This particular post made have a bit of TMI for those of you who know Rob and me. Fair warning. Feel free to move on if you wanna… 🙂
Early on in our dating relationship, we knew that if we had any shot at all of staying together, we would both need to be real and transparent. Rob would often use the phrase “naked and unashamed.” It’s a phrase that makes preteens giggle. It’s a phrase that still makes me smirk a bit. Tee hee. But there’s a nice ring to it, isn’t there?
It’s partly because all of us know what it feels like to be naked and ashamed. We all know the sting of rejection, the fear of being fully known and not fully loved. Rob and I both had our share of blatant rejection from people who should have been the first in line to our acceptance and redemption, not just in spite of our failures and flaws, but in full knowledge and admittance of them. When we commit ourselves to another in matrimony, it specifically calls for the unwillingness to reject and abandon.
But what happens when your shiny veneer starts chipping away some couple hours after the wedding reception is over? What happens to your resolve for “til death do us part” when just days into the honeymoon you have your first real disagreement and someone is crying? Or what about years later when your spouse hesitantly, painfully opens up his heart to you about something he has been wracked with shame and guilt over, not knowing how to tell you, not knowing what you will even do next? Like slowly unrobing and standing naked, vulnerable, no where to run, no where to hide.
Here’s a TMI moment. Rob and I commit to going to bed at the end of the day naked. (Don’t picture it.) Now physical appearances alone, this can be really intimidating at first. I’m tempted to turn the light out and make a mad dash for the covers with a giggle. But we both have talked about what it really means to be naked and unashamed, not just for physical pleasure or to look appealing to each other. For us, it’s so much more symbolic. How can you crawl into bed with someone at the end of a day and keep secrets? How can you claim to be one flesh, united, glued, fused together, and still refuse to bring everything you are and all that is on your mind to the table, or the bed in this case? We don’t want to. We don’t want the cares of life and the struggles we face and the bitternesses that creep in so silently and devastatingly to come between us.
We’ve both been in hiding before. We’ve both felt we had to perform, had to wear makeup so to speak, had to appear at our best at all times, and when we didn’t, we lost someone’s respect or we felt like we were constantly climbing a ladder with the other person, gaining ground one day only to fall a few hundred rungs the next. It shouldn’t be this way in our marriage. We won’t let it be this way. I married Rob for all he is at this moment, all he was in the past, all he is going to be in the future – for better or for worse. And I meant it. It cannot be just words. It has to be my most important purpose as a wife and soulmate to him.
It is my prayer always that symbolically I am at my most vulnerable with him, that I trust him and most importantly God with my heart and soul. I commit to be trustworthy with his heart and soul, that when he comes to me openly confessing, even at great pains and with high stakes, that he can come to me boldly and confidently, always knowing I will never leave him, I will never think less of him, I will always encourage him and see him as God sees him – with no condemnation, Jesus and all in Him is mine! I pray that my love for Rob will always cover a multitude of sins and that I will always offer full acceptance and freely flowing grace that abounds, grace upon grace, toward him. I want so much for him to know that there is nothing ever to be ashamed of, nothing ever that grace will not cure, nothing that makes him fear my rejection, nothing that will ever drive me away. I pray that I will never hide from him and he will not hide from me. and when sin and shame cause us to try to hide, that we will always seek after each other for the purpose of the murder of shame, complete acceptance and full restoration. We have been given the perfect Example in our Good Shepherd who leaves all others behind to seek and save that one lost lamb, at great risk to Himself. This is the great love we have known and felt through Christ our Savior. This is the love worth waiting for. Worth dying for. I pray we will live in that kind of love, pursuing each other for all our days.