When I was growing up, I observed that my grandma had a peculiar behavior when it came to visitors. It was like she had placed them in 3 categories: “Stoop”, “Couch”, and “House”. There were some visitors that came to the door (usually my uncle’s friends) who wouldn’t make it past the front stoop. They would have to wait there, no matter the weather, while my uncle was called to meet them outside. Then there were the visitors that would make it past the stoop but no further than the couch by the front door. They could sit or stand but they did not advance any further than the boundaries that the couch dimensions dictated. And lastly, there were those elite few souls that were distinguished as full-fledged house guests. They could access the kitchen and could even use the bathroom!
Now that I am all grown up (sort of) and have my own home, my grandma’s actions no longer seem so peculiar. I get it now. My home is a sacred place; a physical representation of my family’s internal and private connection. While I try to be hospitable, even to strangers, I don’t allow anybody and everybody to have access to all parts of my home. That’s a level of intimacy that’s only extended to an elite few. That intimacy is a special privilege, not a common right.
It appears that this view on intimacy is becoming less popular in our society. The intimacies of people’s lives are being packaged and marketed like a commodity. Social media has provided new outlets for the average Joe or Jane to expose the intimate details of their life like a pro.
Yet, this type of intimate exposure is leaving people feeling more disconnected and more disrespected than ever. Why?
It reminds me of the scripture in Matthew 7:6:
Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.
This scripture is not about classifying people as dogs and pigs. It’s about uncovering an important prerequisite to true intimacy; value and honor. You can give pearls to dogs and pigs out of the kindness of your heart but those animals don’t attribute any value to pearls. They demonstrate this lack of value by dishonoring the pearls and trampling them. If they can desecrate the gift, then they can desecrate the giver through an attack. Intimacy is a precious gift. Value and honor must come first.
Understanding this standard in our relationship with God is the first step to keeping this standard in our relationships with people. God sets expectations and boundaries that must be valued and honored before we can enjoy intimate fellowship with Him.
For example, John 14:23-24 reads:
Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.
God requires that we value His Son, Jesus, by loving Him. This love is demonstrated by honoring His word, that is, by keeping it and aligning our life to it. This value and honor has a great promise attached; God will love and make a home with such a person. Making a home with God…that means you’re not stuck on the stoop! But this intimacy isn’t just given to anyone, God has standards and so must we.
God has given us many standards to safeguard the privilege of our personal intimacy; whether platonic or sexual. But let’s be honest, sometimes the desire for intimate connection grows strong and the temptation to circumvent God’s standards grows with it.
But remember, intimacy without value and honor isn’t intimacy at all; it’s just exposure.
Do you always treat intimacy as a special privilege? Are there some people in your life whose privileges need to be revoked? Do your standards for intimacy align to God’s?
Now that you have finished reading it’s time to SyncUP with God. Start by reviewing the “Weekly SyncUP Guide”. It provides 5 daily guides on scripture reading, reflection questions, life application steps, and prayers to help you have your own daily SyncUps with God for the rest of the week.
DON’T FREAK OUT…if doing all 5 this week is overwhelming, set a goal of 2 or 3 and work your way up from there. Enjoy and God Bless!