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Saturday, April 9, 2011
You’ve heard the idiom, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you” or similarly, “Ignorance is bliss.”

When it comes to your spouse, these little pearls of wisdom are completely wrong!

I’ve alluded in my last few posts, “Living Deeper” and “Choose the Good Stuff,” to how important it is to really KNOW your husband or wife. As Kate at One Flesh Marriage recently posted, and as I’ve said here frequently intimacy is really about being known completely (and I add being loved and accepted unconditionally). If you want intimacy in your marriage, you have to really know your spouse.

How much do you invest in truly knowing your spouse?

I would venture to say that no other endeavor is as critical to marital bliss as knowing your spouse at the deepest level possible.

The limits of that word “know” is a little like our paltry English translation of the word “love.” In biblical Greek there are actually several different words for love, which paint a vastly deeper and more colorful picture of love than our common and deflated English definition, which is mostly akin to a kind of fleeting infatuation. But I digress - that’s another post for another day.

How do you know?

There are probably a dozen different Greek words I could apply to this topic of knowing your spouse (and apply equally, incidentally, to our knowing God), but I’m going to just pick one for today’s post.

Ginosko is one of the more common Greek terms we translate to mean know. It means more than mere head knowledge, but implies a kind of experiential understanding. The Jews even used this word as an idiom for sex (now that is real knowing!).

How do you come to Ginosko your wife or husband? It comes mostly through the continual investment of time and attention; by making a daily conscious choice to put your spouse first in your consideration. I’ll point you to another Greek word, Epistamai, means “to put one's attention on, fix one's thoughts on, to turn one's self or one's mind to, put one's thought upon a thing.”

Here are a few questions to jog your thinking:
  • How often do you consider your spouse’s feelings or preferences in the hundreds of little daily decisions you make?
  • How often do you ask questions to get at the “why” behind something your spouse thinks or feels?
  • How often do you and your spouse dream out loud together about your future?
  • How much of your conversations are consumed with your schedules, plans and to-do lists?
  • How often do you discuss your spiritual life and examine together what God is doing in your lives, your home, your kids, or your marriage?
  • Do you find yourselves mostly talking about problems or do you spend equal time talking about the good things that are happening and being thankful for your marriage and spouse?
  • Do you allow your spouse to change and grow and does your knowledge of them change and grow along with them, or do you have the “in a box” and assume you already know them as well as you can?
Truthfully, we don’t want to settle just for Ginosko. Instead let’s go for Epiginosko – “to become thoroughly acquainted with, to know thoroughly, to know accurately, know well.” This is the word Paul used in his Ephesians 1 apostolic prayer:
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
Eph 1:17 (NIV)

Wisdom and Revelation!  What an outstanding way to pray for your marriage!

And this leads me to my next post, in which I’ll examine the role of the Holy Spirit in helping you know your spouse beyond what you see and experience in the natural.


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