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Why Love Is Honest

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
November 17, 2020 1:00 am

Why Love Is Honest

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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November 17, 2020 1:00 am

There's a big difference between telling the truth and telling the whole truth. FamilyLife Today co-host Bob Lepine explains why dishonest, and even partial truth, can plant seeds of distrust and put a marriage on shaky ground.

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Learn more about the Love Like You Mean It video series with Bob Lepine.  https://www.familylife.com/love-like-you-mean-it-study/

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At the heart of every enduring marriage is a covenant, a commitment we make to one another, a commitment that is different than any other relationship we have on earth. What's different about marriage versus just any other relationship or anyone who's just moved in together and they're long-term committed is that you can't just pick up and pack up and leave when you want. All of those thoughts and the rushing emotions, I just have to turn it over to the Lord and say, you love him.

And if you can love him, I can figure out a way to love him. This is Family Life Today. Our hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson.

I'm Bob Lapine. You can find us online at familylifetoday.com. Does transparency or honesty threaten the covenant or commitment in your marriage?

Do you ever pull back from being fully honest because you're afraid of how your spouse might respond? We're going to talk about that more today. Stay with us. And welcome to Family Life Today.

Thanks for joining us. There's a movie that if I'm ever watching TV and just channel surfing and I click and that movie is on. Okay, what is it? I'm in. Remember the Titans? That's a close second because I'll stop on that one.

I will. The notebook? No, I'm going to hit the next channel pretty quick on that one. No, the movie for me is A Few Good Men.

Good men. Especially if I'm seeing Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson in the courtroom. And Demi Moore. Yeah, Demi Moore is in there as well.

And there is that scene, right? You know the scene I'm talking about where Tom Cruise is going at Nicholson who's on the witness stand and he says, do you want answers? And Tom Cruise says, I want the truth.

And Nicholson utters that famous line, you can't handle the truth. And of course that line has become iconic in movies, but I've been thinking about marriage and I wonder how many of our marriages can handle the truth? How many of us can handle the truth about one another in a way that is loving? We're talking about how to love one another better in marriage, which is the theme of a book that I just wrote called Love Like You Mean It that came out this year. We've now created a video series for couples to go through with other couples, the Love Like You Mean It video series, and one of the big ideas in that series is that love rejoices in the truth. Love is honest. And I think a lot of us as couples, we think to ourselves, if my spouse really knew the real me, I mean everything about me, we've got parts of our lives, our past, or our thought life, or whatever else that we go, I'm not telling her that. She would, she'd leave me if she knew that I ever thought anything like that. And yet if you are honest and you are received, that's true love. But it's scary because you're just thinking I'll be rejected, so I'll just keep that hidden and we'll just maintain, but it's not really going to ever get you the intimacy you're longing for. I'm guessing you guys may have started your marriage hiding parts of your past and your background.

Do you really want to go there, Bob? I'm not sure that we did intentionally. Really? I just don't think that we understood the impact that our past would have in the present and in the future. But I don't think I was intentionally holding things back.

I was. Yeah. Yeah, I mean, I'm just thinking, number one, is it relevant?

And that is a good question. You don't need to share everything. But I just thought this is going to hurt her and it's better not to share. Or if she knows this about me, she won't respect me.

Right. And a husband wants to be respected. Or a wife who says if he knows this about me, how could he love me if he knew this was a part of my past or what I was thinking? This is why in this series we talk about how important it is for love to rejoice, first of all, in the truth of God's word, but then in the honesty between a husband and a wife. And we want our listeners to hear a portion of this video series. We've been featuring it this week on Family Life Today. We think these principles from God's word can be transformative in a marriage, and going through this with other couples can be really powerful. That's why we put the video series together. So here's an excerpt from episode eight of Love Like You Mean It.

It's the episode that says love is honest. I remember when I first realized there's a difference between telling the truth and telling the whole truth, and it has to do with the shopping trip I went on one time. My wife typically does our grocery shopping. I like doing grocery shopping.

We do it very differently. When Mary Ann goes to the grocery store, she has a list. She knows what she wants to get, and her objective is to go find those items, put them in the cart, and get out of the store and be done with it. We came to get these things.

We've got them. Let's go. When I go to the grocery store, I'm like on an adventure trip.

I want to see if there's anything new here. There might be something on one of these aisles I haven't seen before, or something might be calling my name. You know, you walk down an aisle, and you see the Oreos, and you hadn't even been thinking of Oreos, but you think, oh, those sound really good.

On this particular trip, Mary Ann was not going. She had given me the list to follow. I had made sure to check with her whether she wanted, like, do you want the Philadelphia cream cheese, or is the store brand okay?

And do you want the 8-ounce, or do you want the 12-ounce? I mean, I wanted to come home with exactly what she was hoping I would come home with. I wanted to win on this trip to the store. So I got to the store. I had my list, and I started working my way through, and I came right to the produce section, and there were some grapes that were there. And they were not on the list, but I knew grapes were always a hit at our household.

I didn't think we had any, so I thought, it's not going to hurt if I get some grapes, right? So I got a bunch of grapes and added those into the cart. And then I started working my way down the list, and everything was going fine.

But I am going up and down every aisle and just exploring and examining things. I get to the chip aisle, and that's where I saw this bag of Cheetos. And my list did not have Cheetos on it, but that bag of Cheetos was calling my name. It was saying, take me home with you.

I will make you happy. And so I looked at it. I looked at the list. I thought, what am I going to do? Because I knew if I was bringing Cheetos home, my health-conscious wife would—it's like bringing contraband in, right?

