Great Marriages lead with the Truth
Truth is a rare commodity in our world. Our 8th mark of a great marriage recognizes the power of truth to build a great relationship.
Sadly in marriage, Truth is often sacrificed to achieve peace and comfort.
This is because Truth has a tendency to challenge our assumptions and beliefs. That can cause conflict.
Plus many of us are Pleasers and Avoiders, who struggle with walking through conflict with our spouse.
But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light… John 3:12
I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
But when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. John 16:13
Fruit of Truth in Marriage
When we allow Truth to thrive in our marriages we find that:
- We are challenged to change and grow
- There are fewer secrets
- The status quo doesn’t become the norm
- We find greater intimacy
- Deeper appreciation and affection develops
- There are fewer temptations that our enemy can use
- We have more opportunities to develop conflict resolution skills
Yet, we often have a love/hate relationship with Truth. We fear how the truth might disrupt our relationship and force us to experience some temporary tension. Yet inside we long for the intimacy that only Truth offers.
Sometimes we struggle because we haven’t learned to share truth in love. We feel we must pressure our spouse to get the desired outcome.
Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.
Sharing the Truth in Love
Start with a low-emotion issue and practice.
Determine the root issue. Focus on that.
Pray about it and check your motives.
Choose the right time and place.
Share the issue as a concern.
Allow your spouse to process the concern.
If your spouse is defensive, ask what is behind the emotion. Seek to understand. Be patient.
If your spouse is open, ask them what next steps they would like to take. Be supportive but not controlling.
Ask how you can help.
Be a cheerleader for your spouse’s efforts.
Any relationship is only as intimate as the level of truth between the two individuals. – Rob
Don’t do this:
- Point out the problem anytime you feel right.
- Focus on your feelings.
- Argue with them.
- Threaten and demand they fix themselves.
- Address multiple issues in the same conversation.
Fear of Truth
Some couples avoid truth because there are many hidden rooms in their life. They fear that exposure will cause their spouse to leave, punish or distrust them. Plus if one room is exposed, what will happen with all of the others?
You must ensure your spouse knows that you will accept and love them regardless of what is revealed.
Unsure of the Truth
Many of us come from families that are experts in avoiding the truth. We know how to ignore it, twist it, tip-toe around it and even deny it. Yet we know that those approaches are not godly examples of marriage.
That’s when it’s good to get outside counsel and create a plan for bringing truth back into the relationship. re|engage is a great place to practice the truth with your spouse. It’s a safe place to reconnect and get counsel.
Devaluing the Truth
Some families cannot conceive of expressing the truth and believe that white lies and other avoidance techniques are the secret to a happy family. This would work, if God didn’t have a way of exposing the hidden things in our lives.
They believe that it is “no big deal” if they omit or twist the truth in their conversations. But there is always a price we pay when we don’t obey God’s word. We ultimately pay in more significant ways when we delay our obedience.
The Weapon of Truth
Truth can also be used as a weapon to harm others. If our motive is to embarass, destroy or punish someone by using the truth, then we are acting like our enemy who uses a similar technique with us. Truth is not a weapon but a way of life that deepens our relationships.
Questions for a Great Marriage!
What is a hard truth you have walked through in your marriage?
How and when do you usually avoid the truth?
How often do you use the “white lie” to keep the peace?
How often do you omit something so you feel like you aren’t lying?
Where do you need to be more truthful in your relationship?