What these readings and my reporting on my journey has amounted to is referred to in 12 Step recovery work as “Step 4”.  Step 4 reads, “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

I announced this blog when I started,  on my facebook page.  I seem to have this built in ability to not consider what it might mean on a personal level.  I am at heart a shy person and when I realized that people that know me might actually read my blog, I got embarrassed.  Then a friend stated she got something out of the post and I thought, “if my laying myself bare can help someone, no matter how embarrassing to me, then as some say, ‘to God be the glory’. “  I will not, cannot expose anyone but myself in these writings.

Todays’ reading in the Love Dare begins with a quote from proverbs 17.9.  “He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

We all have friends and family that we are close to.  Nothing compares to the intimacy that’s shared between a husband and a wife.  “Marriage is the most intimate of all human relationships.”  (All quotes are for ‘the Love Dare” except where noted)  We all want to be known, loved and accepted and not have our vulnerabilities exposed.

When I met my wife over 17 years ago, we became close friends, quickly.   As a friend I handled what I learned about my wife with a far different attitude than from the one I held after we became more intimate.  I did not treat the information I had in a loving manner, I was judgmental and harbored ill will towards her with some of the information I had.  Because I was unwilling to shift my opinions of my wife based on a great track record of behavior that should have dispelled my fears, I held on to them.  Judging others is a prideful activity, lately layers upon layers of my pride has been stripped away.

“Yet this great blessing is also the site of its greatest danger.  Someone who knows us intimately can either love us at depths we never imagined, or can wound us in ways we may never fully recover from.  It is both the fire and the fear of marriage.”   Are we drawn closer in acceptance of what our spouse knows about us, or is it a source of shame?  I am guilty of causing shame to prevail, rather covering my wifes innermost heartaches in love.

I am ashamed to admit that the information I held on to made my wife feel unloved and unaccepted.  Is this what I wanted her to feel?  NO!  I often marvel at the love God has for us, knowing everything there is to know about us and still His love is greater than any other.  He laid down His life for us, to bring us to Him, “without spot or wrinkle”, forgives us unconditionally for all we’ve done and all we’ll ever do.  This is the example of love I want to follow and be mindful of in my marriage.

It may be easy to reach the conclusion that I’m some sort of devil for the way I have behaved in this relationship.  Well it has been plain evil in light of the love God demonstrates we should have.  I feel this tremendous love for my wife and I know that I know her better than anyone else, “warts and all” and this love is from beyond me.  I am repentant and humbled by what I have come to face in myself regarding my marriage.

We communicate what we hold in are deepest thoughts and because of this our spouse will know if we accept them or reject them on some level.  “They will either know they are in a place of safety where they are free to make mistakes, or they will recoil into themselves and be lost to you, perhaps forever.  Loving them well should be your life’s work.”

I pray that my wife forgives me and that I may do my life’s work.