RELATIONSHIP, INTIMACY, LOVE
Because people have so many definitions and preconceived notions about the words “relationship”, “intimacy” and “love” which can be based on healthy or unhealthy life experiences such as your family upbringing and childhood, I felt the need to define these terms so we are working off of the same base understanding and definition.
We are defining “relationship” as the way in which you relate to God through His unconditional love for you, as well as the intimacy you share with Him on a daily basis. It is also the state of being connected to God through fellowship and experience-based knowledge. A healthy relationship provides a loving and safe place where your heart, emotions, feelings and thoughts are accepted, understood, valued and exchanged between you and God on a consistent basis. An earthly example of this would be a loving and healthy friendship; a marriage or family relationship built on trust and most certainly the acceptance and the love of Jesus.
We are defining “intimacy” as a close, familiar, affectionate and loving personal relationship built on trust with God. It is also the lifelong process of experiencing God within the context of a detailed heart knowledge, fellowship, closeness and a deep understanding of His love, nature, character and ways. It involves the sharing and exchanging of your innermost thoughts, feelings, emotions and actions in a relational way with Him on a daily basis. At the very core of our being every person has the basic needs of being loved, accepted, understood, safe and having a purpose. You can only experience these basic needs unconditionally and eternally through a daily spiritual love relationship with God.
We are defining “love” as the Greek word that the Bible uses in the New Testament to describe the love of God which is “agape”. Defined as unconditional love, love by: choice, decision and by an act of the will. The word denotes undefeatable goodwill towards people, the sacrificial work of Jesus and love which persists regardless of circumstances. This kind of love seeks the highest good. It is not based on,
nor does it need chemistry, emotions or feelings. This is a self-giving and sacrificial love by decision it is not based on your actions but on God’s determined decision to love you unconditionally as His son or daughter.
Quote from How to Hear God by Sterling Harris