Monday, 5 November 2012

To Share or Not to Share

I was recently asked what advice I would give a person who was worried about sharing information with his/her spouse.  The concern was whether or not it would be beneficial to the relationship to share the information in conjunction with a fear that the partner may not take the information well.

This is a very real and legitimate question and there is no easy answer.  Without knowing more details I ventured forth an answer.  Please recognize that not having all the “necessary” information has never prevented me from offering an opinion.

In this case I was fairly certain that the hypothetical couple was married.  However I was uncertain whether or not they were Christians and if so, whether or not they were nominal Christians, i.e. Christians in name only or an evangelical, Bible believing, committed couple.  Armed with little I offered the following:

·       Trust and honesty are cornerstones to a healthy marriage, regardless of whether or not the couple is Christian.

·       If I react to difficult news in such a way that my partner is unwilling to share the news for fear of my reaction then I have weakened the marriage.

·       If I’m the spouse that is unwilling to share the information I am going to be plagued with guilt and fear that the secret I’m keeping will be discovered some other way.

·       Most likely bad news is going to rock the world of a Bible believing, evangelical Christian who is committed to the relationship, perhaps even more than the non-Christian.  The difference is that the former believes that marriage is a covenantal union made in the presence of God and that such a union should not be broken.  In such a case it would be hoped that the aggrieved spouse seeks healing and reconciliation.

·       The person withholding the information must ask themselves “Am I afraid to share the information strictly because of the unpleasantness it will bring?” or are they truly concerned the marriage won’t withstand the truth?

I started out by saying this is a legitimate concern because in today’s society there is plenty of bad news.  Consider a recent study indicating that wives cheat on their husbands almost as frequently as the husbands do. Social media, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc., is contributing greatly to the breakup of the family.  There are still forty to fifty percent of couples headed for divorce and an additional 25 to 40 percent who are living parallel lives.  The endemic level of pornography use may pose an even greater threat to marriages than anything else.

Is yours a covenant marriage?  Is your marriage able to withstand the truth?  Are you committed to one another such that you will walk through any difficulties together and come out the other side even stronger?


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