Intimacy and Vulnerability For The Youth Worker

Sean Chandler
July 2nd, 2019

It is not good for the man to be alone.” – Genesis 2

From the beginning, God designed each and every one of us to connect with one another. But, not just superficial connection. God designed us to long for intimate connection with others. We were designed to be social creatures living in community.

The truth is that everyone needs someone in their life that knows everything.  

  • Someone needs to know your secrets.
  • Someone needs to know your ambitions.
  • Someone needs to know your insecurities.
  • Someone needs to know your fears.
  • Someone needs to know your pain and frustrations.
  • Someone needs to know everything..

Here are three reasons that everyone needs someone that knows everything:

#1 | When No One Knows Everything, We’re Living in Isolation

Too often, we choose to allow everyone to know something rather than someone to know everything.

Social media makes it easier than ever to be superficially connected to 100s or 1,000s of people. We can know lots of things about lots of people, and lots of people can know lots of things about us. But, no one really knows us.

It’s never been easier to trade quality relationships for quantity relationships.

Social media, churches, schools and work places can all create a false sense of community. We’re constantly surrounded by people who know things about us, but they don’t really know us. While many people are familiar with part of who we are, no one really knows us on a deeper level.

  • You can be surrounded by 1,000 people and feel alone.
  • Your 800 Instagram followers may know everywhere you’ve been the last week, but you can be living in total isolation.

See, when there are parts of your life that no one is aware of, you create a space where you are alone. When you think about that area, you’re alone there. When you process that part of your life, it’s only you. It truly is a place of isolation.

When you find someone you can share everything with, you invite them into each of those spaces.

#2 | Intimacy Requires Vulnerability

To state the obvious, the reason many of us are afraid to tell someone everything is that we’re afraid of the consequences. Telling someone everything puts us in a vulnerable position. Sometimes being vulnerable simply means putting a friendship or your reputation on the line. Other times, being vulnerable can have serious consequences for your life.

  •  What if they reject me?
  • What if they make fun of me?
  • What if they judge me?
  • What if I lose the friendship?
  • What if I lose my marriage?
  • What if I lose my job?

In order to truly connect with other people on an intimate level, we have to risk being vulnerable. We have to place ourselves in a position where we can get hurt.

This is why everyone shouldn’t know everything, but you need to find someone to know everything.

We are designed to long for intimate connection with others. For you to have an intimate connection, you have to be vulnerable. You have to open all of the doors to someone.

This allows you to connect with others the way God intended us to connect with others.

#3 Sin Grows in Secret

Each and every one of us needs someone in our life who has permission to hold up the mirror and show us what we really look like. Each of us tends to be either overly critical of or blind to our weaknesses.

When areas of sin or weakness become areas of isolation, we put ourselves in a position where we’re vulnerable to our own sin nature. Sin grows in secret. Just like mold grows in dark and damp places, sin grows in the dark and isolated places in our lives.

In life, we’re always vulnerable to something. 

Do you choose to be vulnerable to someone that loves you, or to your sin nature?

People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.” –Proverbs 28:13 (NLT)

Each of our experiences is radically different from one another, but what I do know is that, by living in isolation for several years, I hurt a lot of people. A lot of people knew a lot about me, but no one knew everything about me.

At some point in time, I decided I was unwilling to be vulnerable with others about my struggles with alcohol, and this left not just me, but also those around me, vulnerable to the full consequence of alcoholism in my life. Instead of exposing my weakness to the light and seeking community, I chose to live in isolation. My fear of being vulnerable to others made me incredibly vulnerable to myself.

I was lonely.

I lacked intimacy with others.

I was vulnerable to my own weaknesses.

If you’re living with areas of your life that are isolated, there’s no easy way to expose all of your life to someone. But, the consequences of living alone are far worse.

So, what should you do?

First, identify the areas of your life that no one knows about.

Second, find someone safe you can tell everything to. This is much easier to state than to do. Maybe you have a great community of people around you, or maybe there’s no one you feel safe to share everything with. Someone in person is better than someone far away, but this is where the internet and social media can be a good thing. If you can’t find someone in person, someone on the internet is better than no one.

Third, start to tell them everything. START is the key word. Opening up your life to someone is a process. You neither want to put yourself in an entirely vulnerable position to someone too fast nor do you want to overload someone with your entire life.

Everyone needs someone who knows everything!

  • Who in your life can you trust with everything?
  • What in your life do you need to share with someone?
Sean Chandler

Sean Chandler is a blogger, speaker, YouTuber, and 10-year student ministry veteran. He has written for numerous ministry publications, including Youth Specialties, RelevantMagazine.com, and FaithIt.com. You can read his thoughts on life, sin, and grace on his personal blog.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.