Vulnerability opens the door to intimacy

We consider our life together to be, first and foremost, about partnership. We value the simplicity of trying to do life together. Life is constantly throwing curveballs that are more fun when you have someone else playing the game with you. There’s nothing particularly special about cross-country road trips, eating dinner, petting a cat, or wringing out laundry by hand when the washing machine decides to be possessed; but, there is something mysteriously profound about doing these things with a person whom you consider to be your partner.

It is rather perplexing to us that so many people assume that because we do not share sex together, we cannot be doing life together. Yet, reflecting on our experience together, the first word that comes to mind today is vulnerability. We have managed to share life together and cultivate a rich, deep, meaningful experience of intimacy by being vulnerable with each other. There’s no rocket science required to make the observation that vulnerability is hard.

Vulnerability is like the opposite of the social expectations surrounding dating. It seems to us that when two people date, they are expected to spend lots and lots and lots of energy putting their best foot forward. Choose the best outfit, select the best restaurant, make sure the car is clean, etc etc etc. Dating can be one big show in which you constantly wear the mask of the person you most want to be.

Vulnerability requires an incredible degree of transparency. It means letting Sarah look over my shoulder to make sure I’m not making grammatical errors as I type and allowing Sarah to make fun of my natural (and I must admit, very creative) spellings of words. It means appreciating that a good hug makes tough conversations a lot easier. It means knowing that there is nothing one of us can disclose that can change the love we share as a couple. And in that regard, vulnerability is pretty cool.

Vulnerability fosters spiritual and emotional depth. When we are vulnerable, we sit within our various weaknesses. When we share the big scary problems, we recognize that all humans everywhere have God-sized concerns that require a miracle. When we are vulnerable, we learn to communicate with an open heart and an open spirit. It is our vulnerability that allows us to share our lives with Christ… and with each other.

We see the most profound expression of vulnerability and partnership at Christmas when Christ joined Himself to our humanity as an infant. He fully relied on His family for everything. That’s amazing. It is Christ’s vulnerability that allowed Him to partner with us fully as human beings. Vulnerability permitted Christ to “speak” the language most intimately associated with being human. As He voluntarily took on our frailty, the Human united with the Divine.

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22 thoughts on “Vulnerability opens the door to intimacy

    • We like to acknowledge the humanity of others while respecting that everyone is created in the image of God, so we’ll also do our best to avoid blasting people’s rude comments all over the internet 🙂

  1. Thank you for sharing! Talk about vulnerability! Most people don’t understand that many of the most intamacy relationship do not invole sex. Beatifully stated again thank you.

  2. Thank you for your vulnerability and openness. I hope to learn through sharing in your reflections and experiences. Hugs and prayers 🙂

  3. Lovely post. Look forward to reading more posts. My only other comment is ‘have you ever thought of adopting children?’.

  4. I just wanted to let you both know how courageous and generous it is of you to allow people insight into your lives. Sarah, I have always known you to be such a kind person and I am proud of you that you’re reaching out to people.

  5. I am so glad to have found your blog! Actually really excited – I have been looking for resources about celibacy within Christian LGBT couples for a long time now, in the end I was about to give up because it seemed like *nobody* does it. I look forward to learning and reading more!

  6. There is an organization in the UK that is specifically for platonic partnerships. Mostly heterosexual, but they also have LGBT folk that utilize the service. There are different reasons why people may want/need a celibate partnership including asexuality, disability etc:

  7. This is so so so interesting and refreshing and thought-provoking. Thank you for your courage in sharing this part of your lives. As someone who currently identifies as “Q” — and am not sure what to do with that — I am very grateful to read about your experience.

  8. Surely you have “set up camp” in a spot bound to be caught in a crossfire. Peace be to you both in this public setting fraught with “danger.” I, too, look forward to listening and learning from your perspectives–and contributing to the conversation.

  9. Love your grace filled posts. Are you familiar with the Beguine movement of church history? Your partnership reminds me of those laywomen who committed to celibacy and life together.

    • Hi Laura. Yes, we’re familiar with the Beguines. Thanks for the kind words. Glad you’re enjoying the blog!

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