Certainly with every marriage comes a learning curve.
For some it is steeper than others. But every marriage will test your staying power; it will test your endurance and loyalty.
My husband often recalls a conversation he had with my dad the week before we were married. My dad said to him, “There is nothing like marriage to show you just how deeply selfish you are.”
That statement has stayed with me and I, too, have recalled it hundreds of times in the 7 1/2 years we’ve been married.
The truth has proved so powerfully true time and time again, as I have seen the absolute depth of my selfishness and need to change.
I was once again reminded of my utter self-centered nature as I read The Unveiled Wife by Jennifer Smith.
While some of her experiences were different than mine, many of the personal struggles she faced in marriage reflected my own.
I related to her in many ways: from her passion for missions to her struggles with insecurity, unmet expectations and quest for perfection.
In The Unveiled Wife, Jennifer pulls back the curtain on her life to reveal a 4-year long struggle with intimacy that threatened to destroy her marriage.
While the answer to her inability to be fully intimate with her husband was a simple solution linked to a chemical that upset her endocrine system, I fully appreciated the fact that she chose not to make that the answer to their problem. Instead, she clearly linked the ultimate solution to her relationship with Jesus Christ and learning to live an “unveiled” life with the Father.
She says, “A huge contributing factor to the sin I allowed into my life was believing that my happiness was a priority and that I should do everything in my ability to chase after it.”
I was utterly struck by the truth in that statement because it is a message we are fed every single day: “Your happiness is your ultimate goal. Do what makes you happy.”
In the end, rather than chasing what she thought would make her happy, she and her husband Aaron chose to fight for their marriage.
The Lord set them both free from the bondage that kept them from enjoying true intimacy and the closeness God designed for a husband and wife.
In her book, Jennifer Smith repeatedly refers to her veil, using the analogy of a bride being “unveiled” by her groom – signaling that act of them becoming man and wife and soon becoming one flesh. This analogy extends into her deepest inner thoughts and emotions and even on a spiritual level with God as time and again she illustrates how she chose to keep her parts of her life hidden away for fear that she’d be rejected…once again.
In the end, she shares how by unveiling her heart to her husband and God, she was finally able to give and receive the love she so desperately needed.
This book is a must-read for every woman who struggles with intimacy issues in marriage. Jennifer Smith is frank about her struggles and at the end of her book offers sound advice to intimacy issues – both emotional and physical.
Ending each chapter with a section called, “Behind the Veil”, this book couples both as a book and a study guide, allowing the reader to dig deep in every chapter to uncover the answer to any struggles she may be facing in her own marriage.