Table of Contents
Hiding in Plain Sight
Have you noticed that “we the people” are expert “hiders”? That we love to keep our little secrets? And it seems so normal and natural.
It shows up even when we are young. We see children hiding toys from others, hiding their disobedience (now who would have put that asparagus under the table?) and playing in the closet with the lipstick. Kids are just plain sneaky.
In fact I told my teenage daughters that I loved them but did not trust them. And I was right as they can now admit.
I’m guessing this trait was there in the beginning with Eve and Adam. They did the same thing and hid from God in the Garden of Eden, after they ate of the fruit. It’s like the the knowledge of Good and Evil comes with extras. Extras of hiding, embarrassment, shame, and secrets.
Hiding from Others and Ourselves
I know I’ve hidden many things over the years.
I’ve hidden my emotions. My zits. My sins. My disappointments, fears, and failures. My identity. My testimony. My lack of discipline. My guilty pleasures (Graham crackers and milk are one). My real desires. My anger. My temptations. My dirty laundry. (And this list could be a lot longer if I thought you would really read it to the end.)
So, if we hide things, does it matter? Does it hurt us because we hide things? What about hiding from our spouse, who we want intimacy with?
I am compelled to say “Yes it does” because the very definition of marriage is “intimacy” and hiding key parts of ourselves from our spouse, doesn’t sound very intimate. And how can we have intimacy when we are withholding our trust of them by hiding secrets?
Gary Thomas says this, “The irony is that most of us desire to be fully known. This desire creates a sense of belonging and intimacy and fulfillment. But then we create static in our marriage by lying or carrying out our secret activities. In doing this, we sabotage the very fulfillment we seek. We may lie out of shame, embarrassment or selfishness, but whenever we do, we strangle the intimacy that comes from knowing and being fully known.”
Let me repeat it. We want intimacy but often strangle it with our hiding.
The irony is that most of us desire to be fully known. This desire creates a sense of belonging and intimacy and fulfillment. But then we create static in our marriage by lying or carrying out our secret activities. In doing this, we sabotage the very fulfillment we seek. We may lie out of shame, embarrassment or selfishness, but whenever we do, we strangle the intimacy that comes from knowing and being fully known. – Gary Thomas
Skills for Unhiding
So, if we want more intimacy we each need to learn to do at least two things.
1. Reduce the number of secrets and lies and areas we hide from our spouse.
2. Be a spouse who is gracious, understanding, accepting and loving when our spouse reveals things they’ve hidden.
The Process of Revealing
There is a process we can use to do this. And here are some suggestions as you start.
1. Make a list of things you have hidden from your spouse.
2. Choose one hidden thing to reveal.
3. Ask God to show the underlying reason why you’ve chosen to hide this.
4. Ask for God’s forgiveness and strength.
5. Get counsel from others if it is something likely to shock your spouse.
6. Find a good time to have a discussion with your spouse.
7. Explain why you want to reveal this. Reveal what you are hiding and apologize. Ask for forgiveness. Trust God for the results.
8. Also, get help in overcoming the issue if it is sinful/addictive. (All sin is addictive!)
9. Rinse, dry and repeat.
Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Luke 12:2
Stopping the Hiding
The process described above is not easy and it will take bravery on your part to do it. But the real question you need to answer is this.
Is it worth it to reveal the things I’ve hidden?
First, I would argue that you cannot answer that fully because you don’t know enough. That’s because you are a prisoner of these hidden things. If you cannot understand the freedom you will experience when you reveal more of yourself to others, then how can you make a rational decision?
It’s like a child given the choice of making mudpies in the yard or going to the seashore and building sandcastles. They’ve made mud pies before. They are good at it. But asking if they want to go to the beach is different. They’ve never experienced sand and the waves and the fun it offers. Likewise, because you lack this experience of freedom, the only way to find out is to trust what others tell you and decide to go there.
Trusting and moving forward is called “faith”. And Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. But that faith must be based on trust in God’s word so that it is not “blind faith”.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16
God says he will heal you when you confess something. Even if it is not sin, it will create more intimacy with your spouse and that would be a good thing too. So….do you believe that? Then exercise your faith by your actions!