The Intimate Father

Intimacy, a word not often used openly with fathers.  As a child my father would not even use the word much less tolerate his son expressing a desire to be intimate with him.  As much as I wanted to understand what made my father who he was, (the intimate details of his life), my father was not open to it.

Intimacy has long been confused with sexual relationship, and although connected in some ways and terminology, they are different. Wikipedia says;intimacy varies from relationship to relationship, and within a given relationship. Intimacy has more to do with shared moments than sexual interactions.”

Intimacy is linked with trust, safety, understanding, knowing, closeness and transparency.  Intimacy is not something that just happens it is something that is planted, nourished, protected, and has life.  At the same time intimacy is fragile once broken it is never quite the same and seldom as strong.

Most fathers struggle with true intimacy.  We struggle with it in our relationships with our spouses and especially with our relationships with our children.  We have this not so hidden veil that separates us from true intimacy with anyone.  It may be that we feel we must maintain a strong appearance as the head of our house.  We may feel we will be taken advantage of if we open up and make ourselves vulnerable to others.  The reasons are as vast as there are relationships.  No matter what the reason, the veil is destructive or at least limiting when it comes to building the strongest relationship possible, and as fathers we all seek the strongest relationship possible.

We must take our lead from the relationship our Father God wants to have with us.  His desire for intimacy with us is reflected in the fact that he sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the ultimate price for our sin.  In the last moments of that event, the veil between God and man was torn on several levels.  It was torn in the Temple from top to bottom, a visible manifestation of God’s desire for intimacy with man.  It was torn by the tearing of Jesus flesh on the cross, a physical manifestation of God’s desire for intimacy with man.  It was torn in the spirit; Jesus descended into the grave and took back the keys of hell and the grave, a spiritual manifestation of God’s desire for intimacy with man.

F.B. Meyer, in his article Our Daily Homily – March 29, takes it a step further; when he talks about the veil and its relationship with man and the Temple;

“How many there are who never get beyond that dividing vail!  They know the brazen altar of Atonement, the laver of daily washing, the golden altar of intercession; but they are never admitted to that blessed intimacy of communion which sees the Shekinah glory between the cherubim and blood-sprinkled mercy-seat.”As fathers we must first accept our relationship with Father God.  We need to learn to circumcise our hearts as described in Romans:

 No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not a cutting of the body but a change of heart produced by God’s Spirit. Whoever has that kind of change seeks praise from God, not from people. Romans 2:29

We can no longer hide behind the veil.  If we hope to be the best father possible we need to tear the veil we maintain between our family and us.  If we enter into a greater intimacy with our Father God, this will become more apparent and the method will become clear to us.  It can not happen without action on our part. 

Seek Him and listen to what the Spirit says to you about intimacy.  Look on the inside; understand more about yourself, so you know what you need to share with God and with your family.  Don’t seek to be “in control” or to “lose who you are” to another.  Seek intimate relationship on all three levels, visible, physical, and spiritual.  Don’t be afraid to let those close to you know your deepest thirst.  Look deep into your heart, expose yourself to the work of the Spirit, and you will find the greatest step in going deep with God; Intimacy.

En servicio como padre



2 Responses to “The Intimate Father”

  1. 1 Charles Arcario July 5, 2007 at 1:30 PM


    I love this article and I want to comment…I just have not had the time. I am dropping this to tell you that I have read it and it is having a positive impact on me. I will re-read and re-comment soon…



  2. 2 Charles Arcario July 8, 2007 at 1:08 PM

    I tell my children “I love them” all the time; but I know that saying it is not enough. I try to show them but providing them with a safe and consistent environment that they can count on. An environment that gives them permission to participate, make their own decisions, and practice better judgment.

    I don’t know why I expect that they will love me back for it; they just do. At their age it seems like they do it because they don’t know any better. I am hoping, that when they get older. it stands true.

    I can only do my best, and pray. I know that I am only the starting block for them. Real intimacy will come from their relationship with Christ. They need to learn to love from the Light. That type of love is the true meaning of intimacy; the kind of intimacy that could only come from a man that gave everything and expected nothing in return.

    The intimacy that a father feels back from is a kid is the residual of the love that Christ pours on them. Teach your kids that they need to look for love in the right places. They need not seek acceptance of anyone but God.

    It will be easier for your children to be intimate when they have the confidence that comes with understanding that they are loved by Love itself.

    At least I think so,


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