Knowing the ROCK: Part 1

Knowing TRUE Intimacy in Recovery

David Mackey

If you attended the Every Man’s Battle Workshop (and if you haven’t you are missing out) you will recall a session on False Intimacy. It seems that those who struggle with the Battle quite often struggle with intimacy. Which are what we were created for; Intimacy with God and Intimacy with others.

In Mark 12, Jesus is asked what the greatest commandment is and His answer is ‘to be intimate‘, i.e. ” to love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength. To love with your whole being. Not just God but others as well (Matthew 22:39 says, ‘The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor’).

Agape (gr.); unconditional love with one’s whole being. Quite often, those who give themselves over to acting out become great avoiders of true intimacy. Truth is, those who act out, very often never experienced intimacy as a child, nor with a spouse or a friend and certainly not with God. Sexual impurity can trick us into numbing even the need to have intimacy with a real person. Acting out can somehow, for very fleeting moments, seem fulfilling’ it is false but an effective numbing agent for our true intimacy needs.

So, one might ask, what is true intimacy and how does one develop real and true intimacy? I’m glad you asked. There is not a simple and easy answer. There is no formula or 3 step process toward developing intimacy’it is quite mysterious. But a simple definition, someone once said, was that intimacy is just that’In-to-me-see. That’s a pretty good definition because intimacy does involve seeing into each other. Seeing each others whole being and allowing another to see within us. It has many facets but God has offered us an intimate relationship with Him and with others. He has given us glimpses, through His Word, of what that intimacy can be like.

This is the first of five articles examining some of the facets of intimacy. We will not come close to exhausting this subject but will focus on David and some of what made up his intimate relationship with God. Especially as one reads his Psalms, it is pretty clear that David knew God intimately. God told Samuel that David was a ”man after my own heart.’ The Psalms are full of emotion with David speaking to God from his heart, soul, mind, and strength. Throughout those Psalms David commonly uses phrases and the same word pictures repeatedly. These pictures seem to include some common facets of INTIMACY.

Specifically we will look at Psalm 31:1-5. Throughout the Psalms, David repeatedly mentions knowing God as his ROCK, as his REFUGE, and as his FORTRESS. I suppose we all have some idea what they might mean but David seems to have a lot to say in these word pictures. David uses them interchangeably throughout the Psalms, as in verse 2 when he says: ‘‘ be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress’‘ In further study we will find that David also uses these words repeatedly to connect with some of the In-To-Me-See aspects of intimacy.

That’s where we are going! Discovering what it is to know God as our rock, refuge and fortress. To have intimate relationship with God and in turn learn how to be in intimate relationship with others. Scary thought isn’t it. Inviting our Holy God to see in us and looking back toward Him. To look in the face of Jesus, inviting Him to see within us. It is joyous mystery’though scary nonetheless. Especially for those of us who, in our acting out, ran and hid from just such a prospect. It is not much less scary to do the same with another person who we can see standing beside us. Is it possible that prospect is even more terrifying? For so long, we have run and hid in our acting out.

Listen, my friend and brother in the Battle! God invites us to know Him and be known by Him at the Rock of Refuge. A stronghold and fortress that provides safety. These things are terrifying because we have not yet experienced them. Trust God; He invites us to rest with others on the safe Rock and Fortress of Refuge with Him.

One more thing. If you are already fighting in the Battle, you likely have already begun to taste of true intimacy. You have begun to find safety and protection in God’s forgiveness and acceptance. If you have an accountability partner, someone you told about your struggle, a group you attend, or a band of brothers, then you have begun to taste of intimacy in those relationships. And Our Holy God offers us even more! Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Understanding Your Wife’s Heart: Part 5

New Life Ministries

Your wife can be your ‘comrade in arms’ if she understands the battle for sexual purity and the road you have chosen for sexual integrity. Because male sexual impurity can be unsettling, even shocking, to women, we’ve included this section of interviews with women regarding Every Man’s Battle to give you awareness of how to relate better to your wife and communicate with her in your struggle to be and stay free. Be aware there’s a natural tug-of-war in the hearts of women between pity and disgust, between mercy and judgment.

The Wife’s Role of Modeling Godliness and Holiness

Question: Do you believe that God has given you, as a wife, a responsibility to be a role model of godliness and holiness to your husband? We received some interesting comments to this question.

Some women don’t feel modeling godliness for their husbands is their role at all. Cathy said, ‘My responsibility is to love him, and that will manifest itself in godliness. But I feel the role model responsibility is primarily his, since he’s the leader of our home.’

