I had hurt and been hurt. Deeply. Scarringly. How could I ever trust again?
It would have to be someone special, that’s for sure.
And, when I met him, I was shaking. I needed to know. I also needed to pull down some barriers and let him see me as I was. I needed to be free to be me yet freely give—my all. It was the scariest time of my life.
I had this fence—maybe a wall—in my heart. It protected me from being completely open, vulnerable . . . and from being hurt again. I listened to my head first and guarded my heart as if it were a fortress. Woe be to the man who stepped on my drawbridge!
The moat was filled with water—alligator infested. My armed guards were at the ready.
What knight would be brave enough to cross?
Would anyone ever gain entrance?
Many women are in the same situation. They're scared. They are terrified that if they open their hearts to a man, they might get hurt—or even worse, they might let the man down. They are ultimately scared of themselves. It has nothing really to do with the man. They are afraid of becoming a wife. They’re scared to death of commitment, intimacy, and not being able to handle it all.
Can I tell you a secret?
Marriage is made up of two people who dare to commit a lifetime to each other. It’s scary for both the man and the woman. It means the beginning of an intimate relationship that is built on commitment and love.
Let’s define the terms. The biblical definition of love is found in 1 Corinthians 13. I think we often forget that the chapter begins like this: Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). We’re not supposed to live without love! If we live and don’t love, we’re not good for anything. We need to love! That’s Bible Truth.
Now, I understand this is talking about all kinds of love, not just love between two people, but I want you to read the following characteristics of love and apply them specifically to marriage: Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a).
Yes, it involves being vulnerable, but mostly—almost exclusively—love is about thinking of the other person, being constant, giving, persevering, being kind.
Can you do that?
I believe it’s impossible.
That’s where God comes in.
A beautiful, loving marriage is absolutely beyond our grasp, except when both partners depend on the Lord for strength, wisdom, understanding, and guidance. When that happens, it’s beautiful!
The Lord didn’t leave us in the dark about love. He dedicated a whole book of the Bible to married love: the Song of Solomon. It’s full of self-abandoned delight and commitment. Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death (Song of Solomon 8:6).
One of the most amazing passages about marriage is this one: For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband (Ephesians 5:31-33). Marriage was from the beginning. (That first verse is a quote from Genesis 2:24.) Marriage is designed to be a picture of Jesus’ relationship with the church. It’s a totally giving relationship. Jesus gave everything—His lifeblood and separation from His Father—to ransom us from our sins. In marriage, both partners give everything to each other, and the husband is a picture of Christ. Isn’t that awesome?
If you’re in the middle—or behind your own wall—please pray about letting a worthy knight cross your drawbridge. Pray about giving him entrance into your castle.
Your marriage will serve as a picture of what Jesus did for you.
May God give you wisdom.