Why would any of us willingly admit our sins, especially the ones we can hide? We confess because denial thwarts transformation. If we value the appearance of health and wholeness over the real deal, image becomes everything. But if we’re serious about wanting to have a dynamic marriage, we have to move through that resistance and become transparent truth tellers.
The Old and New Testaments communicate that God hates lying (Exod. 20:16; Prov. 11:1; Eph. 4:25; Col. 3:9). I wasn’t taught this value when I was growing up. Instead, adults routinely demonstrated that lying was acceptable in certain situations. Lies were spoken as a means of protecting my father as he battled his addiction or as a way to avoid conflict.
This is why early on in our marriage, I felt no conflict by denying that I was angry when Christopher asked. Regardless of why we choose to dodge the truth, lies are lies. They deaden our consciences, prevent our spouses from knowing us, and provide no impetus to stop sinning.
Confession takes truth-telling up a notch. Rather than waiting for our spouses to ask if we finished the bottle of wine, spent several hundred dollars on new clothes, or flirted online, we forthrightly admit it—humbly and nondefensively. It’s really quite simple. As the apostle James advises, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16).
By design, confessions mortify us. We hate having others see our less-than-perfect selves. When we willingly confess our broken thoughts and actions, we allow God to create a crack in the false images that we’ve worked so hard to perfect. This crack ruins the veneer but also allows forgiveness and grace to seep in.
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