Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day 17- Love promotes intimacy

He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. —Proverbs 17:9 NIV

Be a trusted partner. Let your spouse know their secrets are safe with you. There are things that are just between you and your spouse. Keep it that way.

I had a really hard time with this when we first got married. He would tell his family, about my struggles with looking for a job, and then he would tell them how much it paid. And for awhile, he would tell them how much he made. I was never comfortable with this. I feel that money should be a private thing between us. We make it by, and have all the rediclous comforts of modern family. That is all anyone needs to know. He never understood why that bothered me so much, but he stopped talking about it to others. That made me feel so much more like a team. We were together in this world.

Like the book says, you can be close to a childhood friend, a parent, sibling, or cousin. But nothing rivals the closeness of marriage. It is the most intimate of all human relations.

"This blessing of marriage is also it's greatest danger. Someone who knows us this intimately can either love us at depths we never even imagined, or can wound us in ways we will never fully recover from. It's both the fire and fear of marriage. If home is not considered a safe place, you will both be tempted to seek it somewhere else. Perhaps you might initiate a relationship that either flirts with adultery or actually enters in."

Your mate should not have to feel they have to be perfect to seek your approval. Brad used to call this "walking on eggshells". He could never read whether I was happy or sad, so he felt he needed to tiptoe around trying not to anger me just to get through the day. We shouldn't have to walk on eggshells around our loved one. We are safe within the bonds of a loving marriage.

The Bible says "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear"-(1 John 4:18) Your home should be a place of intimate freedom, much like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Being "naked" and "not ashamed" (Genesis 2:25) should exist in your marriage both emotionally and physically.

Basically you have both dumped "baggage" on each other, and that opens us up to being hurt when people know this much about us. People who know me well understand that I am not a natural hugger, it makes me feel very vulnerable. It's a protective measure. And B knows that even a look from him can make me feel so crazy in love with him that I immediately turn away from his gaze so I don't "fall too deep". Cause then I could get hurt.

But God intends for our marriage to be a safe haven. I can now imagine people saying "think of a happy place", that should be your home with your spouse. Accept these secrets as part of what makes your spouse up.....guard them, don't criticize them for it. We are not all perfect. For everything you find wrong with your spouse, I guarantee you have something else that could stand to be changed. If there is a secret that needs repairing, then be the agent of healing and listen without lecturing.

God loves us in spite of our secrets, and He knows every single one of them. Yet He loves us with a depth we can not fathom. This grace is something to work on with our spouses. Intimacy and trust takes time to foster. So be gentle in your approach to open up your spouses heart if it has been damaged by you in the past.

"But your commitment to reestablishing it can happen or anyone willing to take the dare."

Determine to guard your mate’s secrets (unless they are dangerous to them or to you) and to pray for them. Talk with your spouse, and resolve to demonstrate love in spite of these issues. Really listen to them when they share personal thoughts and struggles with you. Make them feel safe.

No comments: