Naked…but not ashamed

Ruth and Boaz has been my favorite couple in the bible and they still maintain same position in my heart. Their lives speak volumes about God’s grace. And yes, I love the way Ruth put those great words to Boaz, she said, “spread your wings of protection over me…” she literally asked Boaz to help cover her nakedness.  She knew she had a past that she is not proud of but she needed her man to believe with her that she has a beautiful future ahead. She knew her spouse been anointed to protect her and groom her to greatness. No wonder Genesis 2:25 carve it like this, “…the man and his wife were naked, but they felt no shame”.

No man or woman is perfect. We all either have a past we hid from or weaknesses we are not proud of. You are her groom so as to help her become a better person. You are his bride to assist in where the need arises. You both have been called to watch each other’s back wildly. You can actually cover your spouse’s nakedness via:

Prayer: Learn to pray for and with your spouse. The fervent prayer of the righteous avails much. If one can chase a thousand, two will chase ten thousands… (The power of synergy) and confirmed by the scriptures. If you have talked to her/him about those habits you do not like and s/he seems to keep doing, sometimes it is not that s/he is stubborn…it may be that s/he is addicted. Addiction of course is not easily broken away from; it takes discipline and conscious effort. When we pray…God hears, remember he is an important member of the marriage team.

Positive Affirmations: Learn to be positive in your words. Never insult or ridicule your spouse because of his/her weakness or past. Don’t be like Michal who insulted her King and husband David in front of his admirers. Boaz never for once reminded Ruth of her ugly past, rather he kept on praising her for being a compassionate, considerate, adorable and hardworking woman. You don’t pull down who you love; rather you praise them and let them know you believe they can become better. Speak to the you that you see in the future…are you also struggling with an habit or weakness…yes you’ve prayed about it…then work it out…speak positive to your life. Look in the mirror and talk back to the person you see…speak greatness….call forth those things which you see not as if they are…bring forth the best “YOU”. You can make it…you can overcome the weakness…believe the same for your spouse and confess it. What we believe and confess is what we become.

Get Help: Some weaknesses need to be addressed…don’t cover it less it become your woe. Talk to counselors…seek professional help…problem shared is half solved. Be there for your spouse, go all the way with him/her…read books that address your issue…take steps that will help you shed the unnecessary weight… if you need to take exercises/ visit the gym often to get your shape back, please do.

You have been called to groom your wife…you have been adorned to build your man.  She may look fragile yet greatness resides in her…you may need to give her a push out of her comfort zone, go ahead do it.

The weaknesses you see sometimes are gold mine in the making if processed, manage and converted well. What you have overcome, is what you can mentor other people on.

Naked but not ashamed means…I can talk to my spouse about anything and not be scared of his judgment, even if he is going to criticize me; it’s going to be a constructive criticism. It also means…I am not going to mask my vulnerability before him…I can be open with him knowing he’ll be there for me to encourage, cover, protect and guide me. That is what marriage is all about…pouring out your all to your soul mate without fear or holding back… knowing you are fully covered.

 

 

When the past comes knocking…

Quinn and Kate had just returned from their honeymoon and were both resting on the bed when Kate’s phone buzzed. ‘Ssssh who could that be’, she muttered and picked her phone to answer the call not interested in the caller’s identity. ‘It’s me Princess’ she could hear her mother’s voice clearly. Not willing to wake up her prince charming, she un-wrapped Quinn’s arms from her body and tiptoed into the bathroom. ‘What is it mum, am still basking in the fragrance of my honeymoon and…’ Her mum did not allow her to finish her statement as there was a matter of urgency that needed her attention. ‘It’s your son Richard, he has been sick since you left for honeymoon and we have been taking care of him, the case however got worse few hours ago when he lost consciousness, he is on his way to the theater as the doctor said the only way to save his life is to carry out a surgery on him immediately’. Kate held her breath, she couldn’t believe what she just heard, she left her five years old son, hale and healthy before her wedding which was followed by her honeymoon. ‘God…Richard must not die, I will die if he does because I went through a lot when his father denied his pregnancy and I singlehandedly took care of him till now’, Kate soliloquized as tears rush down her eyes. And to make matter worse, she never told her spouse, Quinn anything about Richard her son, she tactically hid him so as not to lose Quinn. He had loved and cared for her so much that she didn’t want to lose him because of her son. She was hoping that after their honeymoon, she would be able to ask him for forgiveness and then tell him. All of a sudden, she remembered Quinn must have felt her absence beside him; she turned back to return to the bedroom only to see her spouse Quinn, some meters away from her.

‘Who is Richard?’ he asked looking at her with great confusion. ‘Am so sorry baby, I was hoping to explain everything about him to you after the honeymoon, I didn’t want to lose you because of him,’ Kate said as she knelt down before him weeping profusely. ‘And what makes you think that you will not lose me now?’ he asked with disappointment written all over him. ‘I might as well not know a whole lot of things about you if you could hide the fact that you have a five year old son I have never heard about despite our one and half year of courtship’, he concluded.

No man/woman wants to be kept in the dark as regards his/her spouse. No one wants to be treated as a fool and no one wants his/her intelligence to be played upon. You owe your spouse the responsibility of disclosing any information about your past that needed to be known. Never let it be heard from a third party when you get married or few days/hours to your wedding, it kills trust. No sin is too big to be forgiven; no past is too ugly to be forgotten.  Pour out your heart, stop hiding your wound, let the wound heal. There are some past you may say are inconsequential, but there are some that leave scars, never joke with them. If you hide details of your past from your spouse so as not to lose him/her, what is the assurance that you will keep him/her after marriage when the bubble burst?

We all love our spouses to be sincere, honest and transparent. Openness does the magic in sealing trust in relationships. From the Holy Book, we learnt that, Ruth did not disguise her ‘Moab’ identity to fit it among the Jews. She was transparent and showed that despite her “unwelcomed” identity, she was ready to embrace The God of the Israelites and that endeared Boaz’s heart to her. If you hide things from your spouse-to-be now, you’ll keep hiding things from him/her when you both get married and that is detrimental to your marriage. Great couples don’t hide secrets, they share secrets.

Being open with your spouse helps him/her to watch your back and keep praying for you. You only hide what you are not healed from, you share testimonies of what you are healed from despite its scar; so if there is a past you need healing for, please get help, seek good counselors and advisers. We may not be the cause of what happened to us in the past but we are responsible for how we handle our reaction to it.

When you make mistake and keep hiding it from your spouse, you need to tell lies and compromise some things to keep ‘the covering’ going; the more you do this, the farther you drift from your spouse and the weaker your relationship becomes until you can no longer hold it together and then your cup gets full and overflows for everyone to see. Allow your spouse to cover your nakedness now because he/she has been anointed and called to do so; “they were both naked and not ashamed”… (The Holy Bible).  Don’t wait until your dirty linen is washed in the public. ‘I don’t want him to know I was once married; I don’t want him to know I was once a sex worker; I don’t want her to know I have a child out of wedlock with another woman…” All these secrets and more break up marriages and create unhappy homes when the truth is later revealed to the other partner. Save yourself from future unhappiness, embarrassment and heartaches. Tell him/her all s/he needs to know before you walk down the aisle. If s/he loves you enough…s/he will not leave you despite your past or mistake and s/he will be able to walk through with you in any circumstance you are in life. If s/he decides to leave you for being honest about your past or mistake, it means you deserve someone better, someone like Boaz to Ruth who will love you despite your past or mistake. It is better said now than later when it will be too late to bear.