Love Corner: Love promotes Intimacy
Marriage is the most intimate of all human relationships and nothing rivals the closeness that is experienced between a husband and wife.
The prospect of sharing a home with another person who knows down to the most intimate detail of your being is part of the deep pleasure of marriage.
Yet, this great blessing is also the site of the greatest danger. Someone who knows us this intimately can either love us at a depth we never imagined, or can wound us in ways we may never fully recover from. It's both the fire and the fear of marriage.
Which of these are you experiencing in your home right now? Are the secrets your spouse knows about you reason for shame, or for drawing you closer? If your spouse were to answer this same question, would they say you make them feel safe, or scared?
If your home is not considered a place of safety, you will both be tempted to seek love somewhere else. You may look for comfort in work or hobbies, something that partially shields you from intimacy but also keeps you around people who respect and accept you.
Your partner should not feel pressured to be perfect in order to receive your approval. They should not walk on eggshells in the very place where they ought to feel the most comfortable in their bare feet. The atmosphere in your marriage should be one of freedom. Like Adam and Eve in the garden, your closeness should only intensify your intimacy. Being "naked" and "not ashamed" (Genesis 2:25) should exist in the same sentence, right in your marriage - physically and emotionally.
Some of these secrets may need correcting. Therefore, you can be an agent of healing and repair - not by lecturing, not by criticising, but by listening in love and offering support.
However, there a few secrets that just need to be accepted. They are part of this person's make-up and history. And though these issues may not be very pleasant to deal with, they will always require a gentle touch.
In either case, you wield the power either to reject your spouse because of this or to welcome them in - faults and all. They will either know they are in a place of safety where they are free to make mistakes, or they will recoil into themselves and be lost to you, perhaps forever. Loving them well should be your life's work.
If you have failed in the area of keeping your spouse's secret, don't expect your partner to immediately give you wide-open access to their heart. You must begin to rebuild trust.
The reality of intimacy takes time to develop, especially after being compromised. But your commitment to re-establishing it can happen today.
Determine to guard your partner's secrets unless they are dangerous to them or to you and pray. 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.