We started off by discussing how intimacy equates to time. You cannot hope to be truly intimate with your spouse if your not living life with that person. If you keep living past one another, you’re missing an aspect of intimacy that will truly grow your marriage.
Then we chatted about how sometimes you feel a brick wall between you and your husband. You can’t explain it, or even understand how it got there, but it is there. And there is a definite dip in the temperature between you. And then you make love – you get intimate – and all of a sudden, that wall is gone.
Time, plus sex = intimacy.
And then, we spoke about that one move – that mental move towards your husband. When you’re tired, or angry, or want to shut down, or run away, or block him out – instead, just make a mental move towards your husband.
Today, we’re going to talk about talking – communicating, opening up your heart to him. For me, I am always scared my husband will think I am being stupid or silly. But, the truth of the matter is that if I can’t share my heart with him, I can’t ever be truly intimate with him. I have to risk that he may just think I am being silly or stupid or whatever other fear I may have, so that I can show him my heart. I have to be my true self – what he does with that, well, is basically up to him, but I can only ever be my authentic self.
To give you an example – I am a devout Christian. I love God with all my heart, and I am grateful and blessed for all the work that God is doing in my heart and in my life. My husband, while He believes in God and Jesus, is not a born again Christian. So, the natural response – for me – is to hide that side of my life away from him. It’s not really something anyone can understand unless you are also a born again Christian. But, that means hiding my heart away from him – or part of my heart. The point is – he doesn’t have to understand all that I talk about. He has to be interested because he loves me, wants to be close to me and it is something that I am passionate about. So, that gives me the freedom to share myself with him – even when he doesn’t understand or agree.
Let’s look at another example – this time from my husband’s side: he loves to cycle. He cycles almost every day of the week (before work) and then does a long ride on Sunday. He has done numerous cycling races – the Transbaviaans Mountain Bike Race (the longest mountain biking endurance race in the world), the Double Century, and numerous other races. Me? Not so much – I tried cycling once and I hated it. I mean – like really hated it. But, that doesn’t mean he can’t share his heart and his love of cycling with me. I may not understand it, or like it, but I understand him and it is his passion for the sport that I can listen to.
Barbara Wilson wrote quite an in-depth post on the different levels of intimate communication. Communicating at this level where you can share your heart is what intimacy is about – for us women, it is what allows us to move naturally to physical intimacy. For men, it’s the physical intimacy that allows them to move to this heart felt talking.
I always tend to hide myself away from my husband – I find it very difficult to share my heart, and I think part of this year what I want to do is to learn how to truly share my heart and myself with him and to feel safe when I do so. We’re only at the beginning of this year and already I have learnt so much – by the end of this year, I want the intimacy with my husband to have deepened significantly.
But, I also want the intimacy with my God to deepen and to grow. God already knows my heart – He already knows all about me in all ways. But, I have to learn to share who I am with Him anyway, I have to learn to approach the throne of grace as a child of God, not as someone who is filled with shame and dread, or who instinctively wants to run and hide away.
And somehow I think that this journey that I am is not two separate journeys – one for my husband and one for God, but one journey. Growing closer to God will allow me to grow enough to love my husband in a way that honours God. Growing closer to my husband will be honouring God and His word, which will allow me to grow closer to God. This isn’t an either God or my husband journey – it’s both God AND my husband. As I grow closer to God, I suspect, I will grow closer to my husband. As I grow closer to my husband and honour God in how I love him, I will grow closer to God.
Breaking down the walls in my heart will allow both God and my husband in - together.