He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. ~ Proverbs 17:9
Day 17: Love promotes intimacy
We all want to be known, loved, and accepted. Opening ourselves to someone else can allow us to be loved completely and unconditionally. It can also expose us to deep hurt and pain. Marriage is the most intimate of all relationships. The intimate secrets of self we share with our spouse can draw us closer, or can be used against us to hurt or shame us.
Do you make your spouse feel scared... or safe?
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts our fear. ~1 John 4:18
Marriage should be a safe haven. A protective embrace. A promise to help each other deal with all the struggles, the baggage, the negative or embarrassing things we all experience. A place where we are free to make mistakes without fear of rejection.
Whenever your spouse shares something personal with you - they do not need to be nagged, lectured, or criticized. They need to be heard. They need support. They need acceptance. We should love our spouse- as one imperfect person to another - offering understanding, grace, acceptance, and safety.
TODAY'S DARE: DETERMINE TO GUARD YOUR MATE'S SECRETS (UNLESS THEY ARE HARMFUL TO THEM OR TO YOU) AND PRAY FOR THEM. 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 YOUR. MAKE THEM FEEL SAFE.
This dare had me really examining - DO I make the Man of the House feel safe? Does he feel that he can talk to me about things which are troubling him? Things he worries about or struggles with? His dreams? His fears?
One thing that came to mind was just recent. He was talking about a certain situation where he felt there needed to be some changes on his part. I agree whole heartedly that there need to be changes in that area. Just not the kind of changes he was talking about. Rather than really listening to him and offering support - my first instinct was to push back and nag at him about the situation.
I know... I know... If I react that way when he shares something like this with me - how can he feel safe to share with me the next time he's dealing with a personal struggle like this comes up?