My husband and I recently attended a Love After Marriage workshop. It was 3 and ½ days. It was our first LAM experience.
We have been to a lot of different marriage seminars and such in our 21 years of wedded bliss. This one takes the cake as the most thorough. It focused a lot on healing yourself and rooting out the rotted things. That makes sense. How can you work well in a relationship if you yourself are a wreck? So, we did a lot of that. That old unwanted focus on one’s own miserable downfalls. Yes, we did that. It’s much more satisfying to look at your mate’s issues than your own.
This was very much a Holy Spirit-led seminar. Meaning, you work hard at hearing the Holy Spirit speak to you.
We started with understanding that nothing can stay hidden. That nothing is as freeing as being truthful with each other. And truth must be hand-in-hand with love. Truthfulness is the foundation of trust. When we hide negative things about ourselves, it opens the door for the enemy to bring a lot of bad things and habits into our marriage, such as shame, guilt, confusion, and separation. I think we have all done this. And man, the longer it stays buried the longer we pay the price for it. Guilty. I am terribly guilty of this.
Here’s one I had never thought about. Hiding positive information is hurtful. This means, if I think my husband is amazing, or I love the way he did something, I shouldn’t keep it to myself. I need to tell him. I’m guilty of that one. I sit there and think all sorts of positive things, and yet it’s hard for me to vocalize it. Why? I’m not sure. But I’ve gotten better at telling him and my kids. Even if it’s texting the thought or leaving a note, it is a start to just saying it in some form.
Umm… Truthfulness is an act of faith. Yes it is. We put ourselves out on a tiny, thin limb when we tell the truth. The fear of rejection and hate is flowing heavy when you’re standing there trying to own up to something unpleasant that you were responsible for. It’s living in that moment of faith that you’re hoping the person you’re talking to doesn’t melt into the floor or deck you flat on your back. Perhaps we are afraid that the relationship will become so broken it can’t be repaired.
Some things are smaller and—we think—more insignificant. An example is, I really don’t like my eggs cooked scrambled, but he does, and he always makes them for me that way. I don’t want to tell him the truth, because I don’t want to hurt his feelings. But, what if I just told him the truth about the silly eggs? He wants to please me, yet I can’t be brave enough to tell him I would prefer them cooked differently? Yes, some of us are there in that boat. I’ve done these types of things occasionally. The smaller things that I think are no big deal. I think that I don’t have to pick on everything he does and be so critical, and that is true. But, hiding even the silly things builds habits of hiding the bigger ones. I just need to get out the truth wrapped all snuggly warm in brown-sugared love.
Yes, I am responsible for saying the truth I am holding. My husband is responsible to share the truth he is holding with me. And both of us have to operate in faith with each other, and that is not easy to do. But, as the saying goes, the truth will set you free.