We’ve all kept them.
If you have never told a little white lie disguised as a secret, you are one in a million. We sometimes do it to keep peace. Or maybe the truth really doesn’t matter that much anyway. It’s just not necessary. At least that’s what we tell ourselves. What they don’t know, won’t hurt them. Right?
You see, that’s how it all starts. Maybe you have a little secret that you need to keep from your spouse. You spent money you didn’t have, or you really weren’t working late - you were with a friend. Maybe you were on social media or watching TV longer than you admitted, or possibly someone at work is showing interest in you - the wrong kind of interest.
We can all “word” our answers in order to sidestep an actual lie. I learned that before middle school! Actually, we aren’t lying at all. They just didn’t ask the right questions. Do you see the transition from secrets to lying? That’s what secrets lead to. And once the white lies start, it’s hard to slow them down. Eventually, they can grow into a whirlwind of deception that will turn your marriage into one dangerous storm.
“A lie is a lie. No matter how white or little it is.”
If keeping secrets, and telling “little white lies” is a natural part of your marriage relationship, you’ve come to the right place. Most of us have fallen for Satan’s schemes at some time in our marriage. Maybe for just a season, or maybe for way too long. Regardless, we want to encourage you to get a handle on this now, before it takes you down a stormy path!
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” Proverbs 18:21 (ESV)
“Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue is but for a moment.” Proverbs 12:19
Four reasons lying does not work in marriage.
(Because secrets always seem to turn into lies, we will move straight to the issue of dishonesty in marriage.)
Those little white lies begin to grow like weeds! How do we get out of a lie? We tell another, and then another. At the moment it seems easier than confessing the first lie. But at some point, the truth must be told, because…
The truth always comes out eventually! “...and be sure your sin will find you out.” Numbers 32:23b. It’s best to always speak with honesty. But if we have somewhere, somehow chosen deception, it will be best if our spouse hears the real story from us, instead of hearing the facts elsewhere. Why?
Deception dishonors our spouse, resulting in distrust and dissatisfaction. Believe us, nothing good comes from dishonesty. No one feels safe around someone they cannot trust. No friendship can thrive under those conditions, and certainly not a marriage. It is devastating and humiliating to hear truths outside of our marriage that are about our marriage.
Secrets and lies are from Satan. John 8:44 tells us that he is a liar, and the father of lies. We must never forget who our opponent is! We cannot battle him alone. We need God, however, God does not bless deceitfulness. The more secrets and lies told, the more dangerous the storm that brews. In order to obtain God’s wisdom and guidance when we fall, we must repent and speak truthfully.
Three reasons honesty works in marriage.
Honesty honors our spouse. We all desire value, especially from our spouse. When we are honest, especially with tough subjects, we honor one another. We build trust which strengthens our relationship. However, always remember to season truth with grace and love. Never be unkind or harsh - love values and protects.
God blesses honesty. “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.” Proverbs 12:22 We need God in our marriages! Our relationships will thrive if we are obedient. Those lies that give temporary pleasure do not hold a light to the joy and peace we will experience by following God’s plan.
Truth destroys Satan’s power. The enemy thrives on secrets and dishonesty, building a wedge between spouses. As soon as there is honesty, he loses all power. He cannot control us when we choose God and our spouse. Believe us, it’s as if a hundred-pound weight is lifted from your shoulders when speaking the truth in love.
We encourage you to start today extinguishing the power Satan has in your marriage through secrets and lies. Pray for God to give you strength and wisdom as you choose honesty and honor with your spouse. We serve a merciful God. He will walk with you and teach you as you pray and study His Word.
“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Proverbs 28:13 (NIV)
Seeking the Word,
Marriage by the Word