Out in the Open
The man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. GENESIS 2:25
Being “naked” but “not ashamed.” This is why we get married—not just to have sex, but also to become emotionally intimate with another person. We want someone we can be openly transparent with, someone who accepts us, even when we’re being our real selves.
Yet although this is what our souls long for, many couples—especially young couples—hide this need behind the mere act of sexual togetherness. They find having sex easier than opening up to each other spiritually, where the potential for hypocrisy and awkwardness always exists. Sex can be easier than opening up emotionally, letting someone else in on their fears and worries and dreams and deepest feelings.
That’s why, even when the level of sexual intimacy is high in a marriage, the level of real transparency can still be surprisingly low . . . and subtly debilitating.
I recall a young single man stopping by Barbara’s and my table at Wendy’s one evening. He had heard us speak at a recent singles event at church and wanted to thank us for helping him see again why keeping the sexual element out of a budding romance gives a young man and woman the chance to really develop their relationship. It helps them do the authentic work of getting to know each other, not just settling for what comes naturally and without thinking.
But you know what? The same thing can happen inside marriage. We can let sex become a substitute for real relationship—even as husband and wife!
We can be together but not be transparent.
Certainly, transparency isn’t something we achieve overnight. It’s a process—a lifelong process of growing increasingly comfortable being honest with each other without fear of rejection. But it’s what makes marriage a continually richer blessing.
To be in love is good. To be in love and perfectly transparent is as good as it gets.
What have been your greatest obstacles to true transparency? Talk about one of the following: your greatest fear, your most courageous act or your biggest doubt.
Pray for your love to grow into one that more readily reveals and never rejects.