Christian Home Builder - Lesson 13

Life In The Fast Lane

Background Information for the Teacher


  1. The student will be able to define relationships from a Biblical standpoint.
  2. The student will be able to recognize the nine forms of intimacy and evaluate their family from that perspective.
  3. The student will be able to identify the reasons for fast paced living in America.


  1. The teacher may want to order, from Willow creek Community Church, a tape of the video sketch, "An Hour On Wednesday.”


Intimacy, as defined by God, is a multi-dimensional process that occurs in families. It can grow, mature, and deepen over time. In fast-paced living, we sometimes struggle to build intimacy with God and one another.

Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class


  1. Song, prayer and announcements.
  2. Review of last week's lesson.
  3. Introduction of the lesson and thought questions:
    1. How do couples grow closer to one another over time?
    2. What causes couples to grow apart over time?
    3. Do you know of marriages or families where members are frustrated because they want to be closer to each other but don't seem to be able to do that?

Learning Experiences:

  1. Optional: Play the video clip of "An Hour On Wednesday.” (See Resources)
    1. What would you say to this couple if you were a marriage counselor and they came to you?
      1. You are not hearing one another very well.
      2. Your lives are about to dramatically change and I'm not sure one of you is ready for that.
      3. You are hurting one another accidentally and that results in bitterness and a buildup of resentment.
  2. Intimacy as a gift from God: Genesis 2:18. The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
    1. We were made to be in relationship with one another. We were made to be in families and this was God's idea.
    2. Some have the gift of singleness but the vast majority of Americans, about 97 -98%, will be in families and be married.
  3. Nine forms of Intimacy:
    1. Emotional Intimacy: This is the form of intimacy that we often think of and or looking for. This is the closeness that occurs between two people due to the emotional bonding of their lives together. These are the good feelings that we have toward each other. These are warm and comfortable feelings that we have being in one another's presence. The trust that we share with another person.
    2. Sexual Intimacy: This is the form of intimacy that is also most often thought of when we refer to the word. The Bible said, "A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh.” This oneness certainly is reflected in the sexual bond. The Bible maintains this sexual bond is to be pure and exclusive within the bonds of marriage.
    3. Work Intimacy: Most of us who are married today get an overload of work intimacy. These are the mundane things we do, day in and day out, to maintain family life. It's shopping for groceries, paying bills, running a million different errands and taking children to lessons. Work intimacy can build over time as we create a life together. It's not exciting but it certainly is necessary.
    4. Commitment Intimacy: This is the intimacy that occurs when we stand before the preacher, our family members and guests and take our wedding vows. We slip a ring on the ring finger of the left hand and we maintain that we will be faithful to our wedding vows and our commitments.
    5. Intellectual Intimacy: This is the form of intimacy that occurs when we share ideas, judgements, opinions, plans and dreams for the future. This is a very exciting, rich and deep form of intimacy between people. Outside of marriage, we can say that we are friends with someone else because we seem to see things, "eye to eye.”
    6. Aesthetic Intimacy: This is the intimacy that occurs between two people when they enjoy the creative world around them. It may be art, music, animals, nature or any of a number of different aesthetic pursuits.
    7. Recreational Intimacy: The closeness that occurs between family members when they participate in activities together. It could be sports, camping, a hobby or recreation that everyone enjoys together. The time spent together and the energy devoted to a particular activity brings a family together and can be one of the best memories they share as a family.
    8. Creative Intimacy: Creative intimacy occurs when we are able to use the creative juices that God has given us to solve problems, create some new idea, to be artistic or musically inclined, to participate in some form of creative endeavor together as a couple or a family. Some scholars have noted that parenting is probably the most imaginative and creative job that any two people have to do together.
    9. Crises Intimacy: This is the form of intimacy that occurs when a family faces a crises together. The crises may be a positive one, such as the birth of a child or a wedding or it may be a negative crises, which is a natural disaster, sickness or death. Whatever the case, people are brought together, for good or bad, by walking through these crises together. Think about your own family life. What kinds of intimacy did you have growing up? What kinds of intimacy does your family share now? What forms of intimacy are you most comfortable with? What forms of intimacy are you a little uncomfortable with? How well matched are you and other members of your family?
  4. A definition of "relationship”
    1. The etymology of the word relationship means literally, "to create a connection again.”
    2. Take out the piece of Velcro and note how Velcro locks something down tightly but it can be disconnected and reconnected quite quickly and effectively. That is how relationship works in a family. They bring people together but they allow for continual adjustments. This is one of the characteristics of a healthy family. They are connected and can be reconnected and adjustments can be constantly made.
  5. The Bible speaks of taking time to build relationships with our family and with God. Scripture References: Psalms 46:1,0 "Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the Earth.” Psalms 31:14-15, "But I trust in you, oh Lord; I say, you are my God. My times are in your hands…” Colossians 3:15, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart since as members of one body you were called to peace.” Joshua 1:13, "Remember the command that Moses, the servant of the Lord, gave you; the Lord your God has given you rest and has granted you this land.”
  6. There are two kinds of rest:
    1. Jump start - resting up over night as in a good night's sleep.
    2. Drip Charge - a long term readjustment of one's life and priorities that adds peace and security to the soul. "God wants us to enjoy genuine rest, not just the good night's sleep kind of rest that satisfies the body, but an internal rest that bathes the soul in contentment.” Tim Kimmell, Little House On The Freeway.
  7. Why are we moving so fast today?
    1. Historical reasons
      1. Research conducted by Dr. Rudy Ray Seward has confirmed that Americans have always tended to be families that were small, mobile, highly independent and adaptable to change.
      2. Technology
        1. In 1910, we made War like Europeans, marching out in straight rows. Today, we set in concrete bunkers and can put bombs down the chimneys of our enemies. Technology has changed our world permanently.
      3. Changing roles and work
        1. Probably no other force than "work” itself has had as great an impact on the family in the last twenty-five years than any other factor.
        2. Women have new and complex life span projections. Men are expected to see five or six job changes, at least.
      4. Meritocracy
        1. We live in a country where what you accomplish merits your status in society. "We make money the old fashioned way, we earn it.” So our status is assigned by how we "pick ourselves up by our own boot straps.”
      5. Transitional Density
        1. The build up of little things that eventually leads to a large negative reaction.
        2. Like a snow shovel, moving down a driveway. At the beginning, it picks up a little bit of snow. But, midway through the pass on the driveway, the weight of a little snow grows into an enormous weight.
        3. Families can experience small stressors for a period of time that eventually build up to a large reaction.


  1. The teacher will provide an intimacy wheel discussion sheet.
  2. Students will be asked to fill out the Intimacy Wheel sheet and include it in their journal.
  3. Couples will be asked to discuss, the video sketch-"An Hour On Wednesday,” on their own.

Further Resources:

  1. Willowcreek Community Church, Worship Resources Catalog, (847)765-5000.
  2. Tim Kimmell, Little House On The Freeway.
  3. Cloud and Townsend, Boundaries.
  4. Bryan Strong, Christine DeVault, Barbara W. Sayad, The Marriage and Family Experience, Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1998, ISBN 0-534-53757-X. See Chapter One, on The Changing Nature of the American Family.

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