My husband and I are finding our first love again, after dragging some dark secrets out of the closet and exposing them to the light. Oh, how that hurt, but how beautiful is forgiveness and truth.
A little lie
Several years ago my husband and I decided to live within a set spending limit, and it has worked very well for us. If one of us wants to purchase something over a certain dollar amount, we will talk it over together until we agree on it, before proceeding with the purchase. If we don’t come to an agreement, we won’t buy it. This worked well for us until a few years ago when I chose to go a different way.
We’d moved into a new home and I felt I should have a new set of silverware (flatware, tableware, whatever you call it). I justified my purchases by buying used pieces on eBay from several different sellers, and concealing the total amount I’d spent. And when the packages arrived, I opened them in secret.
The next deception was easier
“Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:6-7 ESV).
For years I’d told my children that if they felt they had to sneak something, it was likely wrong. I cited the example of Adam and Eve hiding in the bushes after they disobeyed God.
I’m the sneaky one
After the children left home we set a new goal of paying off our mortgage. We sacrificed and saved for the day we would have no debts. We followed our plan faithfully, until we came to the final months and I became impatient. I didn’t like making small payments when our savings were robust enough to finish off the debt, but my husband disagreed.
Our plan had been to celebrate our financial freedom with family and friends after making the last payment, but I went against our rule about coming to a consensus first and chose to go my own way. I paid it off early, robbing my husband of years if anticipated joy. It’s a point of grief to me that, though he doesn’t hold it against me, still hurts.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit” (verses 10-12).
Living in the light
Lies can grow like cancer cells, multiplying in hidden places. My husband came clean recently with some things he had hidden as well, and we are both determined to walk humbly before God so we don’t have to go through such excruciating stuff again. We are experiencing sweet renewal in our marriage now, since walking in the light with repentance and forgiveness, brings cleansing.
I made some vows as I watched him sleeping last night.
- My love must be without judgment, following the rule to “love him as I love myself.”
- I will not question his motives.
- It’s not my job to change him. He belongs to God.
- I’ll show him my respect, and love him above all others.
- I will forgive as I am forgiven.
Thwarting future lies
One way I like blessing my husband is by fixing meals he likes. He responds in a positive way when he walks in the door to the smell of dinner cooking. I think it’s because my efforts make him feel loved.
Preparing meals stirs up different responses in me, however. My kitchen work helps me keep the light on and shadows at bay, because handling my silverware reminds me of my distaste for deception—and I don’t ever intend to go there again.
by Kathy Sheldon Davis