God’s commandment is clear: a man and a woman become one flesh in marriage. Yet many couples live together physically but are in reality walled off from one another in water-tight compartments. These compartments are full of secret actions, secret plans and secret thoughts that they hide from each other. That is why many marriages today are slowly suffocating to death because they lack the oxygen of openness and sincerity.
Openness means a lack of restriction. Unhindered access. Frankness. Lack of secrecy or concealment. Sincerity refers to the quality of being free from pretense, deceit, or hypocrisy. In other words, honesty. In practical terms, sincerity is saying the truth whenever you are asked for it, but openness is the practice of saying the truth without even being asked for it.
Marriages that are built on unhealthy secret keeping are heading for disaster. That is NOT God’s plan!
Happily married couples are wiser. They do not allow secrets to get in the way of building a loving, joyful and happy marriage. They have learnt the secret and the power of openness and sincerity. They have learnt to share their lives, struggles, dreams, fears and secrets with each other. They have made a commitment to strictly obey and practice Genesis 2:25. They realize that keeping everything out in the open is what neutralizes the force of division.
How can you live joyfully with a man or a woman with whom you do not live honestly? Many homes lack excitement and fun because of too much secrecy.
Openness and sincerity are especially important to women. When their husbands don’t meet those needs, they begin to dry up while in the marriage. When you lie to your spouse, you have not just deceived them, you have empowered the devil to initiate a cycle of distrust in your marriage. The enemy of your intimacy is the secret you keep, because there can’t be intimacy without openness.
People (spouses) close up in marriage and other relationships because:
- Something once brought to the open was used against the spouse who shared a secret.
- Of the negative reaction of the husband or wife to openness in the past.
- We think the more our spouse knows about us, the less they will respect us.
- Our spouses are secretive too.
- Of past hurts and disappointments.
But secretiveness is always a bad idea in marriage. Happily married couples understand this and work hard to achieve a loving marriage built on openness and sincerity. If you are not open, it will be difficult to trust, to give love and to receive love.
Creating a safe environment to encourage sincerity and openness is therefore very critical. Here are some practical steps which will help you achieve this:
- Commit to trust your spouse unconditionally.
- Stop doing things that give room for suspicion.
- Let your spouse know that whatever they share with you stays with you.
- Give your spouse access to your passwords
- Constantly sow openness and sincerity, and you will get it back
- Practise openness and sincerity as unto God and trust Him to cover you and defend you.
The rewards you get from being open and sincere with your spouse justify the effort you invest in achieving it. Here are some of the practical benefits:
- It builds deep intimacy and emotional bonding between couples.
- It fosters trust and helps a spouse to feel secure in their partner’s love.
- You experience inner peace and freedom from hypocrisy
- You become free to love and be loved.
- Openness and sincerity become the foundation for an enduring relationship/marriage.
Strengthen the foundation of your marriage, let your partner enjoy your trust, add a dash of excitement and fun to it!
“Snails make no progress until they come out of their shells”. Be brave, open up, be sincere in your marriage. The rewards are worth it!
BY: Pastor Wale Afelumo
READINGS: GENESIS 2:23-25, PROVERBS 5:18B, EPHESIANS 5:11, JOHN 3:20-21