Thursday, 02 January 2014 13:29

Revelation: The Prerequisite to a Healthy Relationship

Written by  Pamela Boswell, Eastwood Counseling Center
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Have you ever stopped to consider that were it not for the Bible, you wouldn’t be able to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ?  Think about it: If it weren’t for God’s written revelation of Himself to man, you simply would not be able to know how to become a Christian.  To the extent that He revealed Himself to you through the Bible, you are able to have an intimate relationship with Him.  Had He not revealed Himself to you, you would not be able to relate to Him as a son/daughter.  Revelation, therefore, is a prerequisite for having a relationship.  This is true not only of your relationship with God, but also with people. 

 

To the extent that two people reveal themselves to each other they will be able to have an intimate relationship with one another.  To the extent that two people refuse or neglect to reveal themselves to each other, to that same degree their ability to have an intimate relationship with one another will be hindered. Now, since marriage is the most intimate of interpersonal relationships, it stands to reason that a husband and wife, if they are to experience the “one flesh” intimacy (companionship) intended by God, ought to reveal themselves more to each other than to anyone else.  On every level (physically, intellectually, emotionally, etc.) they should be “naked and unashamed” (Genesis 2:25).  Sadly, too often this is not the case.  Indeed, because of sin husbands and wives are ashamed and afraid to reveal themselves to one another.  This lack of openness and honesty (this lack of revelation) keeps many, I daresay most couples (yes, even most Christian couples) from experiencing the security, refreshment and bliss that God intended for them to have within the oasis of marriage.

     

 

Hindrances to Revelation

 

There are several factors that commonly prevent couples from “pulling back the curtain” and exposing their true selves to each other. Among them are the following:

 

1. Fear.  Perhaps the greatest hindrance to revelation is fear. In Genesis 3:7–10) we see that Adam and Eve were stricken with fear and hid themselves from God when they realized their own nakedness.  So also, husbands and wives are often stricken with fear and hide their true selves from each other when they realize the sinfulness of their own hearts.  Christian couples who are “one flesh” with each other, and who are committed to each other’s mutual sanctification ought not to fear such embarrassment and rejection.  Indeed, they should have realized long ago that in a marriage of two sinners, both parties would sin.  Rather than concealing sin from one another they ought to feel free to disclose to each other their struggles with indwelling sin in the hope of finding assistance to overcome it. 

 

 

2. Selfishness.  There is a very real corollary in the Bible between sinful fear and selfishness.  People who are selfish tend to be fearful.  People who are fearful are necessarily selfish.  According to the Scriptures, the opposite of (and antidote for) sinful fear is love. 1 John 4:18 explains, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”

 

But, love is also the opposite of (and antidote for) the sin of selfishness. Try looking at it this way.

 

Love is being more concerned with what I can give than with what I can get.

 

Selfishness is being more concerned with what I can get than with what I can give.

 

Fear is being more concerned with what I might lose than with what I can give.

 

 

When you allow the fear of your spouse’s rejection to keep you from loving her (him), by not revealing that which is biblically necessary for her (him) to know about you, you are being selfish.  You are, at that moment, more concerned about how such a revelation may hurt you than you are concerned about how it may help your partner. When you fail to love your spouse in this way, you simultaneously fail to love God, and you thus break the first and second greatest commandments (to love God and your neighbor). 

 

3. Pride.  The sin of pride blinds you to other sins in your life and hinders you from repenting of them. Pride is the “Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome” (AIDS) of the soul. The AIDS virus somehow blinds the eyes of its victim’s bodily defense system. This prevents his auto immune system from seeing and consequently destroying those deadly pathogens that ultimately kill him.

 

Like AIDS, pride blinds you not only to itself, but to every other sin tucked away in the recesses of your heart and life.  It causes you to hate correction and reproof. It hides your sin from you, it justifies your sin, it excuses your sin, and it keeps you from repenting of your sin. 

 

Before the fall, Adam and Eve were both naked and unashamed (Genesis 2:25). These terms do not refer only to the fact that they weren’t wearing any clothing. It primarily speaks of the total openness, honesty and frankness which they enjoyed before their pride caused them to cover their sins. In the final analysis, what keeps a husband and wife from enjoying this “one flesh” intimacy that Adam and Eve knew in the Garden of Eden is pride. Don’t let any of these three aforementioned sins keep you from revealing those things to your spouse which she (he) has a biblical need to know about you.  

 

 

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 07 January 2014 13:31
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