tell or not to tell or how much to tell... these are the big
questions in the recovery world. Should you tell your spouse when you
struggle sexually? For so long, it's been an unwritten rule that men
should not tell their wife if they have sexual struggles. That we are
too fragile and that it won't benefit us to know. That it's just
between the man and God. Most encourage men to talk to a male
accountability partner so as to spare the feelings of the wife.
But my husband and I both disagree with that. While we agree that having male accountability and support is important, we also believe that accountability with your wife is essential to a healthy marriage. We believe that keeping secrets from your spouse is actually a selfish act in hopes to spare yourself the embarrassment of confession and the hard-work of rebuilding trust. When you've sinned against your spouse, it's much easier not to tell. To swear in the dark corners of your heart to never do that “thing” again, and to consider it as doing your spouse a favor. But the truth is that keeping secrets is selfish, it breeds mistrust, and it only leads to more secrecy. When you keep secrets from your spouse, you don't have their best interest at heart, but rather your own.
can't tell you how often I have heard wives say, “The lies hurt
more than the porn” or “If only he had the courage to come to me
and tell me, maybe I could have helped him” or “Yes, I would have
been hurt but not nearly as much as I am now after years and years of
secrets and lies.” And on and on. Why?
secrecy is betrayal. When you choose to marry, the Bible says that
you become one
flesh and that your
body is no longer your own but your spouse's. So when you you
entertain lustful thoughts, sexual fantasy, masturbation,
pornography, adultery, and the like, you have not only sinned against
your God but your spouse too. The bible is clear that we should
confess our sins to God but it also clearly states,
your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be
The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working”
(James 5:16). If you violate the trust between you and your spouse,
they deserve the opportunity to pray for you, forgive you, and find
is good for the soul. It benefits both the one confessing and the one
hearing. When you confess, it should leave
no doubt as to the scope of sin you've committed.
You won't want to use gory details that elicit morbid thoughts in
your spouse, but you don't want to be too general or non-specific
either. Your spouse needs to know what he or she's dealing with.
Avoiding confession only covers up the virtue of honesty and will
leave your spouse wondering what else she doesn't know.
the hearer, your response should be one of mercy. As Christians, God
has poured His grace and mercy on us though we are wretched sinners.
And our goal should be to react to confession with the attitude of
Christ. To offer tender mercies and forgiveness. Is that always the
case? Unfortunately, no. Actually the opposite is usually true. At
first. But ultimately
our goal should be to find forgiveness with each other, with
confession as the catalyst towards healing.
Tags: secrets lies struggles confessions sin confessing to each other truth trust james 5:16
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