Saturday, 24 February 2018

C Columns

Understanding Relationships: Naked and they felt no shame

By Gary Moore

Those of us who are married know that even though we don’t like to admit it, marriage is really a great revealer, because we’re living in very close quarters. Who we really are starts to be exposed whenever we get close to others over an extended period of time. How we act underpressure in unguarded moments is always telling. Most of us are pretty good at covering up ournegative parts under normal conditions; we even fool ourselves into thinking we are better thanwe are. But close relationships tell on us. This is especially true in marriage.

Genesis 2:25 says Adam and Eve “were both naked, and they felt no shame.” Based on Genesis 3:7 we know that this is referring to them being physically naked. However, I want to suggest an additional meaning for “naked” within the marriage relationship.

In a free, emotionally naked relationship, if there are things to discuss, they are discussed. If there are issues to resolve, they are resolved. It means you can discuss misunderstandings and miscommunications, as well as how one spouse feels about what the other is doing. In a relationship free of shame, a husband and wife can even risk sharing their different ways of approaching love, friendship, and life in general, and do it openly — no smoke and mirrors, no pretenses.

I think God’s marriage design is for us to be emotionally “naked,” so that all the ways we areunique and different from each other can come to the forefront. But sin changed our willingness to do that. Because of sin’s effect on the human race, most are not comfortable withmarriage being a revealer; we want marriage to be a cover. We don’t go into marriage to face ourselves; we get married to get away from ourselves, to camouflage who we are.

I’m sure we’ve all had the experience of walking past a mirror and being shocked by what we saw. Your hair standing up in a weird way; ladies, your slip showing; men, your fly open; lettuce stuck in your teeth. At times mirrors are real lifesavers. If it weren't for the mirror, you might have gone all day looking pretty ridiculous.

Marriage is a mirror. By living so closely with another human being, you start to get a picture of what you really look like. You start to see where you need to adjust and change. Thisis one of the reasons why the research shows that marriage makes people’s lives richer and more productive — if they adjust to the needed changes. Unfortunately, many expect marriage to be something that makes them look better, not something that reveals where they don’t look so good. And, rather than see where we need to change, we opt to project our own negative images on our spouses and point out where they need to change.

Pressure and irritation don’t cause us to be who we are. Pressure and irritation reveal who weare.

If we believe our spouse’s job is to make us look better instead of being a mirror to help us see who we really are, we will think our marriage has issues whenever one of our faults is revealed. We will get angry at the “mirror” — our spouse — because he or she didn’t tell us what we wanted to hear. And, we end up communicating to him or her: “This marriage isn’t good. You’re doing something wrong. We need to get this fixed.”

If this is your view, until you change your view of marriage and see it as God designed it — as a tool to help you work on yourself so you can become all you were created to be and ultimately to become more Christlike — any attempts at changing your marriage will end in failure.

Many people are in the wrong place mentally when it comes to their marriages. We tend to think marriage is the place where we are promised happiness and love, not the place where we learn to love each other and face the ugliest parts about ourselves. We think marriage is the place where we should experience unending romantic love, where husbands are a girl’s best friend and where wives give their husbands all the sex they want when they want it. Dream on.

This is not where marriage is. If you are there, you are in the wrong place.

When you are willing to understand each other — mutual understanding — new vision and hope will emerge. You will immediately become energized to work on your marriage, even if itis full of trouble.

Remember, your marriage doesn’t cause you to be who you are, it reveals who you are. It begins with mutual understanding. I have witnessed the success of this approach with countlesscouples that I have coached over the past 12 years.

Embrace becoming naked emotionally...

Gary Moore is currently a part­time staff member at Cloverdale Church of God in charge of Adult Education. He's served as associate pastor there for the past 11 years. He's principal of .003 Coaching, providing life coaching, couples' coaching and business coaching locally and around the country. He also does a weekly radio program on KBXL 94.1FM on Fridays at 8:45 a.m. called Life Point Plus. He may be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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