The Truth doesn’t Hurt - Sin Does
I love singing along to the radio. I’m that person who sings along to the radio in my car as I putter about town, to the music in spin class while I sweat and to the overhead tunes at the department store while I shop. Sometimes I hum and sing quietly under my breath and sometimes I sing obnoxiously loud! But as I’m singing, I often stumble over the words, pausing because the lyrics are often just not true. So, I may sing along, but in my head, I mentally challenge the artist who is singing the lies.
One of these lyrics that I find myself challenging is that the “truth hurts.” Over 2,500 songs include these words, yet they are categorically untrue. I think people have gotten the message confused. So let me set the record straight and offer a suggestion or two for how we can embrace truth without pain, especially in marriage 😊.
The truth does not hurt us, but rather it is the sting of sin that causes us pain.
In marriage it can sometime feel like the truth is the culprit, but truth is merely the vehicle used to confess sin. This confession of sin is common in a Gospel-saturated marriage. And in this safe environment, it is evident that it is the sin that hurts, not truth. Ideally, repentance and forgiveness follows the confession, and the healing of the hurt the sin caused then begins.
Because God is truth, any relationship that seeks to be right standing before God must have truth too!
“All your words are true, all your righteous laws are eternal (Psalms 119:160).”
In today’s society we are quick to push truth aside for a variety of reasons, like pride, convenience or self-protection, but we, as believers we must not push it aside. If we do not build a marriage and a home with truth as its foundation, it will surely crumble. Well intentioned friends may say, “Don’t burden your spouse with your truth, it will only hurt them.” O, they may say, “It is selfish to want to tell the truth if it hurts another, so that you feel good and your conscious is clear, and your spouse is left crushed.” Both are lies of convenience and are an excellent route for giving sin the upper hand in your relationship. Instead, let’s take away sin’s power and bring all things into the light of God’s love and truth. Let’s practice forgiveness and restitution, and pursue a fully truthful life to rebuild trust and then enjoy the benefits of marriage.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:32).”
TELL THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH
Make it a matter of practice to tell the whole truth all the time. That means with as many details as you can recall. When your husband asks “How was your day?” Give him a concise but thorough accounting. Don’t skimp on the controversial details, but tell all. This seems awkward in the beginning but it will be comforting. When I share the details of my day with my husband and he later bumps into a mutual friend and she comments on a detail, my husband is pleased he can support or acknowledge the comment. It is also the quickest way to stop confusion or miscommunication.
And if trust has ever been broken, total truth is the only way to rebuild the relationship (Mending Broken Trust (https://wordwashedwife.com/blog/2018/1/28/mending-broken-trust?rq=trust).
We have made it a point to tell all important details about our lives when we are separated from each other so that Satan has no foot hold. This seems over the top but consider the following scenario:
Jody sees an old high school girlfriend and exchanges pleasantries at the grocery store. One of my friends sees Jody talking to an attractive woman about his age and asks me, “Who was Jody talking to at the store yesterday?” If Jody has not clued me into the details the perception will be as if Jody were hiding the encounter. My friend would either think ill of my husband or I would feel obligated to lie to protect his reputation, but resent having to do it. This situation would have been avoided if Jody explained his day fully, not as if he were being interrogated, but rather that I was his best friend and confidante and he desired me to be involved in the entirety of his day.
The above example may seem silly, but for couples who never share truthful details, this pattern wears on the trust in their marriage and puts an unnecessary strain on their friendship. The wife may feel unimportant and lonely. She is now more vulnerable for an affair as she seeks to truly share her life with another. A life of transparency is essential to a sturdy marriage!
As I have embraced telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth 😊 in my marriage I have found great comfort in not “hiding things” from my spouse. Even the things I know he will not be pleased with, like spending more on an item then we had budgeted, scratching the car or offending his Mother. This needs to be confessed and Jody needs to be given an opportunity to speak truth to me and forgive me, if needed. Jody finds great comfort in telling me the truth as well. We have proven to each other that we can forgive regardless of the offence as we both are determined to not give Satan or a lie a place to reside in our marriage. To be fully known and still loved and adored is one of the greatest gifts you can give your spouse (The Truth & the Lie https://wordwashedwife.com/blog/2018/2/27/the-truth-the-lies?rq=trust). This cannot happen without a reliance on truth and His will.
“The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy (Proverbs 12:22).”
TELL THE TRUTH IN LOVE, RECEIVE THE TRUTH IN LOVE
The truth without love is often too hard to bear, while love with no truth is a diabetic sentimentality. We need to operate in truth and love as we strive to follow Jesus’s example. Consider the story about Jesus and the woman at the well (John 4:7-26). Jesus knows she is living in sin. His first words are not of condemnation, but of love offering her “living water” and then correction, “Go call your husband, and come here.” Jesus knows she does not have a husband, but she has had 5 husbands. Jesus always seeks and speaks truth. Jesus was not worried about embarrassing her, He knew truth was the only way to peace and happiness. We should use this model with our spouse too. Truth and love are needed in equal quantities.
This new truth-filled life will require you to be emotionally vulnerable. If there is anything you have been holding back, you are only fooling yourself. Your spouse knows something is wrong and when not given the truth, Satan will fill your spouse’s mind with all kinds of lies/assumptions. Many spouses believe they are protecting their spouse’s feelings by being less than honest emotionally, but this is not true. Trust your spouse to love you and understand how you feel about conflicts or situations that arise in your marriage. If you like or dislike something, be honest. Tell your spouse the truth. The bedroom is one of the places women often are hiding their true feelings. We need to be confident in our spouses love to tell them the things that work and do not work for us there. A culture of truth has no rooms that are off limits. If God and His truths are the foundation of your marriage, why fill any of the rooms with lies. Worth pondering, huh?
Allow your spouse the opportunity to truly know you and offer back their love. That is how your marriage will truly reflect the Gospel and can then be used as the foundation for your sanctification. A Gospel-saturated marriage that is built on truth is God’s desire for each of us. In that beautiful safety net the Holy Spirit can do His work of sanctification and God can use your marriage for His glory.
Dwell in truth and stay washed in the word, my friend!
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of Grace and truth (John 1:14).”
My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ the solid rock, I stand;
all other ground is sinking sand,
all other ground is sinking sand.