Maybe too it comes from an assumption that intimacy always begets a romantic love. And only a romantic love. While that can be a facet of intimate connections, it shouldn’t be the pinnacle. I have to concur with @taylorclogston as even writing this, I have to sort through the immediate connotations that pop up when using the word intimate. Our hearts are hardwired to desire intimacy and God often speaks of us being his bride and all those associated images. Yet, in personal opinion, to only view God seeking us out in romantic terms is one sided. He does love us. With that greater love. The bridegroom seeking his bride AND a mighty king AND a divine creator. Maybe that God seeks us with a love that encompasses the romantic side and more and we don’t know always how to even make sense of that. That love is more than romantic displays.
Our culture stops at seeing intimacy always being culminated in a romantic way. Even digging through the meanings of the word intimate, the definition that struck me is “belonging to or characterizing one’s deepest nature.” That and “marked by warm friendship developing through long association”. Kindred souls weathering the tempests of life together. That’s not displayed only in a romantic relationship and I feel it’s shortsighted to contain it only within that. Almost redefining a word to suit an end goal.
What’s also interesting is why male to male relationships seem to face a heavier level of scrutiny than female ones when it comes to this. Women can have those close female friendships and it’s not so quickly apprehended to support the intimacy equates romantic love agenda. I have to wonder if there are far deeper things going on. Men need that fellowship and it is healthy but harder to find, thus they face more scrutiny when they do achieve it. Meaning, it’s a healthy God intended thing that is hard won, so our enemy is loath to give it up without sticking some nasty barb in it. I.e., “You can have that level of intimacy but only if it indicates a gay relationship.”
So… maybe… maybe part of our work is to show there is more to love. Through well crafted relationships that aren’t always romantic. I’d love to hear feedback and pushback on this. Something I’ve thought about as I’m working on crafting male to male relationships in a work in progress.
You do not have a soul. You have a body.
You are a soul. - C.S. Lewis