Nothing will block intimacy in marriage more than vital truths withheld. Conversely, nothing will liberate two people united in their love together more than the respectful refrain of truth in all their communication.
The secret to intimacy in marriage is communicating truth with nothing held back.
It gets no more basic or powerful than that. And the trick for every human being in a marriage relationship is the internal surrender within each one that says, “My spouse deserves, and will hear, all of my truth; unless to give them the truth would injure them – then I must think about how I’ll communicate this truth in love.”
Very few truths are injurious, however. Sure, when we tell the truth, we put ourselves at risk – for rejection; for rebuttal; for the other’s anger. But rarely will it occur, in opening up, that they will be irreparably hurt. In any event, where they deserve to know, they should know.
Most of the time we’ll be tempted to hedge the truth in a safe version of our information so as to protect ourselves. This is a barrier to intimacy. When we hold something important back we not only lie to the person we’re united with, we lie also to ourselves. We have become incongruent within, and therefore we’ve become incongruent with God.
Lies before others – half truths, exaggerations, omissions, etc – are not only a barrier to intimacy before them, they are a barrier to intimacy before God. In such sin we harm ourselves.
There is a direct relationship between our horizontal integrity – with other people – and our vertical integrity – with God.
Can I say it again? Truth! Honesty! Integrity! Congruence! Authenticity! Accord!
These are the power of God in one person’s life to produce works of goodness, where the works are an outworking, not done for display. After all, there should be no argument at all about ‘works’, for works were made for God’s glory and not for our own. Goodness, through the operation of this secret we talk about, is the work of the glory of God.
The secret to intimacy in marriage is communicating truth with nothing held back. We may think that’s impossible, but could it be worth a try? Not only will we draw closer to our spouse, but we will draw closer to God, and, here’s the clincher; we will also know, love, accept, and appreciate ourselves as we should.
Steve Wickham is a Baptist Pastor who holds Degrees in Science, Divinity, and Counselling.
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