3 One-Word Lies That Keep Marriage in the Sunken Place

Minimalistic Lying?

marriageWhen marriage experts and marriage counselors say that communication is the key to a happy marriage – it is most definitely one of the most important keys to marital peace and bliss.

And although communication in marriage takes place when not a word is spoken, verbal communication – what we say and how we say it – has caused many unions to beautifully thrive or die a horrible death.

You see, the tongue doesn’t straighten itself out on its own because we’re speaking to the one we made a loving vow to – oh no, Cleavers! That little member is still out of control (James 3:8), and often “cuts up” more because it is the person with whom we have the most intimate relationship with on planet earth.

But, let’s not make our unruly mouths the scapegoat here. Spouses – especially spouses on Team Jesus – are still humans who are in the process of dying to old, evil ways. We’re just doing so alongside someone who’s on their own journey to cleanse and heal the heart (Luke 6:45, Psalms 51:10). And, nothing infects the heart like the sinful nature of fearful lies.

Every Lie is Traced to Fear.

lies fearDid you know that you can trace every lie you’ve ever spoken to some element of fear? Think about it. Perhaps you were afraid of the consequences of your actions, or perhaps you were afraid of letting someone down. Some of us are afraid to be authentic, or afraid of the pain or discomfort of the truth.

How does this show up in marriage? Easily. And, it doesn’t take a ton of words, either. See if you’ve ever told one of these one-word lies, and let’s see how we can apply God’s perfect love to cast out our fears (1 John 4:18):

1. Yes. 

Has your spouse ever asked you a question, and you responded in the affirmative – but in your heart of hearts – you wanted to say no? “Baby, does this look/taste/smell/feel good?” “Did you {insert honey-do list item}?” “Do you want to go {insert place that gets on your nerves}?”

What’s going on here? We may think we’re just keeping the peace, or going with the flow – but those yeses are dishonest and they don’t honor our true feelings. The fake “yes” also dishonors your spouse, how? Because they will waste their time and energy responding to an affirmative that doesn’t really exist.

2. No.

Has your spouse ever asked you a question, and you responded with “no” – but you know good and well the answer was “yes”? “Did you {insert something you’re not supposed to do or your spouse has asked you not to do}?” “Do you need me to {insert a real need you have}?”

What are we afraid of? Getting caught? Being held accountable? Showing vulnerability?

3. Nothing.

This lie right here is so big, they’ve named a food after it – the Nothing-Burger! “Baby, what’s wrong?” “What did you want to talk about?” “What did I/he/she/they say to make you upset?

The nothing response is rooted in denial. Our marriages will never grow or heal from what we won’t acknowledge and face head-on. So, we may think we’re dodging bullets with this little word, but we’re actually building an arsenal of weapons the enemy will use against us and the marriage in the future.

How to Deal With That Sinking Feeling

With all of the yes-nos, no-yeses, and Nothing Burgers, is there any question as to why some of our marriages are sinking fast? Forget the beef – Where’s the Truth?

Remember our first Team Huddle Mail of the year? This is the Year of Truth! We’re allowing the Word of God to sanctify us, and we’re intentional about being a Friend of Truth (John 17:17)!

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What better place for the family to start embracing Truth than within the marriage?! And, everyone has a role to play.

Rise Together for Each Other

submissionIf you’ve been less than honest with your spouse, realize that the Truth heals and fear steals. You’re doing more harm than good to yourself and the union. Issues that go unspoken and unaddressed can sink your marriage – and you – into a dark, depressed state of bondage that can drive you to unhealthy behaviors, poor eating, hopelessness, and divorce. If you can’t get what’s on your chest off your chest one-on-one, consider personal counseling and/or a marriage counselor to help you address any unknown fears or issues.

To the wife or husband who’s thinking, “She’s talking to my wife/husband – I speak my truth!” (These are my choir members LOL).

Ok, great. But, does your wife/husband feel safe enough to talk to you honestly and transparently? Do they walk in fear of your judgment or retaliation? Sure, telling the truth is everyone’s responsibility, but is there anything you can do to make the process easier if your spouse is struggling?

Try sharing with your spouse that you understand their feelings and whenever they’re ready to have that honest conversation – you’re there. To some spouses, marriage doesn’t feel like a team – but rather a boxing match, where everyone has their own corner.

So, What’s the Play Call?

Submit to one another as unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:21). Invite more God in your marriage through prayer and acts of kindness, and escort your ways and thoughts of what’s best out the door.

I pray that God would move every Cleaver reading these words to drop their boxing gloves and embrace their spouse. Lord, rescue every marriage from sinking deeper into despair. Cause your Cleavers everywhere to love as You love, Lord. Give each of us a heart for the other – seeking to listen, understand, feel, and please the other. Perfect our love, O God, so we can kick out fear, lies, and open our hearts to receive the freedom that real love brings.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

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