Lying to Our Spouses
Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 1 Corinthians 13:6
In recovery from an addiction to prescription pain medications, I’ve always felt sorry for the alcoholic. There are liquor stores on every corner and the ease of access must be problematic for the problem drinker. I’ve always said that if there were pain pill stores on every corner, I would struggle more. Yes, there are pharmacies, but there are multiple barriers in place that prevent easy access for me.
This has not always been the case. Once, while in Mexico years ago, I discovered and took advantage of their liberal regulation of pain pill sales at the corner pharmacy. I did this in secret because I lied about everything regarding my drug use. I lied to protect my evil behavior, but I justified it by telling myself that I wasn’t hurting anyone. What my wife didn’t know couldn’t hurt her, right? In my addiction, dishonesty was normal.
In recovery, I must live differently. Recently, we had the opportunity to return to Mexico on a family vacation. I didn’t think about it much until we got there, but, while walking down the street, I saw an advertisement for my old favorite pain pill, right there at the corner market. There was a time when I would have found a way to get back to that store alone. This time though, I simply told my wife that I didn’t want to ever go to the store alone while in Mexico. I seriously doubt that it would be a real temptation now but being honest only reinforced that it wouldn’t be a temptation. I was able to rejoice that I was truthful where I once would have lied.
Paul may not have been speaking only about marriage in today’s passage, but still, he taught that true love doesn’t lie. When we practice authentic love, we seek good and we live for the truth.
It may not involve drugs, but many of us have developed a pattern of hiding things from our spouses. It may involve chemicals, an inappropriate relationship, pornography, gambling, or even shopping. Whatever it is, we indulge in it, knowing our spouses wouldn’t approve. We hide it and we tell ourselves that it can’t hurt them if they don’t know. Paul said though, that lying is always antithetical to love. If our spouse would be upset at a thing, then we must cut that thing out of our lives. If we desire to be who God made us to be, and if we want to know the love for which he made us, then we must live truthfully. Authentic love rejoices and thrives in the truth.