Intimacy and Sexuality

intimicyOur church is hearing a series of sermons about sexuality, and afterwards in smaller groups we discuss the changing role of sexuality in society and in the church.  In the past, an intimate relationship was often equated with having sex.  I disagree. The following poem can illustrate the difference:

Friendship is a promise spoken only by the heart.
It isn’t given by any pledge.
It isn’t written on any paper.

But friendship is a promise
that is renewed every time
we meet and smile and enjoy
the good times that come from simply
being together.

It’s a promise to share
both glad and sad times…
a promise to think of each other fondly
whether near or far apart.

Friendship is a promise
spoken only by the heart.
A promise that I feel
you and I will always keep.

move onI found this poem written by D. Walley on a Friendship Hallmark Card.  My Joy and I share it. It is about intimacy, but not sex.

Several months ago My Joy and I ate in the Soda Shop in Goshen.  The waiter said something to us that we didn’t understand and rushed off.  We waited for the bill, and finally asked the waiter for it.  She said, “Oh, some one thought you were cute, and paid your bill.” We were embarrassed and grateful.

This noon in Elkhart’s Olive Garden, the waiter observed us carefully dividing the bill. We explained that “we weren’t married,” and that as friends we divide the bill and tip.  She went away laughing and said “you’re cute!”

IMG_0447We were amused, especially when we realized that no one had described My Joy as cute  away from me, and no one had said I was cute away from her. It seems we are deemed cute only when we are together!  We decided that when alone I must be a half-cute and when she is alone she must be a half-cute,  that we are cute only when the two of us are together, intimately.

Intimacy may lead to sex, but not necessarily so.  An intimate relationship is one that is trusting, caring, and sharing.  A faithful relationship is filled with joy, laughter and humor.

 

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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5 Responses to Intimacy and Sexuality

  1. Audrey A. Metz says:

    Martin, Ken and I agreed immediately upon reading this particular blog that we want to say we find your words about true intimacy to be right on the mark! And yes, for some weird reason, people find us elders who have found each other late in life to be “cute”!! That’s fine – we’re not embarrassed to express the happiness we’ve found with each other – cute or not!

  2. Rick Lee says:

    Martin, Thanks for sustaining our freedom by wrestling against the entropy of language. Truly, intimacy can be expressed and enjoyed by all kinds of people. Sexual intimacy is only one significant but limited expression of intimacy. Thank God for adjectives.

    “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”

  3. Emily Mumma says:

    Thank you for the poem describing “Friendship” and for your sense of humor “half cute”…giving THANKS for your “cute” Joy and you together. Delightful!
    It is my opinion that the word “gender” should be used in place of “sex” when referring to the differences in the male and female characteristics. Too often sex is used as a noun or adjective while suggesting or implying a verb…associated with worldly standards (of society or culture) rather than divine.

  4. Mary Lucinda (Cindy) Layman Crewe says:

    Thank you, Martin, for this post.
    Very apropos in my current circumstances.
    So thankful that I have discovered you with this poignant blog entry.
    Looking forward to reading more of your insightful posts. Shalom.

  5. Mary Bew says:

    We are sharing this. Thank you.

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