Ever struggle to be open and transparent to your mate about a mistake you’ve made or a troubling thought or feeling you’ve had? So you hide it or stuff it, and try to go on with life as usual.
Where do we get the idea that this is ever a good thing?
After all, the Bible gives one account of someone being struck dead for telling lies (see Acts 5:3-5). Although, this couple tried to deceive the church regarding a gift given in God’s name. We don’t have to wonder how much deception grieves God when we do it!
Sadly, I learned from my mother’s marriage the secret to keeping secrets.
Now my mom did not keep BIG secrets from my dad per se. Her’s were about hiding shopping sprees, not lovers or other more despicable matters.
She did this because my dad was a REAL penny-pincher. My mom feared the conflict that might follow if she disclosed her many purchases to him.
I can remember quite a few times helping her to sneak in bags—some of which contained clothes she bought me. Aren’t moms great?! 😉
So it just became natural for me to keep secrets about things that might cause conflicts with my hubby. After all, I hated conflict! Really, I was doing my hubby a favor, right?!
What I was actually doing was delaying and making much worse the conflict to come.
Secrets in marriage sour intimacy, understanding, and TRUST.
Why is transparency so hard?
It means …
- Facing uncomfortable and unflattering truths about ourselves.
- Letting our spouses have a say in what we are doing.
- Dealing with conflicts that seem to make matters worse.
- Opening up when our mate does not do likewise.
That last one makes transparency and honesty feel unfair—even unsafe. I’ll be addressing that in just a minute but, for now, let’s focus on …
5 Reasons Why We Need Transparency in Marriage (with the 5th one in my wrap up)
1. It brings healing.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. —James 5:16
Christ-followers are commanded to confess sins to each other. I believe this is especially true with our spouses, and is incredibly important if a marriage is in need of healing.
There are two parts of this healing process that make a whole—or make us “whole.” We must confess and then we must pray for each other. One without the other misses the mark.
This leads to the next reason why we need transparency in marriage …
2. So we can understand each other and relate better together.
If you don’t know what gets on your mate’s nerves, then you’ll most likely get on your mate’s nerves a LOT!
But if you’re willing to communicate your negative and/or hurt feelings, you allow your mate to peek inside your heart.
Of course, you MUST communicate your feelings with gentleness, love, and respect. Otherwise, you will be the one adding more damage to an already damaged situation.
Leading to the next reason …
3. We avoid building up resentments.
I used to let things build up in my heart because I thought I would sound like a nag if I shared these inner complaints.
Then I discovered that a nag is someone who nags. But by setting a boundary respectfully, I became a guardian, not a nag. Whenever I do this, I guard my marriage, my husband’s heart and my heart from being corrupted by bitterness.
That’s so much better than being a nag!
Then I discovered that a nag is someone who nags. Be a guardian of your marriage instead! #communication #marriage
4. It lets our mate’s come alongside us.
Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. —Proverbs 28:13
There’s one thing I’ve learned about being transparent with my husband—even when I’ve blown it …
His defenses are lowered, enabling him to extend mercy to me. This also gives him the opportunity to come alongside and help me. He even tends to be more understanding and compassionate about that area in my life moving forward.
Consider it this way …
When we aren’t open with our mates about our failures, we lose an opportunity to bond! #transparency
Now, I know there are spouses out there who will capitalize on the other spouse’s vulnerability, turning it into a liability. If that’s how your spouse has responded in the past, then you’re likely in a toxic relationship. You should immediately seek the help of a trustworthy counselor/biblical counselor, pastor, or Christian life-coach.
But if you’ve never humbly revealed a sin or failure with your mate, then test this out! I think you’ll probably see the same positive response that I see in my husband whenever I confess my sins to him.
The unfair part of being transparent in marriage relates to when our mates don’t respond in kind.
That has never been the case in my marriage. My husband Gary is not only an open book, he’s a book with a see-through cover and clear pages! A topic that I’ll be addressing next week—you must not express every thought, even if it’s how you truly feel!
So, what if your mate has made a habit of lying?
Let’s take it one step further. What if your mate has betrayed you through an affair with an actual person or with an air-brushed vixen found in a centerfold?
What then? Shouldn’t you hold back on being honest?
The short answer is no.
And the answer is revealed in reason number 5 …
5. It builds trust.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. —Ephesians 4:25
There’s no condition mentioned in this verse. Falsehood is always to be avoided.
If you’ve been lied to over and over, you need to guard your marriage by leading out with the truth. You need to be the bigger, better person by modeling honesty in all respects.
If you are the one doing the lying, then you need to get busy building a foundation of trust with your spouse as soon as “yesterday!”
Come clean about every secret, lie, and fudge you’ve fed your husband or wife. Oh, and that fudge is not the kind of fudge your spouse EVER wants to taste!
Seek God’s help to humbly confess and apologize for every way you’ve lied to or deceived your spouse. Then be a transparent book about EVERY detail moving forward. Your partner deserves nothing less.
Nowadays, my husband and I have proven ourselves to be trustworthy with each other. But as you know, I was not trustworthy or completely honest at the beginning of my marriage.
My hiding of little snippets of information about what I might have bought (like my mom) turned into keeping bigger and bigger secrets from my hubby.
Remember: once you let deception enter into your marriage, it becomes a slippery slope that leads to worse and worse indiscretions.
I tell you no lie—this will be the death of your marriage!
Ready for the freedom and closeness that being transparent in marriage can bring? Any disappointment your husband or wife might feel in what you reveal will quickly be replaced with a deeper bond of trust and appreciation!
Which of the 5 reasons to be transparent is most motivating to you?
What is one way you’ve given in to the temptation to withhold the truth from your spouse?
Here are some lovely linkups I join – Remember Me Monday, Legacy Linkup, Inspire Me Monday, Purposeful Faith, Tell His Story, InstaEncouragements Linkup, Recharge Wednesday, Worth Beyond Rubies Wednesday, Tune in Thursday, Heart Encouragement, Grace and Truth, and Faith on Fire Friday.
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