To Know and Be Known in Marriage
Why It’s Important to Know and Be Known
I served my classic spinach salad with feta cheese that I have been making for years and when I asked our guests if they wanted feta on their salad, my husband casually commented that he didn’t like feta cheese! After over a decade of marriage, I couldn’t believe I never knew that!
Although he really should have told me long ago, it is amazing that after all this time of knowing my spouse, I can still learn new things about him. In marriage, every day is a chance to know and be known at a deeper level.
Isn’t that the point of any love story–the pursuit and commitment to knowing and loving someone through thick and thin?
And isn’t that one of the deepest pain points in our marriage–when we don’t feel known in this most intimate of relationships?
We have all heard the phrase, “the honeymoon phase is over,” and we have all probably wondered at some point in our marriage story if that moment has arrived. Routines, ruts, busyness, kids, stress and so many things can seemingly drown out the spark that we once had.
The problem is that many times we try to recreate the past, romanticizing what life was like before kids, before bills, before fill-in-the-blank, instead of seeing every new stage of our married life as an adventure to take on together. Maybe what we really need is a new perspective.
How to Know and Be Known
The truth is marriage gets better and better when you put the work into loving and knowing each other through every season. God has created us in such intricate ways that we could spend our entire life getting to know one another and never get bored.
Even in the most monotonous routines of our lives, there is depth to discover and fun to bring out of each other if we have the right perspective.
Just like an object in plain sight is often the hardest to find, sometimes we are so familiar with each other that we miss the details that are right in front of us. When was the last time you expressed admiration for one of your husband’s traits that you most love? When did you last tell him that you are proud of something he does? Be specific and be creative.
Many times we might think about these things, but we forget to say them. Taking those thoughts and turning them into audible words on a consistent basis conditions our heart to be more attentive and thus, changes our perspective!
The Reward of Knowing and Being Known
Although the newlywed stage had its fun, exciting moments, my husband and I would never exchange the depth of intimacy and friendship we now have for those early days. The challenges, adventures and even conflicts we have experienced have enriched the depth of our relationship, giving us a clearer perspective on the intimate friendship that we have.
No matter what we face, we have put work into knowing each other so that we can rely on each other’s strengths to get through hard things, as well as each other’s ridiculous quirks to help us laugh through life.
My husband and I are very aware that we are not perfect, but that we are completely loved despite our imperfections. Ultimately, that perspective is rooted in the love of God towards us. Fully known, and fully loved. We look forward to decades of discovering more about each other and in the process, understanding more of the deep love God has for us.
Wife Step: Make a list of things about your husband that you love and pick one thing to tell him every day until your list runs out. Then start a new list.
Joy was born and raised in Mexico, but fell in love with a Minnesota guy. More than a decade, many geographical locations, and four kids later, they are currently settled in the city of Minneapolis, MN. Together they love helping couples discover the incredible adventure marriage was intended to be. They have led many marriage small groups, ministries and retreats, but their favorite way to connect with other couples is by simply sharing life together. Although homeschooling, parenting and helping run their vacation rental take up most of her days, Joy is always finding ways to sneak in time for writing, reading, design and coffee with friends. You can find her posting on Instagram @joy.ballard or @theriverlodgemn. Photo credit: Woodford Sisters Photography