June is synonymous with weddings. For the minister, it is a privilege to witness a man and woman say to one another, “I lay down my life for you.” In this moment of great intimacy, each gives away his or her life but receives the life of the other. Nothing is lost; everything is gained.
Married couples know that commitment to intimacy causes joy because they are joyful when the other is joyful. Commitment to intimacy also causes suffering because they suffer when the other suffers.
Jesus tells us everything we need to know about intimacy. In the New Testament, there are several examples of Jesus praying to his Father and often in front of his Apostles. Jesus dares to make himself vulnerable before 12 men. He puts it all out there. He is vulnerable and he is transparent. Jesus, his Father and the apostles – because of their intimacy – all share in each other’s joy and suffering.
Intimacy is dangerous. Intimacy makes us face our own egos, selfishness and limitations. It requires transparency and openness. Intimacy involves a degree of vulnerability.
Jesus invites married couples into this intimacy with him. He says to married couples that if you can engage in this deep level of connectivity with me and with each other, you will enjoy a sense of being at peace with me, within yourselves and with each other. Jesus wants married couples to share with him in prayer and with each other their worst failures and mistakes, their most embarrassing moments, their feelings of inadequacy, their dark shadow side as well as their loftiest dreams, visions and hopes for their marriage. If married couples can do this, Jesus teaches us by his example, they are more likely to more freely express gratitude and appreciation towards him and each other.