Relationship Weeds Day 4: Dishonesty
Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. (Colossians 3:9-10, ESV)
Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are his delight. (Proverbs 12:22, ESV)
Have you ever been lied to by someone close to you—someone you deeply trusted? If you recall something specific when you read this, I’m going to guess that this lie had a pretty big impact on you. Maybe it uncovered a secret affair. Maybe it was connected to something that heavily impacted your finances. Or maybe it exposed some painful family secret that greatly affected your marriage. Lies feel like betrayal, because in a very real sense, they are.
Being dishonest can seem innocuous at first, but all dishonesty is, in fact, harmful and offensive. We should never want to become comfortable with hiding truth or failing to disclose it when it’s necessary or expected that we do so. At times it may be appropriate to withhold full disclosure to protect someone’s feelings, such as when someone asks, “Do I look really fat in these pants?” To say “yes” would be hurtful, so we may want to soften the response with something less offensive. We may want to suggest something different, or find a way to encourage them in that moment.
But for most situations, honesty is expected. Why? Because it is a huge part of the foundation of relationships. When it’s absent, trust is lost, and without trust, a relationship is in serious trouble. Withholding full disclosure to protect ourselves is an entirely different matter. This is when we lie to get ourselves out of something, and when we do this, trust is shattered. It’s called “covering our tails” to protect ourselves from consequences. Kids do it all the time with parents, but sadly, spouses do it too.
If you want to build a solid relationship, you need to remove dishonesty from it. Sometimes telling the truth is scary and will negatively affect us when we do. But being honest is vital to a relationship’s health. It’s also imperative in a believer in order to have a healthy connection with Christ.
Some common areas where couples are dishonest are in sexuality, finances, family relationships, their pasts, and unhealthy habits. But while these are common, this is not a full list—there are many things couples lie about. When it comes to lying, the Bible is very clear that it is not only harmful but it is sin. It separates people, and it separates us from God. It causes division. It eats away at intimacy. It tears down and destroys. It has no place in our marriages or our lives.
Today, I want to challenge you to pay attention to what you say (and don’t say). Are you truthful? Are you honest? Or are you comfortable with “little white lies”? There’s no such thing as a little lie! If dishonesty is present in your relationship, remove this ugly weed. It will damage and destroy trust in your relationship. And it will damage and destroy intimacy with God. Being honest is so important as a believer, and I hope today’s reading will encourage you to that end.
For we aim at what is honorable not only in the LORD’s sight but also in the sight of man. (2 Corinthians 8:21, ESV)