Yeah I know, like me, you’ve probably been told every day of your life to never quit, never give up and never give in! But there is one character quality most of us men possess and until we quit using it, our marriage will never be what it could be. All the research on men and men’s wiring includes something about this trait. The vast majority of men will attest to this fact; we don’t want to be found out. Therefore, we often will go to great lengths to make sure no one, and I mean no one, ever truly gets to know us!
So grateful for her influence on my life!
In many ways it is part of our survival growing up. Sometimes it’s posing. Sometimes is posturing. And sometimes it’s bluffing. But it’s nearly always about not showing weakness or vulnerability. I know I’m not describing every man out there. But I’m accurately portraying the majority of my fellow brothers! I’m not talking about something evil; remember it’s mostly about survival.
The problem is when we bring that character quality into our marriage. Here are four ways quitting this practice can make your marriage special.
- It allows us to be one flesh. In Genesis we are called into a one flesh relationship. Literally that means our individual lives will now be joined to create a brand new distinctive thing. You can’t become this one flesh if you are holding out a part of your individual past.
- We have the opportunity to be known and loved. Tim Keller, in his book The Meaning of Marriage, says something along the lines of… To be loved and not known feels good, but is somewhat superficial. To be known and unloved is our greatest fear. But to be known and loved is a little like being loved by God… If we hold out and protect a piece of us, then we can never be known and loved by anyone other than God.
- We give our spouse the opportunity to show us grace. If we never let our spouse know us for fear of being rejected, how will they ever be able to show us grace? Yes, it’s risky. But with great risk comes great reward.
- We can become all God intends. Gary Thomas in his book Sacred Marriage suggests marriage isn’t just to make us happy, but to make us more holy. No one can get under our armor like our spouse. In a sense God has done (and continues to do) surgery on me using my wife. Because Kelli knows me and loves me God has used her to change me. If that truly is God’s design, which I firmly believe it is, then we frustrate his plans by withholding a part of who we are.
Keep in mind, this isn’t a one and done deal. I daily have to quit putting up the guards and allow Kelli to see the real me. God isn’t through working on me but I’m grateful for her influence to this point. I am who I am today in large part because of this woman I am married to. Is it time for you to let down those barriers? To trust your spouse? Or better yet, to trust God?
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