The Art of Being Known
Scripture: James 5:13–20; 1 John 1:7-9
We’d like to ask you to consider something slowly: How transparent are you? Are you truly known by God, your spouse, yourself, and others?
We live in a time when vulnerability is stylish, but true transparency is exceedingly rare. Yet nothing has taught the two of us more about loving each other in our marriage than learning to live see-through lives. True, unfettered transparency rescues relationships, glorifies God, and multiplies joy.
Our bold proposition is this: unless we can master the art of being known—we mean utterly and unequivocally revealed as multifaceted individuals—we will be unable to experience the fullness of grace, love, and joy available to us in life, and specifically, in marriage.
This call goes beyond semi-vulnerability and faux authenticity—the kind where you show just enough of your “mess” to satisfy your Instagram followers or to pass another round of “How are you doing?” in your weekly small group. Christian transparency is radical—ridiculous, even—at least by worldly standards.
Jesus’s brother James beckoned readers to “confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16, emphasis added). The apostle John wrote, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another. . . . If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:7, 9, emphasis added).
These passages and many more like them call us out of the darkness of hiding into the light of being known so that we can be healed, forgiven, and cleansed, and so we can grow and flourish as God’s people. We are called into the open for our greatest good!
As we’ll explore, hiding might be our default posture in life and marriage, but at every moment we are being called out of the darkness and into the light—and into life itself. The beautiful reality is that Jesus already knows everything about you and yet loves you without reservation. It’s from that place of confidence you and your spouse can be seen by each other and learn to love as you are loved in Christ.
What would you say is the difference between the false vulnerability we sometimes show on social media or in church groups and true transparency?