. We do not even know ourselves that well! And if we did, we might not like ourselves. How could God know us so fully and still love us unreservedly? Yet the Bible testifies of Him saying, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jer. 31:3). The ultimate expression of His love was sending Jesus to become one of us, live among us, and suffer death at our hands.
Not only does God accept us in spite of knowing us, but He also opens Himself up to be known by us. In doing so, He makes Himself vulnerable, and He is hurt many times over by our rejection of Him. The words of John 1:11 sting: “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.” “He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. and we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him” (Isa. 53:3). God took the first step to restore intimacy with us and invites us to trust Him by taking a step toward Him as well.
As broken human beings, we have a capacity for intimacy that is limited by our fear of rejection. But as we experience full acceptance in Jesus, we become better able to love others. True heart Christians are, therefore, best equipped for intimacy.