Monday, July 27, 2020

Knowing One Another

"Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and gave bare to Cain" (Genesis 4:1a)

The Bible uses the verb know to refer to physical relations in marriage. In the Bible, “knowing” speaks to the deepest levels of human intimacy, and for intimacy to be possible, there must be knowledge. We see this happen in courtship as two people get to know each other better and better, becoming more intimate, until they decide to marry. Their knowledge and intimacy is consummated in marriage; but then, sadly, all too often they begin to build small walls to block off that intimacy to some degree.

The fact is that marriage cannot be sustained by feelings alone. Knowing anything requires study. If we want to know God, we must study Him in the Bible. If we keep our Bibles closed, we will lose contact with God, and our relationship with God will become superficial. We will think about God more than we talk to Him. The same is true in marriage. Men and women must study their partners, getting to know them, watching what they do and what they like. Happy marriages do not come about from doing what comes easily or naturally. We must put effort into it. We must study so that we may have intimate knowledge.

If you are going to get to know your spouse, you have to talk. You have to talk about something besides the weather and the kids. You have to get to “second-level communication,” where you talk about your real needs and desires, your goals and dreams. But these are exactly the areas that we tend to close off from one another in marriage because we don’t want to be hurt any worse than we already have been. Yet, we may be very surprised if we begin to talk. We may find that it is not as painful as we feared. We may find that our partner wants many of the same things we do.

If we don’t share our needs and dreams with our partner, and if we don’t seek to meet our partner’s needs and desires, there may well come a time when someone else will. Wife, if your husband does not feel your support in his work, he may be tempted to respond to someone who does give him support. Husband, if you don’t make your wife feel worthwhile and important, she may be tempted by someone else who does.

How good is the communication between you and your spouse? Are there things you don’t share because you are afraid of being hurt? Perhaps you need to take some time and think of ways to develop a pattern of real conversation with your partner. Try playing some games, studying the Bible, or reading a book together this week.