Everyone is so untrue
Honesty is hardly ever heard
And mostly what I need from you.”
~ Billy Joel
Bjorn dreaded walking in the door. He knew Megan’s questions would come quickly because she no longer trusted him. Would Bjorn answer them truthfully this time? How could he? Bjorn paused as he put his hand on the door. He knew how hurt Megan would be.
It’s not like he lied to her intentionally. He just didn’t tell her about this struggle. Yet, he couldn’t hide it any longer and knew it was time to come clean. What would she do? He’d promised himself he wouldn’t visit porn sites ever again, but he did. And this time, he watched a pay-per-view video before he realized what had happened.
Honesty. We all desire it from others but struggle to give it.
Proverbs 11 tells us that honesty guides good people. Those who desire to walk in God’s ways live by honesty and wisdom.
Bjorn and Megan aren’t unusual. Many of us justify keeping certain things from our spouse if we’re honest. Sometimes we believe we protect their feelings, or it’s none of their business. Other times maturity tells us not to say the first thing that pops into our heads. But when we intentionally withhold information from a spouse because it’s embarrassing, paints us in a bad light, or might provoke a difficult discussion, I believe it’s time to evaluate our motives.
How does practicing honesty protect your marriage?
1. Builds trust. Withholding information from your spouse can cause them to wonder if they can trust anything you tell them. You earn trust by repetitive small actions such as keeping your promises, doing what you said you’d do when you said you’d do it, and not sugar-coating a story to make you look good. Truth-filled words please God and build trust with others.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
2. Creates a healthy relationship. The most profound relationship we have is with our spouse. They are the ones we desire to hold our hearts tenderly and carefully, to allow us to be ourselves. A healthy relationship needs honesty to provide a safe place to be who we are. It’s supposed to be the one place we can remove the mask we often show to others. When we practice honesty first with ourselves and then with our spouse, we increase our intimacy and allow our spouse to share our dreams, hurts, desires, and goals.
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. Ephesians 4:2-3
3. Increases intimacy. Without honesty which builds trust, you cannot have true intimacy. In his book Cherish, Gary Thomas says, “Every time a wife or husband looks at their spouse to share a moment and sees their lover preoccupied with someone or something else, it feels like they’ve taken a relational ice bucket over the head. It kills intimacy.” The more we spend time studying our spouses, learning their likes and dislikes, and giving them our attention and adoration, the deeper we increase intimacy.
My lover is mine, and I am his. Song of Solomon 2:16a
4. Gives honor. Dr. John Gottman says, “Without honor, all the marriage skills one can learn won’t work.” Thomas reminds us, “A key principle to honoring your spouse is understanding that the person being honored gets to determine how they want to be honored.” I feel honored when my husband tells me the truth, even when it might not be pleasant, and carefully guards my heart. In our porn-saturated society, honoring each other through sexual purity matters. We do this by understanding each other’s sexual needs.
Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex. Hebrews 13:4
Take a look at your marriage relationship. How well are you practicing honesty?
Bjorn and Megan can bring honesty into their marriage if they choose. However, it takes working through the broken trust and mess they’ve created. You can do the same thing. Evaluate how honest you are with yourself first. Where do you need to come clean with you? Do your words and actions match up?
Healing relationship wounds starts with you.
If you need some help, please reach out. I promise to listen without judgment, speak the truth with love, and guide you to discovering your new future. Let’s talk.