What are the three most essential qualities of communication for a happy marriage? Before you read my answer to that, jot down your own three.
Ready? Did you write them down? This reflection won’t be as effective if you skip that step.
Okay, looking at your list, how do these qualities rely upon (1) vulnerability, (2) trust, and (3) freedom?
Intimacy does not exist without vulnerability. Falling in love with our sweetheart began when we shared a secret, a private worry or a truth about ourselves that we normally tried to hide from the world. When our sweetheart protected our vulnerability instead of taking advantage of it, we felt warmed by a desire to spend the rest of our lives with this wonderful friend.
This led to trust. And trust led to the belief that we had the freedom to share ourselves completely. Fully sharing ourselves is the true definition of intimacy.
But eventually the imperfections of human nature (bad moods, tiredness, distracted attention, temptations to sin, and other weaknesses) interfered with trust. We came to regret being vulnerable.
To restore and deepen communication intimacy, we have to forgive. The next step is to gain wisdom. There’s something to be learned from the pain of hurt feelings and lost trust, and it’s not to distance ourselves and surround ourselves with walls of self-protection — the instinctive reaction.
The lesson to learn is how to find the right moment, the right way, the right tone of voice to share vulnerably again. (“Can we talk about this, hon? I don’t understand why you did what you did. Please help me to feel safe with you again.”) (Note to those with smart phones: Texting is never the right way.)
Vulnerability once again leads to trust, which leads to the freedom to be who we really are with the one who matters most.
- When I feel hurt by my beloved, what helps to draw me out from my self-protective walls?
- What are ways that I have helped my beloved feel safe to be open and honest with me?
Strengthen your relationship:
Share with each other the three essential qualities that you jotted down at the beginning of this reflection. How do they help build intimacy? Pray together for an increase of vulnerability, trust, and the freedom to communicate from your heart.
This is the fourth in an 8-part series on the intimacies that are so important for a good and lasting marriage.
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© 2018 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries
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