Recently I shared with my wife that I was emotionally fatigued and discouraged. A part of me wanted to keep that to myself and “be strong”, but I needed someone to talk with about it. And she is my best friend.
A close relationship requires transparency.
We see this principle in Moses’ relationship with God. Theirs was a special relationship. The Bible says that when God communed with him it was “as a man speaketh to his friend”.
What does that mean?
The text gives us a clue – “…the LORD talked with Moses…and the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” (Exodus 33:9, 11)
They spoke “face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend”. Face to face. This carries the idea of a conversation that involves time and the unveiling of personal information.
The same idea is again mentioned after Moses’ death – “And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face”. (Deuterononomy 34:10) He knew the Lord and they spoke as close friends, transparently and intimately.
Close friends are transparent with one another. There is a freedom to speak, an openness, and a liberty that is not shared within other relationships.
- This is a willingness to let the guard down and to risk fear, rejection, and misunderstanding. Yet, this is where the gold is, where the depth of a relationship begins.
Someone said that intimacy is “into me you see”. Nothing hidden and based on trust. When violated, betrayal and disloyalty hurts like nothing else. It’s a sacred thing to allow someone into your heart.
- It speaks of sincerity and genuineness.
It’s a joy to be able to spend time with someone that is just real. But it’s disarming because it is so rare. When we find such a person we connect with them and want to know them better.
One of my favorite words for someone like this is that they are “simple”. My father had a simplicity about the way he lived. So did my childhood friend, David Pogue. That’s why I miss them so much. No agenda; just real.
- It involves a trust of personal weaknesses, personal aspirations and hopes.
It’s an unusual conversation to share personal fears, regrets, and dreams. One that must be earned over time.
Dreams are fragile and can be destroyed by the wrong comment by the right person. When our fears are mocked or not taken seriously we don’t open up to that person again. When our regrets and past pains are shared without our permission we will never trust that person with our heart again.
Secrets bind a person and we should be careful who we share them with. That’s one reason adultery happens. Before there is a physical connection, there is an emotional connection. A forbidden emotional intimacy leads to sexual sin.
It’s true, a close relationship requires transparency.
Jesus said so – “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” (John 15:15)
Adam Clarke commented on this verse, “I have admitted you into a state of the most intimate fellowship with myself; and have made known unto you whatsoever I have heard from the Father…”
A healthy marriage is made of friends; two people able to reveal their innermost hearts. Friends don’t require that we “be OK” all of the time. They can listen and still love us, even when we are not at our best.
“A friend is one to whom one may pour out the contents of one’s heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that gentle hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away”. (George Eliot)
If you want to enjoy a close relationship in marriage then you must learn to bare your heart and trust it with your best friend, your husband or wife.