July 17, 2022

Speaking Up to Experience Greater Intimacy

Written by Shana Schutte

God calls us to honesty in one-on-one relationships and in community with one another.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 17, 2022

There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18

Every week, I work with single women who are over thirty and are interested in marrying. I have the joyous honor of helping them work through the internal—and external—obstacles that are holding them back from experiencing the love they desire. 

This week, I coached a delightful woman who was unfortunately in an abusive marriage for years. Because of the trauma she experienced, she lost her voice. Instead of sharing her heart, thoughts, and opinions, she learned to shut down. Keep the peace. Don’t speak up. It’s safer that way. 

Now that she wants a relationship, she finds herself doing the same whenever even a small conflict arises with a man in her life. Perhaps he unintentionally says something that hurts her. He has no idea how he has made her feel. When she is emotionally triggered, she shuts down like she has always done. Don’t speak up. It’s safer that way. 

When we spoke, I said, “I imagine that one of your biggest needs is to feel emotionally safe.” She nodded her head adamantly. “Yes, yes,” she said. 

This got me thinking about intimacy and how true intimacy and feelings of emotional safety cannot grow where truth does not live. If we are hiding, shutting down, or keeping our opinions to ourselves, there can be no true connectedness one-on-one or even in larger community.

“If you always shut down and you don’t use your voice to share how you feel, you will never feel emotionally safe.” I told her. “You will never experience the relational intimacy you desire. Conflict always comes up in every relationship and you will never find out if the man you are seeing wants to meet your emotional needs if you don’t speak up. You will automatically become suspicious of his actions and words and feel hurt by them. Therefore, you won’t give him an opportunity to change what has hurt you, to apologize, or to ask for forgiveness. Then you will begin building a case against him about how he doesn’t care, which will sabotage the relationship.” 

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

God calls us to honesty in one-on-one relationships and in community with one another. To relate to one another in a way that leads to true, deep, and growing love requires honesty. It means sharing your heart, opinions, and thoughts even when it’s difficult. It requires speaking up so that the devil cannot get a foothold.

Without walking in the truth, we are walking in the dark and when we are walking in the dark, then connectedness cannot happen, and love cannot grow. Hiding and emotionally shutting down gives the devil an opportunity to gain a foothold in our imaginations as we assign motives to others that may—or may not—be accurate. But speaking up gives us the opportunity to grow in love as two people seek to understand and serve one another. 

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).


Lord, please give me the courage to speak up when needed and share my true feelings. Help me to remember that keeping how I feel inside gives the devil an opportunity to take advantage of misunderstanding. Help me to press into problems with those close to me and in my spiritual community so that I can know what it means to love and be loved. Amen.


Do you need to go to someone today to resolve a conflict or misunderstanding or share your heart?

Related Reading

James 1:19-20; Psalm 15:2; Job 33:3

Worship Resource

Tahlia Masuka: Teaching the Truth in Love


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