Thursday, October 25, 2012

Invincibility Is Not Good For Your Marriage

"I am strong and tough.  I can handle whatever life throws at me on my own.  I am self-reliant.  I don't need anyone else.  I am invincible!"

Does any of this sound familiar to you?  I know that I tell myself things like this all of the time.  I think there are many of us out there (especially men) who want to feel strong, powerful, and in control all of the time.  But I will let you in on a big secret.

It's a lie.

It really is.  No matter how much we may feel otherwise, no matter how much we don't want to admit it, we aren't invincible.  We are very mortal, weak, and sometimes even fragile inside.  That can be a hard blow to take.  The old ego doesn't like being told things like that.  But invincibility is actually a stumbling block in marriage.

A person that is invincible is also a person that can't be touched.  It's no fun trying to get a reaction out of a brick wall.  Sometimes he becomes a person that runs through or knocks over everything he comes in contact with.  That's no fun for those who have to live with him.  And being based on a lie, pretending to be invincible takes a lot of energy to maintain the lie.

And if we were truly invincible, we would have no need of the Lord in our lives.  And that kind of pretend invincibility is the most damaging of all, because it cuts us off from the only one who can truly make us strong.

I think most women would prefer a weak, occasionally stumbling man who is humble and repentant, to one who is "perfect" and untouchable.

Now I hear you saying, Mark, that is easier said than done!  I understand.  I created my own illusion of invincibility to protect myself from some deep hurt in my past.  But the shell it has created has pushed my wife away, and robbed both of us of the closeness that God intended us to have in our marriage.  Opening the shell is very uncomfortable.  In choosing to be vulnerable with my wife, I also have a fear of being shredded.  But that vulernability is the very thing that can bring us closer together.  When she truly knows me, she can love me for who I really am, rather than having to work around a shell.  This vulernability is still new to me, and it is still very uncomfortable.  But the closeness it has generated, even for a short time, has been well worth the risk.

So if you think you are invincible, or that you need to be, might I suggest that you think again?  Take some time to pray about it.  Ask your spouse which he/she would prefer: an invincible spouse or a vulernable spouse.  You might be surprised at the answer.

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