Christine: I felt really churned up. There were all kinds of feelings going round and round inside, and suddenly they burst out. I started to cry. For once, I thought, Mark did the right thing, and instead of trying to fix things, he put his arms around me and just held me without saying anything.
Mark: Christine told me that she was crying because we didn’t have a relationship where we talked deeply. She felt that our relationship was shallow, and she wanted greater intimacy. This was a wake-up call for me!
Our communication as a couple was mostly about "all the things that must get done."
Sex had become routine.
Our marriage definitely lacked intimacy!
God’s design for "oneness" in marriage is a picture of intimacy at different levels as we join our hearts, minds, and bodies together.
Our communication helps us to build emotional intimacy. We can have regular date nights and work on our listening—all good things—but growing intimacy takes more than improving communication skills; it needs deep communication.
The heart of deep communication is about being transparent, which requires openness and trust. That level of transparency is easier when communication is free from shame, blame, guilt, and fear. So often it’s not.
The root of our communication problem lies in our sinful nature, putting our thoughts, feelings, desires, and lives at the center of everything and before others. We also tend to hide our true selves from each other, making it harder to get close.
Christine: Over the years we have learned—with God’s help—to share at a transparent level. We’ve both opened up to talk to each other about our feelings and insecurities, as well as our hopes and dreams.
Mark: This kind of sharing requires us to be vulnerable. The good thing is it grows our trust levels which, in turn, helps us to be more transparent—a win win!
This deeper level of communication can become something that brings understanding, joy, and growing intimacy.
Why do you think we tend to hide our true selves from one another?
How can God help you grow intimacy in your communication?
Heavenly Father, thank you that we don’t need to hide from you or from one another in fear of judgement, rejection, or hurt because of your love in Christ. Help us to be trusting and transparent in our communication, and grow intimacy in our marriage.