This last week it has become apparent to me just how important truth is. Not just in what we say to each other (we should always be speaking the truth), but in who we are. God created us, each of us, with unique personalities, likes and dislikes, desires, thoughts and feelings and we cannot hide who we are from our spouses. Or from God for that matter – He already knows.
I have often heard people say something along the lines of, “His so different when he’s not with his wife”, or “she’s far more relaxed when her husband isn’t around”. And to be honest, I find that quite odd.
How can you not be who you are in front of your spouse? Sure, your spouse is the ONE person in the entire world you can be truly and exclusively yourself? And if not – then why not? I know that often complete honesty with your spouse is situationally dependent, but you should always, always be true to who you are. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to grow more like Christ, or learn new things, or focus on areas in your life that need to be dealt with, or have your heart softened by God’s grace – you are a work in progress, but you still need to be true to who God created you to be.
If my husband is more on guard when he is around me, and more relaxed with his friends, who do you think he’ll want to spend more time with? And how do I know if I am loving the man I think he is, or loving him for who he truly is?
Over the years, many people have come to me and said that my husband is so lucky to have a wife who allows him to cycle.
- Firstly, I have to say that this drives me completely nuts when people tell me this. I don’t own my husband – he is a responsible man who provides well for his family and is actively involved in family life; how can I begrudge him his cycling?
- Secondly, if he stays just because I ask him to (or tell him to), but he would rather be cycling, I am robbing him of the opportunity to be who he truly is. I can’t fathom the thought of taking that from him when he gives so much to me already.
- Thirdly, he was when I met him and probably always will be an athlete. That is who I met and who I married (although when we met he was spear fishing) and I have no interest in changing him. We have friends of ours where the wife put her foot down and demanded that her husband give up sport (he did the Iron Man with my hubby). And you know what? He did and now he is morbidly obese and just sits and watches TV the whole day. I’d much rather have hubby out and cycling, being fit and healthy.
- Fourth, I want him to say because HE WANTS TO STAY, not because I demand him to – if he’d rather be out cycling, then I’d rather him go.
But my point is thus – whoever God created my husband to be, it is THAT person I want to know and love. And I want to be able to be completely free to be myself with him. Even if he doesn’t agree with who I am; I am not perfect and may need to grow in certain areas in my life.
Intimacy says that I can show my husband all of me – the good, the bad and the ugly; physically, spiritually and emotionally and know that I will be accepted and loved.
And he should and must do the same with me.
I cannot fall in love with a persona my husband thinks I want to see. I need to love him for who God created him to be. Honest, intimate and true.