We were created for relationship. Thankfully, that involves kissing my wife.
The first kiss was nerve racking. Either she was going to kiss me back and validate my feelings for her or she was going to pull back and crush my vulnerable heart. It was a risk, but I couldn’t maintain the status quo and it seemed like the quickest way to get some answers.
You and I are most vulnerable when we attempt to strengthen our relationships with one another. We reveal our true self to either experience great joy just as much as we risk disappointment and frustration.
It’s a two way street. If we want real love and connection then we have to face rejection. Many times we fear disconnection because feelings of shame and worthlessness skew our thinking. In reality that is a lie that says it’s better to maintain what we have then to risk being hurt. “Maintaining vulnerabilities is risky, but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experience that make us the most vulnerable.” – Brene Brown
The perfect example of vulnerability is God the Father. He created us full of purpose and value with the intent of relationship. However, He allows us to make our own decision to reciprocate His love for us. We can come to Him in any condition – mentally, physically and spiritually – and He will always return our heart and affection for Him. “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Eph 2:4-5)
He models for us the proper response to vulnerability by allowing love to overcome where we have fallen short. His response to us is always love. Never will we be at risk of feeling shame for our sin or worthlessness for our previous rejection of Him. As we are vulnerable with Him, he restores and “fills you with all joy and peace so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Our ability to experience God and relationship with others can’t be done while hiding. There is so much more access and depth in our relationships given the opportunity to expand and grow. As we embrace vulnerability we must also embrace and extend others love. Just as God responds in love we need to respond in love when others are vulnerable with us. In those moments we will learn to listen and become givers / receivers of forgiveness and encouragement. Let’s not limit ourselves and commit to vulnerability as a foundation of relationship with God and one another.