Recently I watched a sitcom whereby during a bachelors’ party, the drunken best man slurred away some pretty crazy sexual stuff the groom-to-be had been involved in before he met his fiancée. Thanks to modern technology (not), one of the guests recorded the entire speech and uploaded on the internet…. the horror when the bride-to-be saw the video and almost called off the wedding because his fiancé “had not been totally honest about his past.” She wondered what else he had not been honest about, and was afraid she didn’t know him well enough.
I have heard many times that one should not tell their spouse or fiancé (e) e……verything. I disagree.
While it is certainly not in my place to start telling Hun how my pal X has this embarrassing condition or about my cousin Y’s debts, I believe that a spouse should know all about YOU and YOUR PAST…..preferably before marriage. A full disclosure. Spiritual and cultural beliefs & practices, sexual history – including any children or abortions, health status and any hereditary diseases in the family, financial status – assets and debts etc. In the pre-marital and marriage enrichment program we are involved in, we like to give the analogy of buying a car. There is all this information we seek regarding the car before committing: mileage, year of manufacture, number of previous owners, engine capacity etc., and yet we enter marriage — for life — blindly!
The benefits of voluntary confession include:
You get to choose the environment & timing. It is always better to be proactive with the info than try put out flames later when it leaks out from other sources. There is a scene from the Tyler Perry’s movie, Why Did I Get Married, that is very sobering…. a couples retreat goes haywire because friends maliciously spew each other’s secrets in public, which their spouses were unaware of.
Fear prevents people from disclosing. Ironically, when you let your fiancé(e) or spouse in on all your secrets, there is usually an overwhelming sense of unburdening. It comes with knowing you no longer have to constantly watch your back, or phone, or email, or social media platforms. It is freedom from fear of when the other shoe will drop.
Disclosure comes with vulnerability. Your fiancé(e) or spouse sees your past hurts and your shame, the real you… ‘prim & proper’ masks off. This works magic on how you subsequently relate from then on. It is especially helpful if a couple has an opportunity to disclose before marriage. As they recite their wedding vows, they truly begin their union on a ‘clean-slate’. The past remains in the past. After initial disclosure, no topic is ever again too uncomfortable to talk about….. not even the girl who has a crash on him at the bank, nor the guy in the prayer group who is trying to flirt with her. Not even passwords nor income earned.
4. Get Help & Accountability
Some vices that we struggle with are not easy to overcome without help. You keep promising yourself that the last time was the last time, but alas… it lasts! First, prayer is key. Second, sometimes one needs professional help. Upon disclosure, one can now freely seek out someone to walk with, for example a therapist for an addiction or a financial advisor for someone who has a problem with debt management.
The reason it is sometimes difficult to let go of these habit is because ‘no one else knows about it’. Sin thrives in secrecy and unconfessed, it will sink you deeper into the mire than you’d imagined and cost you more than you’d budgeted for. Letting your fiancé(e) or spouse in on it gives you an accountability partner and the grip it has on you slowly weakens.
Hearing yourself speak about some bad decisions you have made in the past has a way of humbling you. When we had our talk, Hun was the first one to go and as expected I hit the roof — my invisible halo on the head and gavel in my hand. Not until it was my turn. Hearing myself speak about some past choices swiftly knocked me down my high horse. When you honestly reflect about the past, you appreciate the grace of God received and you also become gracious with others.
I realized that instead of facing my past, I had buried it in the sea of oblivion and walked around convincing myself that it never happened. But it had. James 5:16 says “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”
No one person is without sin. We like to classify sin in order to exonerate ourselves and condemn others. Jesus didn’t. Sin is sin and no sin is unforgiveable. In John 1: 8-9, scriptures say… “8.If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9.If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
PS: This post was originally posted on Arusi Guru Blog Page