The most beautiful thing about Jesus is the He knows us fully, and yet He still loves us. That was His purpose when He created man and woman. His intentions were for us to live sinless in perfect harmony with one another, but we all know that story took a rather quick turn for the worst in the garden. The Bible says that when Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge, they became aware of their sin and nakedness and covered themselves with fig leaves. They were ashamed.
Adam and Eve quickly went from naked and unashamed to acutely aware of their nakedness–and very ashamed of where they found themselves. Their immediate reaction was to attempt to cover it up. We are still facing the same challenges in our marriages today. We enter a union that is meant to be sacred and intimate, yet we can only be as intimate as we are honest with each other.
The ability to be honest with your spouse should be a given. We often declare it in our vows in some way, shape or form. We promise to love one another unconditionally, yet we are still afraid to show our spouse some pieces of ourselves, aren’t we? These things can be seemingly small, or worse yet, sins we can become entrapped in. Without honesty, however, having intimacy the way it is intended in marriage is nearly impossible.
Think about those vows you made; would you consider your marriage to be one where complete honesty is a top priority? If the answer is no, here are some ways you can work to build a more intimate marriage through honesty.
If you have ever owned a car, you know that regular maintenance is key to keeping it finely tuned to prevent a breakdown. Creating and maintaining a safe environment that cultivates honesty is very much the same. It is so much easier to have regular conversations, to set aside time to dig into the deep questions, and to leave space for your spouse to communicate openly and honestly, than it is to wait until something seems to be breaking down.
It can be easy to avoid the harder places, but it can also be costly. Setting aside some time to really check in with each other builds trust–and yes, intimacy, as well. So often, we can be scared of rejection, or of what our spouse may think if we let them into our deepest, darkest places. Don’t let that stop you. It’s often where the most beautiful bonds are formed.
Allowing time for that regularity is key. Try it now. Set a time for a no-holds-barred conversation. Ask hard questions, and be open to hard answers. It will make a world of difference.
Accountability can be an intimidating word. It could be positioned to imply that you are bound to screw up or fall, and chances are that in some way, big or small, we will all fall. Genuine honesty in marriage allows us to develop an unshakable trust in each other. That doesn’t happen on its own. Accountability practices in your marriage lay the foundation for that trust. In fact, they could be the difference maker to keep one or both of you out of affairs, addictions or secrets that can tear a marriage apart.
We’ve established that having accountability builds trust. Trust breeds honesty, and both, in turn, breed intimacy. When you can face your spouse wholly–when you can be fully present and give of all of yourself–your intimacy will soar.
Accountability can look different for every marriage. Your accountability practice could be sharing all of your communication accounts and passwords with each other. It could look like blocks or controls on websites that could lead to lust or affairs. It could be having a series of friends (that you both agree on) to check in with you regularly about the hard stuff (it should always be an “ask any question anytime if you ever have a concern” type of understanding).
When it comes to making yourself accountable, you can never be too careful. Your marriage is yours to protect, and accountability is one great way build trust, honesty and intimacy.
NO LEAVE POLICY
Marriage is a forever vow. Sadly, it’s far too easy to get divorced these days. Marriages break down, people grow up, grow apart, stop communicating, lost trust and altogether lose the privilege of being honest about where they may be, who they’re communicating with, or what they’re doing at any given time.
Make it known regularly that you have a no-leave policy. Divorce should never be an option. If it is, fear creeps in and honesty breaks down. Remind your spouse there is never a plan B. Do it now. Do it often. The hard work of building honesty now is far better than the always-bitter ending of divorce.
Far too many marriages simply survive. Marriage is a sacred union, ordained by God. He wants nothing more than for our marriages to reflect Him. He is for you. He is for honesty and intimacy, and all the good that marriage can bring.
How have you and your spouse cultivated honesty in your marriage? What benefits have you experienced? We’d love to hear from you!