"Love Promotes Intimacy"
"He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends."
How well do you really know your wife? Is your marriage a sanctuary of safety and freedom, or a pit of lies and deceit? Do you share your inmost thoughts, or are you afraid to be transparent for fear of rejection? Intimacy, defined as "closely personal", in marriage as "tender territory". Marriage is also unloading another person's baggage into your life, and yours into theirs. Both of you have reason to feel embarrassed that this much has been revealed about you to another living soul. But this is your opportunity to wrap all this private information about your wife in the protective embrace of your love, and promise to be the one who can best help her deal with it. Day 17 of this challenge goes on to explain that the secrets you and your wife know about each other are ones which perhaps need correcting, or just accepting. The absence of rejection and the presence of love will build security and safety. Then you will experience freedom in your relationship.
We see intimacy perfectly displayed in Psalm 139 as God describes how He knows us personally and loves us unconditionally. God, who knows secrets about us that we even hide from ourselves, loves us at a depth we cannot begin to fathom. How much more should we - as imperfect people - reach out to our spouse in grace and understanding, accepting them for who they are and assuring them that their secrets are safe with us?
Another wonderful way to grow in intimacy with your wife is by reading the Bible "together" (decide on a reading plan before you start), or doing a devotional "together". Reading Scriptures will help you more than you could possibly realize .... Just take my word for it.
Building on the last two challenges, guard your wife's secrets, and pray for them. Then talk (use good questions), and listen - being deliberate in your desire to make her feel safe in what she share with you.
If there has been a breach of trust between you and your wife, it will take time to rebuild that valued confidence in you once again. Don't give up! Reach out in grace, understanding, and acceptance. The reality of intimacy always takes time to develop, especially after being compromised. But your commitment to re-establishing it can happen today - for anyone willing to take the challenge.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18)
I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine. (Song of Solomon 6:3)
"Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock."
We have all heard the phrase, "It's better to ask for forgiveness than permission". Sometimes it truly is harmless, but often a truer interpretation would be, "I've already decided what I want to do, and I'm not really open to suggestions or to find out why it's not a good idea." Many times we are hesitant to readily obey God because we lack confidence in Him. We often hold on to negative images of past authority figures who, at least from our perspective, were just out to spoil our fun.
As prevalent as this attitude is, nothing could be further from the truth. God's desire for humanity is that we would walk in the blessing and security of His abundant protection and provision. God created the world and the laws that govern it as a means of ensuring our security and sustenance. Isaiah 1:19 says, "If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land." In other words, it's all here available to us as we are willing to live within the guidelines that God has designed for this life.
The Apostle Peter spoke of the blessings of the Christ-centered life when he wrote: "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." (2 Peter 1:2-4)
God has provided everything that we will need to fulfill our role in the journey, as we walk with Him in faithfulness and obedience!
Prayer: God, I choose to build my life on the rock of obedience to Your Word. Thank you that You have given me everything that pertains to life and godliness as I trust and follow Your commands. Have Your way in and though my life. I am willing!
Scripture For Today: Exodus 3:1-6 ... Moses encountered God in an unexpected way and in an unexpected place. How has this been mirrored in your journey thus far and what was your response? Are there circumstances in your life right now where God may be speaking to you in an unexpected way or through some surprising circumstances? How can this be considered "holy ground"?