ep. 41 | Relational Intimacy with Stephanie Reynolds
On today’s episode of the Journeywomen podcast, I chatted with Stephanie Reynolds about relational intimacy, or intimacy within the context of all of our relationships. Stephanie has been married almost 40 years! She and her husband, Rick, work with couples who are recovering from infidelity through the ministry of Affair Recovery. This conversation with Stephanie wraps up our series on relationships that we’ve had going on for the past four weeks. Through conversations with guests about intimacy with God, singleness, dating, and marriage, we’ve learned that being known involves risk, but we can take risks in knowing and being known by others because of Christ! Through faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we can experience intimacy with the Father. That intimacy with God fully satisfies us and enables us to experience intimacy with others, whether it be through marriage or through Christian community, even though we will inevitably experience pain that comes from broken people knowing and loving broken people. As we walk in intimate relationships with others, we are able to forgive one another and experience reconciliation because of the Good News of Jesus Christ! It is only in Christ that we can experience true intimacy with God and others, despite ourselves. God has really used this whole series to stir my affection for Jesus and I hope He uses it to do the same in your hearts too.
Tell us a little about who you are and what you do.
What is intimacy?
What are we modeling/pointing towards when we experience intimacy?
Because of the fall in Genesis 3, our intimacy with God and man has been distorted. What enables us to walk in intimate relationships despite the brokenness of sin?
How have you seen the Gospel transform broken relationships?
How does the Gospel change the way we view relationships?
What are required elements for experiencing intimacy?
Intimacy requires vulnerability. How does the Gospel free us up to walk confidently in being known without fear?
We all desire that Romans 12:15 kind of community that rejoices when we rejoice and grieves when we grieve, but what are some first steps we can take to begin living that out in our lives?
When a community is living like we've been talking about, how does that fulfill what Christ has called us to on this earth?
THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST
What 3 resources would you recommend to someone pursuing intimate relationships?
What are 3 of your simple joys?
- Who has had the biggest influence on your own journey with Jesus?
“I think intimacy is a story that is written by two people who have a mutually committed relationship that involves trust and transparency. It’s a safe place where we’re comfortable being ourselves, we don’t have to pretend or wear masks. We accept each other, warts and all, and want the best for each other. There’s no manipulation.”
“Emotional intimacy is a forever learning experience.”
“When Rick forgives and accepts me it helps me learn how to receive God’s forgiveness and acceptance. In that moment he’s modeling God to me.”
“You can experience the forgiveness of God through your brothers and sisters in Christ when you walk in confession with one another. It’s such a tangible experience of God’s grace in your life when we do that in the context of community.”
“In the context of dating especially, if you share too much too soon it’s not safe...there has to be a strong level of discernment, and if you don’t have it, ask your brothers and sisters to pray that over you.”
“We (the church) need to offer hope to broken relationships.”
“We’re not called ‘sinners’ in the New Testament, we’re called ‘saints’, so we need to walk in that sainthood, which does not include being boastful but includes humility.”
“The gospel has taught and reminded me to take my eyes off of myself, that my relationship with someone else is not all about me.”
“I want to view my relationships with someone through the lens of the gospel. In that, to conduct myself 'in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ' (Philippians 1:27). Philippians 2:3 says don’t be selfish, don’t try to impress others, be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. That’s how the gospel has taught me to approach my relationships.”
“I’m learning I can’t control the outcomes in a way that necessarily makes me happy, but I can only do what God has called me to do in the context of that relationship. If what I have to say is rejected, I can’t control that outcome.”
“We’ve heard of the illustration of the triangle where each of us is at the bottom, and the closer we draw to one another, the closer we become with God.”
“Am I mirroring Jesus in my relationships?”
“‘Vulnerability is the essence of romance. It’s the art of being uncalculated, the willingness to look foolish, the courage to say 'This is me, and I'm interested in you enough to show you my flaws with the hope that you may embrace me for all that I am but, more important, all that I am not.' I thought this was a beautiful quote... it’s from Ashton Kutcher!”
“We harden our hearts in our relationships because we feel like that wall gives us safety. God calls us to a place of having a soft heart, of being willing to be hurt, because that’s humility. Vulnerability and humility go hand in hand.”
“Walking in vulnerability does set you up for suffering, but suffering brings you closer to Jesus.”
“Vulnerability is hard and scary but God loves us in that vulnerability. His knowing what’s best for us may lead us to suffering, but at the same time that suffering will lead us to a place of reward, a place we’d never be if we hadn’t entered into that suffering.”
“Suffering gives us a platform to speak from.”
“Intimacy starts with your family. It’s the people we love the most we tend to overlook the most.”
“Learn to be compassionate with the people we come into contact with...rejoicing and grieving with them...connecting with them on that level.”
“God has called us to serve. In Ephesians 2:10 it says ‘For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.’ Many times the service that God brings into your life or brings you to is a direct result of the suffering you’ve had.”
“When we’re living like Jesus is talking about, grieving with those who grieve and celebrating with those who celebrate, then we’re going to look for places to serve in our community. We’ll rejoice in the suffering we may have gone through because it gives us a ministry, produces endurance and character, and it gives us hope, which is the best of all because hope doesn’t disappoint us.”
Visit a therapist
Find a marriage enrichment program
Find a support group
STEPHANIE'S SIMPLE JOYS
Connect with Stephanie
Elisabeth Young of ElisaAnne Calligraphy always knew that God blessed her with artistic talent and a heart for entrepreneurship. Since 2014 she has been pursuing her love of calligraphy and design by offering custom wedding invitations for the elegant and timeless bride. After your wedding, the flowers will fade, the cake will be eaten, and your dress will be pressed and delicately boxed for safekeeping; but your wedding invitations will be one of the tangible heirlooms that forever remind you of the special and holy celebration you had that day! From custom wedding crests featuring artwork that represents you and your fiancé, to breathtaking venue illustrations, Elisabeth can create multiple different elements for your invitations that will make them special, personal, and, dare I say, simply too beautiful for your guests to throw away. For 10% off any of Elisabeth’s custom wedding invitation packages, make sure to mention that you heard about ElisaAnne Calligraphy on the Journeywomen podcast. Visit www.elisaannecalligraphy.com today to submit a wedding invitation inquiry and receive your free consultation & quote!
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