Being ‘in love’ is not the same as an ‘act’ of love, which bears itself positively over the moment. This is the toughest challenge for any couple. Each day fresh beginnings of love-in-action must be initiated, and negativity recanted, both of which lead to intimacy, if the relationship is to move, or continue moving, forward.
Love occurs as a selfless act, joining to itself with other selfless acts. Love, hence, is faithful—the action. Love never ‘infects’ us sufficiently that are won completely in effect to it. We so often fail love—when we fail to act in love.
The act of love is brilliance, securing devotees left, right and centre. We glimpse this as we get it right, because often we’re failing, which is a reminder from the Holy Spirit which owns this thing: we’re not ‘there’ yet. It’s a safe, productive reminder.
A Charter of Intent
The growth and atrophy of relational love occur slowly. Like organisational culture changes, changes within love occur at a rate barely visible. We fail to recognise such slow change; the only thing that works for us is continual intent. Patience ushers and nurtures love.
Intent: it’s all about intent; a calm, patient intent focused on the outcome of intimacy.
As love commences with intent, manifesting itself via action, the intent is therefore known when it becomes observable behaviour. As intent underpins love, so loving behaviour underpins intimacy.
The charter of loving intent has its purpose set on creating intimacy.
The Embrace of Intimacy
Does anything build or characterise intimacy better than the unadorned well-meant act of love? And it is intimacy that finds its home most of all in love; the intimacy of trust, of comfort, of faithfulness and unity. Of the triangular model of love (passion, intimacy and commitment) it is intimacy that sees love blossom most reliably, favouring love’s capacity warmly.
The embrace of intimacy is the hands-on way of assuring relationships beyond the struggles that assert themselves over the gaunt seasons many partnerships endure. It is the relationship’s safety. Intimacy is seen here, also, to fortify commitment.
This one quality of love is best at ensuring that our fresh beginnings of love are not so abruptly felt; that there’s a silky flow of love resplendent through the relationship’s journey.
Being ‘in love’ is overrated. Being continually willing and able to love is far superior. Love is the intentional action and intimacy is the felt effect. First we give of ourselves, so trust and closeness can be advanced. Love finishes with intimacy—the basis of joyous, committed relationship.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.
Image Credit: Fajridet.