Friday, September 16, 2011

transparency and honor: the line is drawn

I sat Tuesday evening listening to a group of young ladies.  Most around the same age as me, some a little younger; most in a completely different phase of life.

I was the only wife and mom sitting in the room.  The purpose of the group was one simple, profound and incredibly terrifying word; transparency.  The group is intended to edify, exhort one another as women of God in the very journeys we walk.  It is a group of godly women coming together and whispering in the other's ears; "You can do this.  You're already doing this."  Our purpose is community, maturity and growth.  That's all we crave; community with one another, maturity in Christ and growth in His Spirit. 

And as I sat there, I decided I would be vulnerable.  It's not my forte, but I'll give it a try.  Then the Spirit gently tugged at my heart.  I knew He was speaking.  And what He was spoke was about as unexpected as the sun refusing to shine.

"The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.  She does him good and not evil all the days of her life." --Proverbs 31:11-12

Uhm. Lord?

It suddenly dawned on me that I would be the only married person in the group potentially sharing and expressing transparency in regards to marriage.  And He was reminding me that even in transparency I am to honor and respect my husband.

As women, we have a nasty tendency of gossip that comes all too easily.  Prayer meetings and "venting" sessions with girlfriends become events where gossip and slandering is covered with a spiritual facade, but the Lord our God is not mocked and we will give reckoning for every word spoken.  As a wife, I am commanded to honor and do my husband good all the days of my life. In the name of transparency and healing, we verbally assault our husbands, our families, our friends and any one else we may be offended with, without a second thought to what that may do to their hearts.

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit." --Proverbs 18:21

It isn't about hiding away and not being transparent with our sisters in the Lord.  It isn't about pretending that everything is honky-dory and our marriages are perfect.  It is about watching the words that come out of our mouths and being women that can be trusted.  It's about asking the Lord to pour grace upon our lips so that we may always speak life into our marriages, into our families and children and into any and every other aspect of our journey that we struggle with. 

I desire for my husband to know that although I am incredibly transparent about the glory and the challenges to our marriage, I will always speak words that bring life to him and will never dishonor him, ever. I am hardly a pro, but have been diligently praying about this for several days and feel a strong urge to share the little practicals to what all this entails.

  1. When being transparent, choose your friends wisely:  There will always be someone with an ear to hear.  Especially a girlfriend.  However when sharing things in regards to our marriages, we should be very picky and choosy as to whom we share it with.  It should be just a few Spirit-filled women who will counsel you with the Word of God and not emotional support.  The purpose of transparency isn't venting, it's correction and growth.  Be careful that you do not choose women who will merely tell you what you want to hear, but choose women who live and dwell in His Word that will support your spiritual growth more than your emotions.
  2. When being transparent, choose your words wisely: My general is this; if I wouldn't feel comfortable saying it with Caleb within earshot, I probably shouldn't say it.  I understand that a portion of transparency is to figure things out together by the Counsel of the Word of God, however, if the manner which I'm describing the situation is said in a way that I know would make my husband angry, uncomfortable or etc, I shouldn't say it. 
  3. When being transparent, BE transparent:  Be honest with your mistakes and your downfalls. That's the whole purpose!
What about you?  What are some guidelines and boundaries you've established when being transparent in regards to your marriage?

P.S. We will be taken a short break this week from The Devotional with Littles series. It's been a very busy week and I'm not sure I'll get an opportunity to post again today or tomorrow with our series.  Thanks for your patience! :)

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