By John McDowell
I believe a change needs to occur as is evident by the high divorce rates inside and outside of the church. There are lots of theories as to why this is occurring and many books have been written to provide remedies to the problem. Some are better than others but I have yet to find anything remotely useful for true change. If true change was happening then we would see the fruit of it. I believe that the only way to keep relationships, marriages, and commitments strong is for unconditional openness and honesty with maturity, mature growth, and mature responses. This is no easy feat and will cause pain, required change, and certain expectations destroyed. However, in the long run it will produce a strong bond, freedom, relief, joy, and love.
Intimacy is at the core of every person. From birth we need intimacy with not only a mother but also a father. Children first learn what intimacy is as they interact with their parents. If this interaction is not met early on by both a female and male figure, deficiencies in the child can arise. Most children are resilient and will overcome this but even the resilient ones will still have to learn how and what it means to be intimate. This is not to say children who have parents that foster intimacy will not have deficiencies, they will just be able to mitigate them easier and better as they grow older.
Everyone longs for intimacy and in American society the pinnacle is reached in marriage. Intimacy can occur in multiple forms but it is most prevalent and deepest in marriage or a strong commitment. Let me clarify that intimacy can only be accomplished where honesty resides.
After Adam and Eve sinned they lost intimacy with God, and the first thing they did was hide from God and become secretive. They hid and were attempting to deceive God. Hiding is the physical aspect while lying and dishonesty is the verbal aspect.
“Just be honest with me, that’s all I ask.” A popular phrase you hear in many relationships. Yet, generally most partners are not honest with each other. Do not mistake “I’m just being honest” with justifying your own bad behavior and meanness. It is also worth noting that not everyone can handle honesty, yet before you get married or enter into a relationship asking these sorts of questions about “can you handle honesty?” is extremely important.
We have varying degrees in our ability to handle honesty in life and it usually is correlated with your maturity level. Living and speaking honestly is extremely difficult but learning and listening is even harder. The truth hurts and generally people seem to run from it. Certain truths are inevitable in life and many times the Church superficially discusses these topics. Just because we tend to steer away from honesty doesn’t mean it’s the best outcome or choice for our lives. Maturity grows as we face certain truths in life but more importantly intimacy is built by open and honest communication. Humans have an innate desire to be known and to know. True love is found in the honesty of life.
This is the 1st part of a three part series.