What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretence. Tell your neighbour the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.
Ephesians 4: 25(MSG)
If asked: “Do you ever lie?” I would say: “No! Honesty is very important to me.” But as I reflected on this verse I realised that there are times when I lie.
There is a very English ritual of greeting one another: “Hi, how are you?” to which the polite response is: “I’m fine, thank you! How are you?” I may have just lost my job, my child may be sick and the dog may have made a mess all over the floor, but the required response is always: “I’m fine!”
I think that generally its ok to respond like that as a social norm but I don’t think its ok to make it a habit with our husbands and wives. If I consistently pretend that everything is ‘fine’ or ‘ok’ when it’s not how will my husband know how to support me? How will he know if I don’t like something?
My husband often has to remind me that he’s not a mind reader! He wants me to tell him:
… If I’m struggling, so that he can help me.
…If I’m feeling upset, so that he can comfort me.
…If I don’t like something, so that we can find an alternative way of doing things.
Maybe it’s because I find it hard to express my need and, or say: “No”. As I reflected I realised that not only do I end up “lying to myself”, but that my behaviour is a form of pride.
This week talk about how this verse might apply to your marriage.
Prayer (as a couple):
Dear Father God, thank you that you are a God of truth. Please help us to be honest with one other in our marriages, to speak truth but to do it in a loving way. Please help us not to pretend whatever the circumstances but to talk about our needs and lovingly support one another. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.
Prayer (for others):
Dear Father God, we pray for… and …. We ask that you would help them to talk honestly and openly with one another, and to be loving and kind with their words. Help them to find a new level of transparency in their communication. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.
“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.” Thomas Merton