Read His Words Before Ours!
“We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
(2 Corinthians 3:18)
Unveiled faces. Does that resonate differently now for anyone else in light of Covid-19? Walking in the front door of my house, I immediately remove my mask. Oh the freedom!
Now I admit, on days when an unwanted blemish visits and my mask covers it, I appreciate the ability to hide that flaw as I complete errands. However, I still remove my mask as soon as I possibly can. No amount of embarrassment will keep me wearing my mask, especially while at home.
As I sat down to write this study, which focuses on marriage and our relationship with the Lord, my mind turned to Moses and the mask, or veil, he used. Moses wore his face covering because his face shone so brightly after spending time with the Lord, the Israelites were afraid to approach him. (Exodus 34:29-35) However, the Lord spoke to Moses face-to-face, and their level of intimacy left Moses radiant . . . literally.
Today, when I loop my mask behind my ears, unfortunately, it is NOT because my face shines after encountering the Lord. Regardless of the why behind our masks, the outcome is still the same: covered faces. It’s amazing to see how wearing masks impacts social connections. We easily hide imperfections, but struggle to bridge the isolation the mask creates.
The same is true both in marriage and our relationships with the Lord. My husband and I cannonballed into marriage as we said our vows three days before the shelter-in-place order went into effect. Over the past few months, I have learned so much about him and myself. One of the greatest surprises and blessings has been the refreshing experience of knowing and being known on a deep level.
Neither my husband nor I are perfect; nor has our marriage been tested the way only time and a variety of challenging circumstances can. However, God is empowering us to extend grace to one another and, in that safe space of unveiling, to be courageous enough to be our true selves: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
As a result, the last four months have been filled with serious amounts of love and growth. My love for him increases as he continues to embrace me, even after my flaws have been revealed and my quirks uncovered. I’ve grown as I’ve been challenged to die to myself and pour out grace to him as well, to embrace his quirks and flaws, and to love how I see Jesus in him.
In math only credited to the Lord, I am more drawn to my husband and our time together in the midst of unveiling, both painful and sweet. As hard as it may be, I delight in being known and challenged to continue to grow. In turn, tears come to my eyes in the moments I see how graciously loving him has blessed him and enabled him to grow, too.
Only the Lord could breathe passion into a relationship and so cause an increasing cycle of multiplication in which both parties benefit. Is marriage incredibly hard work, requiring intentionality, time, and a whole lot of Jesus? Most definitely, but it is deeply beautiful work.
For readers who are unmarried, I urge you to cultivate this same passion for, and with, the Lord (my exhortation for married readers is the same!). I met my husband later in life and in my single years, I learned how to have hot dates with Jesus.
Because of those times with the Lord, I entered marriage without expecting my husband to complete me. I’d reached a place where I was content for it to be me and Him for the rest of my earthly days. Through my encounters with the Lord, and learning how to be unveiled before Him and with Him, I have grown the confidence to be vulnerable with my husband and to pour out grace as I see my husband unmasked, as well.
I still spend time with the Lord and am learning how to seek Him together with my husband. I recognize the health of all of my interactions is directly impacted by my walk with the Lord.
The Lord created marriage as a reflection of the relationship we can have with Him. Imperfect humans will never build perfect marriages, although we can strive for strong, faithful relationships! However, the Lord, in His perfection, carries the weight of our covenant relationships with Him and invites us to know and be known by Him.
Regardless of our marital statuses, let’s each draw close to the Lord and risk being unmasked before Him. The love, passion, and connection experienced within His boundless love is well worth being seen.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!