We can ease into deeper more intimate relationships by intentionally sowing into those we value. Intimacy is “close familiarity or nearness in friendship”1 with others.
I – Intimacy Translates into I Care
It’s amazing to me in today’s world that we take so little time to communicate that we care about another person. In a few moments of time, we can call, text or write and let another person that is close to our heart (whether friend, colleague or family) know that we care about them, value them for who they are, and desire to invest in the relationship.
It is important to utilize basic communication skills of talking and listening to one another. Relationship is two-way communication. It’s not one person giving and another person taking. It’s not one person talking and another person listening – every time, every day. It’s two people taking turns talking and listening.
N – Never use Never or Always
Never use never or always when communicating because these words leave no room for grace, misunderstandings, mistakes or basic humanity. Never or always will trigger a defense mechanism of fight or flight which can be detrimental to a relationship.
T – Trust
Trust is knowing the other person wants the best for you and would never intentionally try to hurt you. Where there is trust, we can ease into deeper more vulnerable bearing of our heart and soul because of the feeling of safety and security that accompanies trust.
I – Imploy
Imploy or employ a balanced life. Human relationships cannot meet and satisfy every need. (Only the Lord can do that!) The Lord can use us to meet needs in each other’s life, but only the Lord can meet our every need. It is important to encourage individual and mutual interests.
M – Make it Real
Being authentic (genuine, reliable), vulnerable, and true. Pretending, faking, and acting are sabotaging. Be real with each other and love one another.
A – Affirm
“According to relationship researcher John Gottman, happy couples have a ratio of 5 positive interactions or feelings for every 1 negative interaction or feeling. Express warmth and affection!” [AC] This holds true in our relationships with friends, family members and colleagues. Positive affirmation builds us up while negative criticism tears us down.
An expert on intimate relationships, Rowland Miller, from Sam Houston State University, writes:
“Intimacy increases when people believe that their partners understand, respect, and appreciate them, being attentively and effectively responsive to their needs and concerned for their welfare. Responsiveness is powerfully rewarding, and the perception that our partners recognize, understand, and support our needs and wishes is a core ingredient of our very best relationships.” ~Rowland Miller [Ansah]
C – Communicate from the Heart
When I actively listen, give feedback of what I have heard, and listen for clarification, then I am giving value to the individual and to the relationship we share. We can ease into a deeper and more intimate relationship by communicating heart-to-heart.
Y – You are worth it!
Committing to a relationship, taking the time to listen and to share equals you are valuable. Basically, I’m saying, “You are worth it! You are worth my time. You are valuable, precious, and important to me.” We ease into more intimacy by going deeper soul-to-soul.
Time and interest communicate value. Investing our time, resources and our very selves into a relationship is what will cause a relationship to thrive.
“There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” ~Proverbs 18:24 WEB
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls, and doesn’t have another to lift him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have warmth; but how can one keep warm alone? If a man prevails against one who is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” ~Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 WEB
“A friend loves at all times.” ~Proverbs 1717 WEB
“Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” ~Proverbs 27:17 NASB
Treasure Friends Treasure Friends – Strength with Dignity
Words that Encourage – Empower Us and Others Words that Encourage – Empower Us and Others – Strength with Dignity
1 Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. Retrieved February 4, 2022, from http://www.webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary
10 Tips for Healthy Relationships. Adapted from Kansas State University (2006) and the Peer Advocates of Sexual Respect at Amherst College (2007). [AC] Retrieved February 4, 2022, from https://www.amherst.edu/campuslife/health-safety-wellness/counseling/self_care/healthy_relationships/10_tips_for_health_realtionships
Ansah, Marian. Seven signs of true intimacy in a relationship. Published on October 1, 2018. Retrieved February 4, 2022, from Seven signs of true intimacy in a relationship (citinewsroom.com)
New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB 1995), copyright 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.
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