Woman hiding behind leaves in forested background.

Hide & Seek: The Fight for Closeness

‘Where are you, Adam?’ 

Tragic that God needs to ask that question. 

‘Hiding’ was the answer. 

Hide and Seek

Like I hid from my dad, a boy who had done what I was told not to do, Adam now hides from God. He had never experienced God being dissatisfied with him, and he had no idea what to expect. So he hid. Like many of us hide from the consequences of our actions or non-actions. 

We hope somehow to escape, or put off for a time, the accountability that comes with failure. But, as the Bible says, ‘our sin will always find us out’. Our failure to do what we know is right or to refuse to do what we know is wrong has a way of stalking us. (Romans 7) Hiding is our way of hoping it doesn’t catch up to us. It was Adam’s way too. 

What is the alternative to hiding? 

I talk to many men and women across the globe who are in hiding. They are disconnected, they fear intimacy, and they cling to isolation. They crave relationships but struggle mightily to find a way to connect. 

After writing The Disconnected Man, one of the most common requests I get is to give practical, everyday steps a disconnected man, or a woman in a relationship with a disconnected man, can take to start connecting. It’s an essential question with complicated answers because we are all individuals who experience relationships differently. We hide in different places. We have complex personalities that respond uniquely to our circumstances. But let’s make a start anyway. 

I’m assuming that you are reading this because you are a disconnected man (or woman) or in a relationship with a disconnected man (or woman). So, we will start with the fact that you are essentially hiding from intimacy for whatever reason. Or,  feel like you’re playing hide and seek with your spouse and/or God. 

 

Practical Step #1:  

Ask yourself WHY AM I HIDING? (Or, why is this person I know and love hiding?)

When God asked Adam where he was, essentially asking him why he was hiding, Adam answered, ‘I heard your voice, I was afraid, I was naked, so I hid.’ What a brutally honest answer! 

Adam was confessing that due to his act of defiance, he was now afraid of God. To our knowledge, he had not been scared before and might not have even known fear as an emotion. He also confessed to being naked. He was without an essential covering that he felt he needed to connect with God. In this completely transparent state (nakedness), he felt vulnerable, open to discovery. 

Adam’s predicament is a brilliant illustration of what happens in the heart and soul of a man (or woman) who fears intimacy, vulnerability, and discovery. 

The feeling of being vulnerable, open to discovery, or transparent is what drives many people into isolation. They do not want to be naked in front of anyone, emotionally-relationally speaking. Pride, shame, deception, hurt, guilt, and many other things could be the source of your fear. Whatever the source, the need is the same; to become emotionally and relationally naked and open to discovery. It’s the cure for your disconnection.

Your Answer

 

Your answer to the ‘Why am I hiding’ question may be different from Adam’s. My guess is that it won’t be much different. The root will always be the fear of vulnerability or discovery (nakedness). 

Whatever your answer, getting to it is essential if you want to fight for closeness with God and men. 

If you chose not to take this first practical step, the rest of the steps wouldn’t help you, no need to waste your time reading them. 

Be brave, pray for insight, and ask God to reveal why you are afraid of emotional-relational nakedness. Then prepare to come out of hiding and face the intensity of God’s grace and its painful liberation. 

Stop playing Hide and Seek. Our next post will cover Practical Step #2: Now that I’m found, what do I do?

 

Miss Part 1? Go back to read more about the Fight for Closeness.

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