What do you think is holding you back from experiencing true intimacy and fulfillment in your relationships? Is it a lack of time? Unwillingness on the part of the other person? Miscommunication or misunderstanding? An unwillingness to forgive?
What if your desire to demonstrate your strength may be holding you back from intimacy and closeness in your relationships? What if the disconnect between you and a real relationship is a lack of courage to be vulnerable and authentic with others?
In 2 Corinthians 6:11-13, Paul says, “We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also.”
Paul pointed out to the Corinthians that the difficulty with their relationship was that they were not lowering the protective wall they had constructed around their hearts. Paul spoke very plainly to the Corinthians and said things they didn’t want to receive – truth that hurt their “affections” for the world and their own comfort. But they wouldn’t be honest with him about how they were feeling and struggling. They built a wall of protection around their hearts and would not be vulnerable and authentic with Paul. This was hurting their relationship.
Meditate on these questions in the graphic today and ask God to reveal how becoming more courageous in your pursuit of authenticity and vulnerability will help you reach increased levels of intimacy in your relationships with others.