Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Love Dare- Day 17!!

Yesterday's Followup: Have you experienced the power of prayer in the past? What did you choose to pray about? Was it easy for you, or did it feel foreign to you?

Love Promotes Intimacy

He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. Proverbs 17.9

You can be to a childhood friend, sibling, or a cousin your same age or even a "best friend" but nothing rivals the closeness experienced between husband and wife. Marriage is the most intimate of all relationships.

That's why we need it so much. Each of us is born with a hunger to be known, loved and accepted. We want to be known, recognized and valued. The prospect of sharing our home with another person who knows us down to the most intimate detail is part of the deep pleasure of marriage.

Yet this pleasure is also the site of a great danger. Someone who knows us intimately can either love us at depths we've never imagined or wound us in ways we'll never fully recover from.

Which are you feeling most at home? Are you feeling safe or sacred? And if your spouse had to answer the same question... what would he say? Neither you or your mate should feel the need to be perfect in order to receive approval. No one should have to walk on eggshells in the place you should feel safest in bare feet.1 John 4.8 says, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." The atmosphere in marriage should be one of freedom. Like Adam and Eve in the garden, your closeness should only intensify your intimacy. Being "naked" and "not ashamed" should exist in the same sentence, in your marriage- physically and emotionally.

This is tender territory. Both of you have reason to feel embarrassed that this much has been revealed about you to another living soul. But here in lies the opportunity to wrap all this private information in the protective embrace of your love and promise to be the one to help them deal with it.

You alone wield the power to accept or reject your spouse because of this. They will either know they're in a place of safety where they are free to make mistakes or they will recoil into themselves and be lost to you. Loving them well should be your life's work.

Think of it this way, No one knows you better than God. (Psalm 139) Yet God, who knows your secrets, loves you at a depth that cannot begin to be fathomed. How much more should we- imperfect people- reach out to our spouse in grace and understanding, accepting them for who they are and assuring that their secrets are safe with us?

This may be an area where you've failed in the past. If so, don't expect your mate to grant you immediate access to their heart. You must begin to rebuild trust. The reality of intimacy always takes time to develop, especially after being compromised. But your commitment to re-establishing it can happen today- for anyone willing to take the dare.

Today's Dare

Determine to guard your mate's secrets (unless they are dangerous to them or you)and pray for them. Talk to your spouse and resolve to demonstrate love in spite of these issues. Really listen to them when they share personal thoughts and struggles with you. Make them feel safe.


Mari said...

Yes - I have experienced the power of prayer in the past and I thought this was a great challenge.

Nancy said...

Oh yes the power of prayer is such a humbling experience, to think someone is praying and God is listening, how great is that?? It doesn't get any better.

Joanne said...

What a process God has brought us through there. Prayer was the one thing that we didn't do together. Now we are comfortable with praying together.

Of course now I wish we had prayed more for the election!

Chelle' said...

I too have experienced the power of God through prayer in my personal walk with Him. And I know my husband too has experienced that in his walk... but as far as us together- we have lacked this in our relationship.

HOWEVER, recently I asked a dear friend the secret to her thriving marriage and her response was, "Do you pray together?"... I knew instantly that this was not occurring in our relationship and we needed to commit to seeking the Lord together-

We've since discussed this and began praying together. God works in our baby steps. And I am so grateful.

sailorcross said...

I have just posted Day 16 on "The Power of Your Love". I hope you all can stop by and read what I have written.

I do pray daily for my children, and I have experienced the power of prayer in my life.

I am now praying for these specific things for them--specific requests of God.

Sorry I'm far behind--it's a little more than I anticipated trying to do all three of them at the same time. But it is certainly well worth it, and I can see the results--slowly, but surely!!