We don’t disagree with Cathy’s last statement, but we want to point out that since you’re one flesh with your husband, you have a right, even a duty to play such a role as well.

Question: If a wife acts as a role model, how should it look in every day life?

Heather said, ‘My first responsibility as a role model is to be pure and true sexually to my husband, as I expect him to be.’

Wendy said, ‘I don’t try to get Mark to do things that we both know are wrong, like watching sensual movies,’ she said. ‘I don’t do things that would be a stumbling block to him, like leaving Victoria’s Secret catalogs lying around open.’

Many women feel that they care more about godliness than their husbands do. (As men, this is to our shame.) Andrea said, ‘Lately, through the preaching of several men and a worship conference a year ago, I met God in a new way and have changed more in the past year than ever before. God has given me a deep desire to purify my life and my home. It’s been frustrating at times, though, because there have been many things I’ve wanted to change, but I’ve met resistance from my husband. He’s a wonderful Christian, but in talking with my sister recently, we’ve concluded there’s a tendency among men to brush off women’s attempts to purify our homes. For example, I’m no longer comfortable with certain movies. I don’t like to watch them, nor do I like my children to watch them. But rather than come across as a holier-than-thou person, God has helped me to keep my mouth shut after voicing my concerns and instead pray about the situation and to pray for my husband.’

Cathy added, ‘I’ve never felt I cared more about holiness than my husband, but I think I put more energy into it. Maybe it comes more easily to a woman; I don’t know. If he seems to be struggling in a certain area, if I confront him or try to be a leader, it has much less effect than when I pray and fast for him.’

After attending Every Man’s Battle, we strongly encourage you to attend our marriage program at our New Life Weekend.

This weekend will help your marriage to heal from the wounds of
impurity and will especially help your wife with questions that she
still may have.

Understanding Your Wife’s Heart: Part 6

New Life Ministries

Your wife can be your ‘comrade in arms’ if she understands the battle for sexual purity and the road you have chosen for sexual integrity. Because male sexual impurity can be unsettling, even shocking, to women, we’ve included this section of interviews with women regarding Every Man’s Battle to give you awareness of how to relate better to your wife and communicate with her in your struggle to be and stay free. Be aware there’s a natural tug-of-war in the hearts of women between pity and disgust, between mercy and judgment.

The Wife’s Role of Cherishing

Cherishing appears in many ways.
One of the simplest we heard was from Frances, who said, ‘I’m always thrilled to see my hubby, even when he’s far across the church.’

Deena said, ‘I’m trying very hard to speak only good things of him and to build him up. I’m trying not to cut him down even when joking, being sure to consider his feelings as much as my own these days.’

Brenda said, ‘Cherishing often manifests itself in simple, daily things more than big romantic things. Things like doing my jobs at home and cutting finances when necessary. It should also show in my obvious desire to be with Fred all the time.’

These daily acts create feelings of cherishing and tenderness, but comparison can tear out a man’s heart. Guys compare the neighborhoods they live in, the cars they drive, the people they socialize with, and the families they come from. Many men struggle with this to some degree, but most will never reveal this side of themselves to their wives, even when asked. They feel trapped by their fate.

It isn’t what part of town we live in that decides our fate in the end. Generally, that’s something we can’t control. What we can control is how much hope we give to our spouse. What a husband needs is someone to look deeply into his eyes to remind him that his wife loves him and God loves him.

When Ellen told her husband that she is content to live on the income he has provided without complaint or comparison, he was fulfilled. To Ellen, that essence is priceless. ‘My goal in life, next to loving and obeying God, has been to love and learn about my husband and to help him be fulfilled and to enjoy living life together.’

If Brenda compared Fred to some of her high-school peers, she would find that he’s doing quite well. If she financially compared him to the folks at church, she would probably find her family somewhere in the middle. If she compared him to his Stanford peers, he’d probably rank as a scraggly, underachieving dog. But that’s how comparison works. It’s relative and, therefore, unreliable.

Who cares anyway? ‘The essential thing I owe Fred is faithfulness and trustworthiness,’ she said. ‘No one else in his life has proven completely true in these areas. I’m absolutely committed that although we may differ sometimes, I’ll always be faithful to him. I will stay his one and only.’

Brenda respects what she’s found and treats the weak spots tenderly. When she’s cherishing him like this, it becomes easy for Fred to cherish her in return.

After attending Every Man’s Battle, we strongly encourage you to attend our marriage program at our New Life Weekend.

This weekend will help your marriage to heal from the wounds of
impurity and will especially help your wife with questions that she
still may have.