Being Honest With Our Spouse
August 21, 2021
Ephesians 4:25, NIV
“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”
What do you think about when you hear the word honesty? I believe that for most people we will immediately think about telling the truth rather than telling a lie. When a person is an honest person, it means that person is a person who can be trusted. In order to truly trust a person, you must be able to believe that what is being spoken from their mouth will line up with their actions and also with reality. It would seem that as people get closer to each other the level of honesty and trust should grow. There is no other relationship in which this should be more true than in the relationship between a husband and a wife. As time moves forward and a husband and wife do life together they should each and everyday go to a deeper level of trust and honesty with each other. But far to often, this relationship is one in which the opposite occurs.
Why is it that we see so many marriages today in which there is a complete lack of trust and honesty? There is no secret that we are at a point in our society in which more than half of all marriages end in separation. And, if you were to be in a position to see the deep reasons behind all of these separations, I believe that one of the fundamental reasons they occur is because the husband and wife could not trust each other. How sad this is! Instead of trusting each other they have come to a place of distrust. How does this occur and why does it happen? In my own personal experience, I see two primary reasons why people are dishonest to each other, even to their own husband and wife. These are selfishness and fear.
When people lie out of selfishness, the are lying because they want something. They are considering their own benefit and their own gain. They are considering their own feelings and their own situation. A person who lies out of selfishness is a person who at the core is seeking to manipulate the outcome of a situation so that they can maximize their own gain and satisfaction. Rather than trusting in the Lord to satisfy them and supply their needs, they feel that they need to take action to try and control the outcome. This is so prevalent in marriages. It occurs when a husband or a wife knows what they want from their spouse and intentionally change, embellish, exaggerate, or hide the details of a situation in order to generate the response that they want from their spouse.
When people lie out of fear, it is not done so that they can gain something, rather it is done because they do not want to lose something that they already have. The actual actions and behaviors will be very similar to those of lying due to selfishness, but the motivation behind it is different. It is no more or less destructive and the hurt that is caused is equally as intense.
How is it then that a marriage can actually survive given these tendencies and challenges? The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:25 that we are to stop saying false things and instead begin to speak the truth. The way that overcome lies is by telling the truth! When we feel sad, when we feel hurt, when we feel happy, when we feel angry, we must be willing to be honest with each other. When we don’t like something, we must not be afraid to tell our spouse. When we do like something we must willing to share that with our spouse as well. The moment that we begin to withhold any part of ourselves from our spouse is the moment that we start invite distrust into the marriage relationship.
So, what does this mean then for those of us who are married? My challenge for you today is this…. ask yourself today, am I truthful with my spouse? Is there any area in which I am dishonest with my spouse because of selfishness or fear? Is there anything that I need to tell the truth about and admit to my spouse? After asking yourself these questions and being honest with yourself, seek the Lord and then take the action that you know you should take.