Oct 04

Hello Friends! I hope everyone is well! The last post I explained the importance of meditating on what was said in order to gain a greater understanding and perspective. It is vitally important to meditate if we want to deepen our intimacy with our spouse and especially with God, because it allows us to know them better.

The biggest difference between a marriage and any other relationship is trust. A marriage was set up by God to give you a safe place to be intimate and exposed. Like the garden in the beginning, God created man to have an intimate relationship with Him, without even the slightest mistrust or fear. Adam and Eve were naked and didn’t even know it. They had complete access to God and all God had created was given into their care. The trust went both ways and was unhindered by lies, deceptions, darkness, and adulteries. There was open and honest communication in the garden. It wasn’t until lies, disobedience, mistrust, and deception creeped in that the relationship began to deteriorate.

He created marriage (in the garden before the fall) to give us a safe place to be our truest selves. We should be able to expose our hearts, our secrets, our insecurities, and our regrets to our spouse without fear of judgement. Notice I say should…..but it is not always that way, is it? I know for me, my husband and I messed it up so many times. My husband would try to explain something to me so I could really understand how he felt, and I would jump all over him. I would tell him he shouldn’t feel that way or I would somehow make him feel stupid for it. I was not a very compassionate person. He was the one who taught me how to listen with compassion. He explained to me that it was not his job to judge me but to love me through it and allow God to work on me as I brought what was hidden in the darkness out into the light. He gave me a platform to verbalize my insecurities, confess my sins, and get to the heart of the matter.

What does it mean to get to the heart of the matter? Let me give an example. I used to smoke cigarettes regularly. I started when I was very young, right around the time that life began to get hard and I had to grow up. It quickly became my coping mechanism. For years, everything that was bad that happened in the day to day was stuffed down into my lungs. So….on July 1 2007 I decided to quit. I had a renewed passion for the Lord and I felt God pressing me to do it. Boy oh boy how the anxiety grew with each passing day of not smoking. Of course, on the surface I thought it was just from the cigarettes, and I believed that when it was all out of my system I would not feel the anxiety anymore. That was not the case, however, and there were many things that triggered my anxiety until finally on day I just picked up the bad habit all over again. I would tell myself, “I need them. I’m addicted” What a lie that was! The truth is I needed to go back and deal with my past. I had to face some things that had happened and get healing from God. The smoking was surface level. The real problem was much deeper, in the darkness, in hidden places. I didn’t even know how to handle it.

So….I laid them down again (the cigarettes) and started on a journey that forever changed my life. I decided in my heart that I was going to fully expose my heart and my past to God, ugly as it was, and let Him have His way. If you have ever done a spring cleaning you know, it is always messier before it is cleaner. I spent many months crying myself to sleep and not even knowing why. I asked forgiveness for many things. I felt the deepest despair I will ever know. I was lost….or so I thought. The whole time my husband helped me process what I was going through. It was certainly not always convenient (at 3am) and not easy for him to remain positive with me spewing out negativity, but then something began to change without me even being fully aware of it. My burden was lighter and lighter. The pit in my stomach that had been there forever was suddenly gone. Hope began to rise up as the Lord was healing the deepest parts of me.

My husband and I did this for each other for over two years. It was not an overnight thing, and it was not pretty, but God brought beauty from ashes. He taught me that the biggest blessing in marriage is that you have someone who will stick by you and love you no matter what, and that kind of love conquers all fear. The hardest thing in communicating with your spouse is to get to the heart of the matter because our inner voice tells us that it will not go well for us if we do that. I am here to say, that voice is lying to you to keep your secrets hidden. As long as they are hidden you can not get the healing you most desire. Satan works in dark places where there is no hope and no love, no compassion and no healing. Our God is a loving, compassionate God and He alone can heal.

It is not the job of our spouse to heal us. It is not their job to judge us. We are responsible to love each other as Christ loved the church. This relationship was designed by God to give us a companion to walk out this journey with us. A great way to look at it is to realize that since God brings us together and makes us “one” then each of our deepest hurts, desires, regrets, secrets, insecurities, hopes, fears, and the like affect both people. To the extent that we can deal with those things is the extent that we can both experience healing and the fullest measure of joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and self control. It is just as much to your benefit as it is to theirs to give your spouse a platform whereby they can be vulnerable with you (and vice versa).

I know this is deep, but this is getting to the heart of the matter. Nothing can be fixed if we are unable or unwilling to look at the real problems. Many times, what we think is the problem is just the beginning. Let God go deeper, and trust Him, because it may look ugly, but it won’t stay ugly. “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'” (John 8:12 NIV) And later He goes on to say “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:34-36 NIV) God Bless!

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