My husband has me convinced. It amazes me, but I am convinced. Not only does he love me fully, but he truly sees me as beautiful, attractive, alluring, and appealing. That is awesome to me. And God made it more awesome as He used Johnny’s love for me, again, to teach me something about His own.
You see, I am nearing 60. Forty pounds overweight, greying hair, the family nose, curves where no curve should be, and I don’t feel very appealing. In fact, I am a viable candidate for the next opening for Barnum and Bailey’s bearded lady. Seriously! All of this makes me leery when my husband and I get too close, afraid his bad eyes will see clearly, and he will change his tune. But then he assures me of his sincerity, and I marvel at his love that never ceases to amaze.
The other night as we were falling to sleep, I was mulling this marvel over, again convinced anew and relishing in the truth of my husband’s affections, while at the same time realizing my own timidity toward him because of my feelings about myself. As I thought on these things, the Spirit of God spoke clearly to my heart. In a nutshell, here is what He told me.
“A woman’s fear of trusting the loving affections of her husband throws up a wall between them as she holds herself back, not wanting to get too close where he might see what she sees. As a result, she misses out on the intimacy to be enjoyed in a relationship of loving trust: one where she feels safe to be real and enjoy their life together. By not getting close and trusting his affections, she then fails to see what he sees in her, and misses the inspiration to major on that area of her nature to be better.
“The same is true where our relationship with God is concerned. We hold ourselves back from God, not wanting to get too close for fear that He might see us as we see ourselves and be repulsed. So out of fear of trusting the love God has for us that causes Him to choose us as His own possession with sincere desire to draw near to us as we draw near to Him, we miss the intimacy to be had with our God: hindering our being real with Him. And as a result, we miss out on the very relationship we need, and we fail to see what He sees in us and be inspired to higher ground.”
It is important to have relationships with others who accept us and appreciate us for who we are; people we feel safe to be real with. But those people should also be ones who love us in ways that inspire us to be the best we can be. That is the love God calls husbands to have for their wives. You see, God knows that we struggle with our sense of self. So He called husbands through Paul to a love for their wives that cherishes and nurtures. That which we cherish, we hold up to admire it and we do all we can to help it to look and be its best. We treasure that which we cherish, seeking to protect and build it up. Those we nurture, we help to be the best they can be, nourishing them in good ways that help them grow strong and achieve their purpose. My husband loves me in this way, and so does my God.
“Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: ‘He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us’? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you” ~ James 4:5-10.
When we draw near to God without fear of His seeing us for who we are, He makes us better people through the relationship and He lifts us up. So why do we hide under the covers, afraid of the relationship that will make us better, more appealing, stronger?
What was the first thing Adam and Eve did after they sinned? They tried to cover up their nakedness and hid from God. God is not afraid of our nakedness, but we should be afraid of hiding from God. When we hide from God, that is when we lose site of the One who can cover us in robes of righteousness and make us whole again.
For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning. Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]” ~ Hebrews 4:15-16, AMP.
Draw near to God in intimate relationship, beloved. He loves and desires you, and He wants to help you see what He sees in you and what He has for you to attain for yourself.
“In this [union and communion with Him] love is brought to completion and attains perfection with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him], because as He is, so are we in this world” ~ 1 John 4:17, AMP.
Closer ~ Steffany Frizzell and Matt Stinton: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLQ0C_MSVLY&list=PLfiEjLIYhJ9AfidNKH4ify2vg0Z5t-SSj&index=6