There is a private side to life, as not everyone has the right or privilege to access every part of our story. But simply wishing things were private doesn’t keep it from having an impact on others. And many times we’ve fallen victim to an illusion of privacy – believing the lie that our private lives can hurt no one but ourselves.
To be sure, our lives are more interconnected than we often realize. And our actions, big and small, ripple throughout our communities – even when these waves are deep beneath the surface.
For instance, perhaps there are many thoughts we rightly keep private. But these private thoughts are still a reflection of our character and heart, which, in turn, shape every interaction we have with others. We cannot entertain dark or selfish thoughts and pretend no one will be harmed by them.
Likewise, marriage is much more than a private relationship between husband and wife. While there is a sacredness to this union and appropriate boundaries to keep others out of certain aspects, there’s still a strong public interest in the success of our marital union. And it’s a mistake to assume the decisions we make won’t affect anyone else.
This is likely easiest to see on the home front, as what we do behind closed doors, sexual or otherwise, still has an influence on our family life together. But we’re also embedded in the lives of those outside of the home as a couple. As such, our marriage is for others as well, and can serve as a blessing or a curse depending on how we show up.
Whatever it looks like, privacy doesn’t cut us off from our responsibility to others. And we must regularly consider how what we do in private still touches the lives of everyone else we’re in relationship with.
Respect the private places throughout your life and relationships. And remember it’s an illusion to believe this has no impact on the lives of others.