“You must ensure you go to bed naked every night.”
Those were the words my marriage counsellor spoke to my fiancé (now husband) and I a few weeks before we got married. Of course, we giggled because we were sure she was talking about sex, and “holy” people like us did not want to talk about it. She then proceeded to explain further, as the deep woman she is, that it is more than being physically naked but being able to always bare it all with each other.
Marriage should be a safe place for a man and his wife to be naked and unashamed emotionally, spiritually, financially and physically.
The Man said, “Finally! Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh! Name her Woman for she was made from Man.” Therefore, a man leaves his father and mother and embraces his wife. They become one flesh. The two of them, the Man and his Wife, were naked, but they felt no shame. – Genesis 2:23-25 (MSG)
The physical aspect of “nakedness” in marriage is quite easy but the other ones not so much. In fact, there can be a high level of sexual intimacy in marriage, while the level of openness is very low. I understand why people would not want to “expose themselves” to this man they’ve promised their lives to; because when you become naked in front of another, shame is the result when that person chooses to mock you based on what you just said.
How then can we let go of the fear and shame and embrace this deep vulnerability with our spouses?
Accept that God is good and that He loves you.
This should be like the easiest thing for a Christian but it isn’t. We believe God is good but sometimes we don’t believe He is good to us because something is “wrong” with us right now. Never accept the lie that God is not good; He is working out the issues of your life. The seasons of life cannot change the character of God.
Know the source of your strength.
It takes strength to be vulnerable as a woman especially emotionally and financially; well, it was for me. But please realize that you have a High Priest (that is, Jesus) who is in touch with you and knows how you feel. We know from the Bible that Jesus exposed Himself to humanity, because of our salvation, He chose to walk among us and be human. The source of your strength is the Holy Spirit and He is your ultimate covering; just as He was with Christ on earth, so He is with you always. Rest in Him.
Pray to receive God’s strategy for your marriage.
I was going to give you 5 ways to develop intimacy in marriage but you see, every marriage is unique and with its own purpose. What works for me might be disastrous for you.
As we have been repeatedly told in Deborah’s Initiative for Women (DIW), press into God and let Him give you His own strategy for your marriage. As you receive, act on it immediately – intimacy is not something that can be achieved overnight; it is a lifelong process of being increasingly at ease with each other without fear or shame.
Be kind to yourself and take responsibility.
So, you messed up last week and shame has its claws in you already; you hid the money that just dropped into your account or you’ve been having it good at work but you still need to guilt your husband into doing some things, so you refused to share. Do the needful – forgive yourself and then open up. Remember that your ultimate covering is God.
Reject the lies!!!
Immediately the two of them did “see what’s really going on”—saw themselves naked! They sewed fig leaves together as makeshift clothes for themselves. – Genesis 3:7(MSG)
Fear brings torment, it robs us of peace and pushes us into living an illusion. Adam and Eve believed a lie, they acted on the lie and saw that they did not need to be naked with each other anymore. These days we hear all sorts of crazy things and social media has exposed us to some of the most horrible marriages ever and some of us have started believing the lies, and we are hiding ourselves from our spouses.
The Word of God remains the standard for every aspect of our lives including our marriages.
Article Written by Olamide Adeyemi