On January 26th I started reading the book The Unveiled Wife by Jennifer Smith (I originally saw the add for it on Facebook & you can order it off her website for $15.99 or you can find the paperback on amazon for $9.99) the tagline of the book was “Embracing intimacy with God and your husband”. I was weirded out by the tagline at first because to me (and come to find out in the book to the author as well) intimacy meant sex. I was wrong. Intimacy is not just a sexual relationship, intimacy & what she means in the tagline is a close familiarity or friendship; closeness.
After reading this book I feel like the author and I are friends, I feel like I KNOW her on a personal level rather than just author to reader. The way she was able to open up about her story is amazing to me. The vulnerability, the strength, the courage. I absolutely enjoyed the read!
After reading the book I’ve realized there are things I can improve on in order to have a more intimate relationship with God and my husband. God is a friend like no other, we all know that. However, I realized that I’m guilty of not talking to Him as a friend. I pray to Him in formality & I don’t mean that as I pray because I “have to” or anything like that but I am guilty of forgetting that I don’t have to bow my head & close my eyes to talk to God. I forget that I can talk to Him while I’m driving down the road or sitting at my desk at work or any other place or time of the day. And that’s not how it’s suppose to be. God is someone I have direct access to as being saved and rather than only talking to Him in a formal prayer is not how it should be.
God wants us to talk to Him like He’s a friend. Even though He knows our heart I am positive that it pleases Him when we come to Him and talk to Him about what exactly is going on. The same way with our husbands. Matt is quick to read when something is going on with me, even when I try my best to tell him I’m fine, he knows better. But of all the people in my life I should WANT to talk to God and my husband. I shouldn’t try to hide what’s going on from those two. Ever. Once you began trying to hide stuff in your relationship with God and your marriage it severs intimacy and damages the relationship.
I have also realized that I tend to keep my feelings bottled up in my marriage at the fear of making sure I seem like I have it all together..even though there’s laundry piled up (in 2 places), the dining room table has become a catch-all that still hasn’t recovered from Christmas & I’ve lacked on cooking dinner the past few weeks, luckily my husband is good in that department & all the others but I keep telling him, “I’ll do it” rather than letting him help me or getting upset when he just goes ahead and does it because then I feel bad because he did it all. That’s not how it’s suppose to be. We are each others help mate. We are a team. Just because I prefer to be the one to do the laundry doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world if he does a load or two just to help. But I’m really bad at letting go of that “control”.
In this book the author talks about her husbands struggle with pornography and hers. A struggle that he was open with before they got married but a struggle that she didn’t have before they got married but curiosity as to why he was addicted tempted her and when she became addicted she kept it hidden for the first year and half of their marriage. Matt and I don’t have a struggle with pornography but we do have a struggle with sometimes paying more attention to our phones or tablets than we do each other which is why we did the week unplugged. (you can read more about that experience in my previous blog, A Week Unplugged) But even when we don’t think it’s a big deal it can be damaging our intimacy as husband and wife but as friends because we are neglecting each other. Getting on Facebook and playing the games on your tablets/phones is not a sin but can be if you start idolizing them and that’s where we were. Between the week unplugged and reading this book it opened my eyes to the fact that not only did I put those things over my husband I put them over God. Because instead of scrolling through Facebook for hours on end I could have been reading my Bible or doing a Bible study to strengthen my relationship with God. Do I still get on Facebook? Yes. But I address it in a different light. Use to I would keep it open on my computer at work all day & I felt like I had to post something, anything at least once a day-something to get “likes”. I don’t anymore. Our week unplugged ended on Sunday & I have posted a few funny things and some pictures but it didn’t bother me to not get 10+ likes or anything like that and I’m not thinking about what’s going on in the Facebook world ALL DAY. It’s unhealthy and the week unplugged and reading The Unveiled Wife helped me realize that anything over God and my husband is not only a sin against God but it’s unhealthy for my marriage.
When I finished the book last night I told Matt that my goal was to be more unveiled. Not only with God but with him as well because that’s initially what brings us closer together. I’m guilty of letting my anxieties hold me back from being completely open with him. I want to be a good wife so bad that sometimes I put myself into overdrive and act like I have it “all together” when really on the inside I feel all over the place and God as well as Matt are who I should talk to about it rather than trying to hide it so I don’t look like a “bad wife”. That is one of my biggest fears, being a “bad wife” and the devil knows that so when I’m having a bad day he plays off those fears & anxieties. I should be able to take those to God and talk about it with my husband and get through it rather than bottle it up. I should be able to release some of what I think are “wifely duties” and let Matt help me. He’s not only my husband, he’s my leader, friend, and helpmate.
“Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.” 2 Corinthians 3:16