Honesty Really Is the Best Policy
By: Amanda Idleman
Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. - Colossians 3:9
Sometimes in married life, it’s easy to take honesty and openness for granted. We think if we aren’t living an outright lie but maybe just omitting just a few details then we are doing well. Sometimes, though, it’s the tiny lies that make the most impact over time.
For example, your spouse gets home and you find yourself a little on the grumpy side. Your spouse kindly asks how you are doing. Instead of sharing that your feeling overwhelmed by the days task-list and letting them share your burden, you just brush them off with a half-hearted, “I’m fine.” No big deal, right? You just don’t have the energy to really get into it with your spouse right now. You doubt they would be able to help anyway.
Many of us are guilty of this, but if we step back and really examine our approach, we can see we are shutting down honest and open communication in your marriage.
When you spouse inquires about your mood, it’s your chance to share the load with him or her! The (not-so) harmless “brush off” communicates they aren’t worth the effort to bring them into the nitty-gritty of your day. But who else is gonna be in the trenches with you if not your spouse? Those are the moments that marriages should be all about.
Other times it’s more than not wanting to communicate honestly; it’s just that life is so busy you don’t feel like you have the time to share openly. Busy work schedules, raising children, and community commitments can suck all the time out of your day. Freely sharing your feelings with your spouse may feel impossible just due to bad logistics. Who has time to honestly confess what’s on your heart when life is moving forward full speed ahead!
This is where godly marriages have to make intentional decisions about prioritizing their union over the busyness of life. Making choices that carve out time for each other is essential but truly a challenge in our modern lives! Think through your daily schedule and identify windows where you can commit to a five-minute check-in. Do you have time to enjoy a few sips of coffee and a heart-to-heart before you head out the door in the morning? Can you pull away to the couch for five minutes before dinner time? Is bedtime your best time to talk freely before turning on the TV and taking time to relax? Figure out how to be present for each other daily so you can ensure honest talk is happening between you.
What if your struggle with honesty is more obvious that failing to share your daily struggles? If you are harboring secrets from your spouse, you are inviting disaster into your future relationship. Honesty is always the best policy in marriage! If you know your lies will hurt your spouse, first pray and ask God to give you the words and them the heart to hear and forgive. Don’t be afraid to invite in a professional to help you work to rebuild trust in your union.
Take a moment to survey your relationship. How honest do you feel your interactions are with your spouse? If there is an area that needs improvement? If so, do as Paul instructs and strip off your old ways.
Begin to champion honest and open communication. Push yourself to go past the standard answer of “I’m fine” and really share what is on your heart. Take the effort to clear up any lies that need to be reconciled from the past. All these efforts will only grow you and the one you’ve chosen for life grow closer in the years to come!
Amanda Idleman is a wife, homeschooling Momma to three amazing kids and is passionate about encouraging others to live joyfully. Amanda also loves to write as a freelance writer and on her blog (when she finds a spare moment for it). You can find out more about Amanda at her blog rvahouseofjoy.wordpress.com or follow her on Instagram at rvahouseofjoy.
Related Resource: Listen to our new, FREE podcast on marriage: Team Us. The best marriages have a teamwork mentality. Find practical, realistic ideas for strengthening your marriage. Listen to all of our episodes for free on LifeAudio.com or in your favorite podcast app!