Marriage Lesson 4: Vulnerability

I cannot do anything to make Dave feel, or act in a certain way. Sure, I could try to manipulate him, but twisting his arm would not give me the power over his heart, and that I believe is the scariest element of any relationship. In marriage you are completely vulnerable before someone else, and you have not a single power over what your partner may do when you allow them to make their own decisions about their actions, feelings, and attitude towards you and what you care about. Yet, for a marriage to grow you need to open up your heart and trust that although you may get hurt you will be vulnerable regardless, because it is better than keeping yourself to yourself. You need to have the real discussions about the state of your heart, about your relationship with God, about your feelings towards the other person, and your needs, weaknesses and dreams. Those closest to you will always be able to tell when you are holding back, and your lack of disclosure will more often than not hurt them more than whatever it is you are not sharing. Ask yourself, do you love them enough to tell them? Do you trust them enough to let them know? Do you respect them enough to make their own decision about this issue without ‘protecting them’? Are you secure enough in God that if your partner rejects you, you will be OK?

Trust me…

How much money would I have to give you to punch a person in the face? If you could illegally find out tomorrow’s lotto numbers, would you? If there was no consequences for any wrong thing, what would you do?

Once upon a time I thought people in general were trustworthy. I had the motto that people are generally good so I would trust people until they broke that trust, in which case I would never trust them again. Now I have lived a little longer, experienced a little more, and read my bible, I have discovered flaws in my thinking to the point that now I believe quite the opposite is true. You see, it is an unfortunate fact that people are not generally good, rather, without God we are sinful to the core (John 3:19-20 “totally depraved” as Calvin puts it). Although we all justify our actions by intentions, environment or comparison, if given the opportunity to get away with it, and without God, people would do the wrong thing in one way or the other. Without the power and intervention of God there is no limit to the evil we would commit, both in our hearts and our actions. Trust is not something therefore that should be given as a granted, in fact, trust should be earned.

Because people are at varying degrees of handing over their sinful human nature to God it is therefore inevitable that trust will be broken, even by the most holy among you. Once trust is broken it can sometimes take a lifetime to earn it back. In saying this, I have also learned that we cannot write people off forever, fail to forgive them, or allow bitterness to live in our own life. We all fall short. This is a sad truth, and yet this speaks volumes of the amazing love of a holy God who would see our sin in its fullness, know us, and yet still chose to save us and empower us to be more like Him (Romans 5:8; 2 Peter 1:3). This should also spur us on toward this loving and trustworthy God who is so unlike humanity in that He will never sin against us, who will always be faithful and always be true (John 14:6).

Questions for consideration:

  1. Is there someone you need to forgive today?
  2. Are you a trustworthy person? (It is only by Gods power that we can be)
  3. Do you trust God?
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