Last night, I had a powerful dream. It was a nightmare. I dreamt that I had never confessed my worst sins to my wife. It was a horrible feeling – a feeling worse than the sins themselves. When I awoke, I literally thanked God it was just a bad dream.
The purpose of the dream was to affirm for me the power of living an open life of confession and repentance in my marriage. Jan and I are far from perfect. We have been married 44 years not because we discovered some magic three-step formula for a successful marriage. Along with having a gracious, loving and very patient God, we discovered the freedom and intimacy that comes when nothing is hidden. I can and have told Jan everything. Nothing is hidden between us.
The fear I experienced in the dream was a holy fear. It was the fear of having a relationship with my wife where she did not really know me because the fear of exposure kept me silent. We can never really know a person until together we cross the barriers of fear that guard our hearts and wall off the most intimate regions of our life. Jesus knows everything about us, the good, the bad and the ugly, and He loves us beyond our wildest imaginations. He is our example of how to live in a healthy and free relationship with another person, especially in a marriage.
Some of you cannot awaken from your nightmare because you are living it in real time. You can change the nightmare into a place of freedom by choosing to wake up and put all your spiritual cards on the table. In some cases, it may be wise to seek out some help if it’s a really messy and painful situation.
The healthiest relationships I know are not ones who continue to live under the delusion of perfection without intimacy. The strongest ones have discovered an unimagined intimacy and restoration on the other side of a painful season of brokenness. This is where the most powerful testimonies of hope are waiting to be discovered and shared.
If you want intimacy in any relationship, honesty, disclosure, confession and repentance will always precede that intimacy. Without it, we will remain strangers living under the same roof and living in a shared nightmare. I stand with you and in Jesus' name, I call forth the courage required to overcome the power of fear that holds you captive. Trust God. He will show you how to wake up from your nightmare and experience true intimacy.