Build a Marriage Marked by Honesty
By: Betsy St. Amant Haddox
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight. - Proverbs 12:22 (ESV)
Marriage can often feel like a minefield—or at best, a delicate balancing act on a tight rope. If we lean too far in the “tell our spouse everything” direction, we lose our balance. After all, they don’t need to know every move we make all day long. But if we lean too far in the “don’t tell our spouse anything” direction, we also risk falling.
This is the tightrope where lies become increasingly burdensome. It might help to remember that lies of omission are still lies and “little white lies,” are still lies. The Bible couldn’t be clearer on its command to be honest. Proverbs 12 points out that lying is an abomination to the Lord. And 1 Peter is clear on the benefits that come with being honest.
1 Peter 3:10 (ESV) Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.
Good days come from telling the truth—including telling the truth to our spouses. This is a requirement of believers—but certainly not an easy one. If it was, we wouldn’t have Psalms like Psalm 120.
Psalm 120:2 (ESV) Deliver me, O Lord, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue. Even the Bible heroes of old struggled with lies—including King David. The point isn’t to dwell on the fact that we’re tempted or to beat ourselves up when we fail, but to make strides toward being honest in all things with our spouse.
Areas in Marriage Where Subtle Lies Sneak In
You might be thinking this isn’t an area in which you struggle. You might think you have no problem being honest with your spouse. But what about in the more subtle areas? What about in being honest with things that make you look bad or weak? Things such as admitting to rough days, anxiety struggles, spiritual warfare attacks, etc.
Sometimes we’re guilty of withholding information from our spouse in fear that they might look down on us or judge us. We then tend to muscle through on our own in order not to wobble on the pedestal we hope they have us standing on. This is understandable, but detrimental to intimacy in marriage. Next time you feel the temptation to hide from your spouse, risk being vulnerable. Ask for prayer. Take the opportunity to grow together in trust.
When the Stakes Get Bigger
There are occasionally bigger things that come up that we need to be honest with our spouse about, too. Things such as lust. Did you fall to the temptation of pornography? Did you lust after the deliveryman at work? Does a person at the gym keep catching your eye? Tell your spouse! Bring that sin into the light before your husband or wife so you can kill it together.
Did you spend more money than you agreed to? Own up to it. Did you break a diet you were on together and try to hide the candy bar wrapper in the outside trash can? ‘Fess up. Lies feed upon lies, so if you start telling the truth immediately, you won’t get tangled up in out-of-control vines.
Honesty is always the best policy, even when it hurts. The darkness can’t strive in the light, and nothing shines brighter than telling the truth. Take 1 Peter 3:10 to heart, and aim for the good days together!
Betsy St. Amant Haddox is the author of over sixteen inspirational romance novels and novellas. She resides in north Louisiana with her drummer of a hubby, two story-telling young daughters, a collection of Austen novels, and an impressive stash of pickle chips. Betsy has a B.A. in Communications and a deep-rooted passion for seeing women restored in Christ. When she's not composing her next book or trying to prove unicorns are real, Betsy can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white-chocolate mocha. Visit her and see a list of books at http://www.betsystamant.com./
It's time we get real about marriage & relationships! Join marriage coach, Dana Che, as she and her guests deliver witty, inspirational, real relationship talk from a faith-based perspective. New episodes of the Real Relationship Talk Podcast drop every Tuesday.