Marriage should be the most intimate of all of our relationships. Sometimes the level of intimacy that you share can be scary. After all, they know things about you that nobody else knows. The good, the bad, and the sometimes very ugly... This can either cause us to love at very great depths or cause us to wound each other in ways that we don't always fully recover from.
Do the secrets you share draw you closer or cause you shame? What would your spouse say? Do you feel safe to share those things with your spouse or do you seek out that friendship mentioned above? If your home, your marriage does not provide that kind of safety, then we can be tempted to look for it somewhere else.
We shouldn't feel like we have to be perfect in order to get our spouse's approval. Neither should they. I John 4:18 says There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.
Marriage and intimacy causes us to bring our baggage with us. Sometimes, the baggage IS embarrassing. But this is our chance to protect that information with our love. Sometimes the secrets need to be corrected. Sometimes they just need to be accepted, especially when there isn't anything you can do to change them anyway.
Consider this... There isn't anyone, not your mom, not your spouse, not even your BFF that knows you better than God. And even in His knowing of every part of us, even the parts that we think are hidden from other, even the parts that are dark and scary... He still loves us with a love that we can not begin to understand. So how much more should we-as imperfect as we ALL are (yes, I know there are a few of you who may be close or even think that you are... but you're not )-extend grace and mercy to our spouse?
This area in my life and in my marriage has really been more about Frank's acceptance of me vs. my acceptance of him. See, he was the "good" one growing up and I was the "not so good one". Okay. I was bad. So I brought a whoooole lot more baggage into the relationship than he did. In fact, I pray all the time that Frank's goodness will cancel out my badness in our kids!! You know, cause my mom put the curse on me too about the kids ending up like me...
And I have to say that I don't know if it would have been the other way around if I would have had as much mercy and grace and forgiveness as he has. There haven't been many times that he has made me feel bad over my past OR the ways that I continue to screw up now. He has shown me the love of Christ in a way that can't be measured or even really understood. What an example he has been.
The dare for today says DETERMINE TO GUARD YOUR MATE'S SECRETS 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.
Well, unless he has something that he hasn't told me, I already know every secret Frank has. I guess this one will just have to wait until some "new" secret comes up. But what I did do was to pray and ask the Lord to prepare my heart for those times if they happen. To help me show Frank the same grace and mercy that he has shown me. And not to be critical when it does.
Psalm 139:2-4 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it all!!!
BTW just as a side note: Did you notice that this was my 100th blog?? YAY!!!!!