This is one thing we as human beings find difficult to do, being our true selves. The topic of Vulnerability has been an interesting one to write about. And with the survey responses as a Christian, it's kind of sad.
What is Vulnerability in a relationship?
Being vulnerable in a relationship means allowing your partner to know you fully: your thoughts, feelings, challenges, weaknesses. It can be scary to show those sides to our partners out of fear of being judged.
I found it very hard to be vulnerable with fellow Christians, I probably had a few people I would be open with but no one knew my true self, knew my thoughts, feelings, challenges etc. Sometime last year my small circle of friends whom I had known for my entire stay in China started to become vulnerable for the first time, and it made us closer. There was no room to be judged and a safe space was created for us to share.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].
James 5:16 AMP
To this day we can openly talk about the struggles we face and it has helped me practice how to be vulnerable. We need to understand that you cannot be vulnerable with just anyone, unfortunately, we have Christians who are very critical about so many things. I believe that we have to pray about who we give out information to.
The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
I am using friendship as an example because once you view your partner as your friend opening up and being vulnerable won't be difficult. There's nothing better than feeling totally loved and accepted by someone, and the more your partner gets to know the real you, the more they'll be able to accept you. The whole point of being vulnerable is to have your partner pray for you, encourage you and help you become a better person.
As iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens [and influences] another [through discussion].
Proverbs 27:17 AMP
Figuring out why you're having a hard time opening up about certain things is easier said than done, and can be a lengthy process. Before you talk to your partner about something difficult, it's important to find the right words within yourself first. Deciding to start opening up in your relationship doesn't have to be a huge production right off the bat; instead, start by taking baby steps and being more vulnerable when it comes to the little things first. Remember it's reciprocal if your partner isn't doing the same then you have to ask yourself the tough questions.
Two are better than one because they have a more satisfying return for their labor; for if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and does not have another to lift him up.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 AMP
Everyone opens up at their own pace, and it's OK if it takes you a little extra time. Nevertheless, it's important to be able to communicate your fears and worries about opening up to your partner. It's not always easy to ask for what you need in a relationship, but if you plan to open up to your partner — particularly about something difficult — it's good, to be honest about what you need or want from them after you open up. While your relationship should always feel like a safe space to open up, you should still consider the timing before you talk about something important; don't carelessly bring the topic up while one of you is doing the dishes or reading a book, for example. Try to find a quiet place where you can both have an honest conversation.
Remember vulnerability requires a certain level of trust and if you cannot trust that, the information you share stays with your partner then you have to reconsider whether you should be in a relationship with that person or not.
Thanks for reading and God bless you. Below are some responses from the survey.