Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment. Proverbs 12:19
Marriage is a covenant. A promise.
In our wedding vows, trust is both explicit or implicit. It permeates the commitment we make to our spouse so that we can start off from the foundation of trust both in Christ and in our spouse.
Trust is one of the most essential elements to an intimate relationship. And without it, we are sentencing our marriage to a future of frustration and fracture. It doesn’t mean trust is not restorable. A marriage can recover from broken trust AND survive for the long-haul. But it takes patience and hard work from both spouses do see that healing take place.
Of all of the components that can fracture trust, lying may be at the top of the list.
People lie for numbers of reasons. Insecurity. Pride. Anger. But to boil it down, people lie to protect themselves. Many times, it begins when someone is experiencing shame however trivial it may be. Why? It seems easier to lie than it is to face confrontation. But that’s where lying becomes like a drug. Lying sedates the moment while making you a slave to its agenda: Total destruction.
Why do people lie?
1 – Because there’s something to hide. People lie to protect interests. There seems to be little care about other people’s feelings in the matter. The actions are selfish and destructive. Where scripture challenges us to “walk in the light.” Lying wants to remain in the shadows.
2 – Because people feel they can—it works for them. Liars are convinced they’ll get away with their lie and never get caught. So the fib continues until they discover that this is not working for them and a new lie must be spun. You end up in a prison of falsehood with an identity you cannot live up to and bondage you cannot escape from. It’s why Proverbs 19:5 says, “ he who breathes out lies will not escape.”
3 – Because people believe they have a right to lie. “I’m doing this for the good of my marriage!” People will use lying as if it’s the only way to bring health. But what they’re really doing is utilizing lying to manipulate the situation bring their intended results. They’re prayer has gone from “thy will be done” to “my will be done.”
4 – Because it makes a person “look better.” It a form of pride. Lying takes control of the narrative so that it doesn’t center around what God desires but what he/she desires. It ignores Matthew 6:33 so that I seek “me” first and add God later.
5 – Because habitual lying has developed serious character problems. Lying sears the conscience. The more you indulge in it, the more apt you are to listen to your lie than the leading of the Holy Spirit. Lying desensitizes our spirit so that our character takes on the falsehood of our facade instead of the image of Christ.
“What do I do if I find out my spouse is lying (regardless of how big or small it is)?”
1 – Pray and seek wisdom. Seek the Lord’s help. Get wisdom from a trusted counselor (not necessarily a friend/friends).
2 – Bring what is in darkness into the light. Recognize the pain involved. Removing a splinter doesn’t feel good. But you know, at some point, it has to come out. And the longer you wait, the more pain and infection will be endured. I can’t say confronting lying will “feel” good. In fact, the moments may feel like they’re worse for dealing with it instead of turning a blind eye to it. But facilitating something that is false only breads emptiness, hurt, and separation.
(Side Note: if you are trying to justify letting your spouse continue in their lie, that is a huge red flag that something has to be dealt with.)
3 – Walk in forgiveness. Forgiveness is the response to other’s faults in proportion to how Christ responds to us. Forgiveness is not the same as trust or restoration. Forgiveness is the road that leads to trust and restoration.
4 – Create expectations. Draw the line on lying. I’m not talking about ultimatums. I’m talking about developing a marriage that doesn’t tolerate lying on ANY level. Healthy expectations set the bedrock of trust that will enable to see your spouse and marriage restored.
5 – Celebrate progress. The lying has done enough breaking down of your spouse. Build up and encourage your him/her. You can’t expect perfection but, with healthy and attainable expectations, you can celebrate steps forward through the process. Be a coach instead of a drill sergeant.
Our beginning scripture says it all:
Having lips that speak truth will have an enduring effect upon your marriage.
Pursue truth together. Embrace truth as one. And, together, stand in truth and watch God do amazing things in you and through you.
Thanks for letting me ramble…