Fear is the enemy of love. Fear is the enemy of trust, honesty, sharing of oneself, and thus the enemy of intimacy.
Harry Schaumberg, in his book False Intimacy: Understanding the Struggle of Sexual Addiction, defines this concept of false intimacy as essentially a selfish strategy and self-created illusion for a person to avoid the relational pain inherent in real intimacy by pursuing sexual experiences — whether through fantasy, solo sex, or acting out with another person. False intimacy reveals a deep commitment to control or manage actual or potential emotional disappointment, pain and seeks emotional comfort, security, peace, and autonomy over the best interests of another person.
Given this notion from Schaumberg, how does this relate to fears and unbelief in your past or present struggles? Fear is the enemy of love, but love is the enemy of fear. Love and truth fight fear and unbelief. (Does this kinda sound like Yoda of Star Wars or a Haikou poem? Anyway…) If love is a verb and living in truth means confession and vulnerability (self-disclosure), then how are you are doing in loving God and others and in doing truthful self-discovery and honest self-disclosure to others? “Heart work” is the hardest work of all.
Since God accepted you and me when we were still enemies (Romans 5:8,10), What have you been so afraid of? What has distorted your vision of God’s goodness and trustworthiness? How are you seeking honest relationships now?
Is this helping you in the temptation to: sexual false intimacy; or the not-blatantly sinful, garden-variety false intimacy such as being polite but not open-hearted, doing “nice” but being aloof, not getting to close, hiding in work or busyness, focusing on stuff, leisure and entertainment but not relationships, or banal conversations about the news, sports, the weather, shopping, but never sharing or listing to heart concerns.
False intimacy – and the fear that drives it – is epidemic in our culture and not just because of porn which is an extreme variety of avoiding real intimacy and controlling emotions by using real people. Someone has said that the three rules of a dysfunctional family are: 1. Don’t Talk, 2. Don’t Feel, and 3. Don’t Trust. Yet, we are called to be true brothers, the real family of God, a community of true honesty, acceptance, mutual support. Jesus said, “by this all men will know you are My disciples, in that you LOVE one another” (John 13:35). Jesus is against the fear of false intimacy. “Perfect love cast out fear” (1 John 4:18). And, “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). The true meaning of Christmas is to set us free from the fears that enslave our hearts.