Do you share everything with your spouse? Keeping secrets tears down the walls of intimacy in marriage and causes to couples to grow apart. Co-founders of Hope and Healing, Mona and Gary Shriver, says marital transparency is the glue that holds the union together through the years. In a Focus on the Family interview they said, “Keeping everything out in the open is what takes away the power to create division. Transparent honesty brings everything into the light, it takes power out of the Enemy’s hand.”
Transparency in marriage means having the courage to have the tough conversations so that you both can solve problems together as a team. If one of you makes a major purchase going over the shopping budget or has an awkward moment with an attractive co-worker, the transparent married couple will share these issues right away. Keeping secrets, burying inappropriate attractions, or hiding poor spending habits are little invitations for demonic influence. Unfortunately, many couples believe that withholding information from their spouse is better for the relationship, but the Bible teaches this is not the case.
Think about it this way, transparency invites the truthful light of The Holy Spirit to be an active agent in your marriage. God comes in offering His timeless wisdom. The Bible says in John 3:20, “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.” Fear is the stronghold that keeps us on the enemy’s territory and allows him to build a stronghold within our behavior for fear the secret will come out. Over time though, what seems like a small decision to protect your spouse, actually grows into something painful. As the disciple John writes, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love,” (1 John 4:18). Fear destroys perfect love and offers a terrible imitation false intimacy instead.
The following questions will help bring clarity to the role of transparency in your marriage: 1.) Does fear of your spouse’s response prevent you from sharing certain things? 2.) Do you confide in your spouse when you’re faced with emotional or physical attraction to someone of the opposite sex? 3.) Are you comfortable expressing your needs and discussing when they are not being met? Examine your answers and take an honest inventory on the direction your marriage is going. Address transparency blocks that hinder intimacy. Have the tough conversations no matter what because honest expression allows for the truth of God’s love to permeate the situation and provide wisdom to strengthen your bond and affirm your covenant. Remember that marriage is a team effort; life struggles are meant to be dealt with together not apart. Make transparency a priority and watch your marriage flourish.