I've just brought poison into our home. So I wrestled for a few minutes, and then I thought, I want Cheetos. So I bought Cheetos. I put them in the bag. I went on. Now, as I'm going through the checkout line with my Cheetos, I'm thinking, okay, what am I going to do?

How do I deal with this? And I came up with a plan, and the plan was to hide the Cheetos in the garage before I ever got in the house so that Mary Ann would never even know I bought Cheetos. I could go out in the garage when I wanted a little Cheetos fix, go grab my Cheetos. I'd wash my hands so she wouldn't see the orange on my finger.

I mean, I knew how to do this right. So I get home. I bring in the groceries.

I'd hidden the Cheetos in the garage. I bring the groceries in, and Mary Ann says, did you find everything on the list? And I said, there was one thing they didn't have.

I explained that. She said, did you buy anything else other than what was on the list? And I remembered the grapes. I said, I saw grapes, and I thought that would be a good idea.

And she smiled and was happy to have grapes. And I thought, great. I have now told the truth. But I hadn't told the whole truth because I didn't mention the Cheetos, right? What I failed to calculate in this whole Cheetos caper was that this was a time when grocery stores had just begun printing out itemized lists of everything you bought.

Your receipt had everything you bought on it. Mary Ann picks up the receipt as she's putting away the groceries, and she goes, what about the Cheetos? And there I was, busted. I mean, no, my fingers were not orange, but I'd been found out, and I had to confess that, yes, I had indeed bought Cheetos. Now, that's a pretty trivial story, you would think.

But stop and think about this. In that moment, in my wife's mind, in her thinking, she's wondering, what else is he not telling me about? What else is he keeping hidden from me? I mean, Cheetos, I can live with that.

But are there deeper, darker things? If he's trying to hide Cheetos, what's he doing with the really serious stuff that he knows I would not be happy with, that he knows would not be good for our marriage? It was in that moment that I realized that when the Bible says, love rejoices in the truth, what it's saying is that love rejoices in the truth, the whole truth, not just a half-truth. In fact, a half-truth is really not truth at all. You tell a partial truth, you haven't told the truth at all. Love is honest.

It tells the truth. And I think there are four things that are wrapped up in this idea of love rejoicing in the truth. The first thing I think it means is that love flourishes in an environment where we are able to be transparent, open, honest, real with one another, warts and all, failures and all, and still can love and receive one another. The Bible uses an interesting phrase to talk about it. It talks about a husband and wife being naked and not ashamed.

I don't think that's talking about physical nakedness. I think it's talking about transparency of our lives, that we can be who we are with one another, and we know that there's not going to be condemnation or shame, that we're still going to love one another even when we see the flawed parts of one another. So when the Bible says love rejoices in the truth, it rejoices when that kind of transparency can be a part of a marriage relationship. So when we were dating, we were just talking about our past, and I quickly realized I had a lot more baggage than Bethany had. She had only been in one relationship, and I'd probably only been in one serious relationship, but a lot of other things. And there just came a point in time where I felt like for us to grow closer and to truly decide if we wanted to get married and if we wanted each other, I needed to be completely honest and just open my heart to her.

And so I did that and pretty much shared everything in my past that I had done wrong, or I felt like I made a mistake along the way. And for her to not look at me any different and to accept all of those, it showed me not just her love for me but that she was relying on Christ to provide a, I don't know, a sight of what love truly was and projecting that to me. And nothing that he shared freaked me out, and I think even then it was sort of the Lord preparing my heart for what love is.

It's just leaning into those difficult things or the things that aren't always pretty or the conversations that are hard. Because he shared everything, and if anything, it made me love him more because I thought he feels safe enough to be able to talk to me about anything. And I feel like that's carried over in our marriage where you talk to each other about things that you can't talk to anybody else about.

And that was kind of a glimpse into what that would look like. And I feel like it just made me love him more as a person. And that just made me grow closer to her. I think closer as a couple, just that we're on the same page now, and there was nothing hiding in the closet. There is power in transparency and honesty with one another. And I think when couples start to realize, okay, it's safe to be honest, and let's be real, in some relationships it's not safe to be honest. We have to be able to be safe with one another. But when we can get there and be honest and be transparent, love goes deeper, doesn't it?

It goes deeper, but it's really hard. I mean, I think that I really know all of Dave, but as I've heard that, it's been really difficult, some of the things that he's shared that are going on inside. It's been difficult to receive, and yet there's a security in my heart thinking, I know everything about him, and I truly know him like no one else. It reminds me of Tim Keller's quote.

Do you guys remember this from his book, The Meaning of Marriage? He said, To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. And I think that's really true. There's a security in that, and it's also miraculous.

For Dave to know all of me and to see all of my faults and he still loves me is humbling. And we've used the word several times, safe. And I think, honestly, there's not a lot of places in this world we feel totally safe. I can be fully me, and hopefully that's in your marriage. And when you are willing to speak the truth, hear the truth, and extend mercy, it's the most beautiful place to be.

And that's where God wanted marriage to be. I think one of the reasons that this idea of honesty in love comes later in the definition is because we've already talked about being patient and kind and not self-seeking. That's what creates the safety to be able to be transparent. You don't feel safe being honest with somebody who is unkind or impatient.

You don't feel safe being honest with somebody who is self-seeking or who keeps a record of wrongs, right? And that's why it's so important for us to make sure we're following the biblical pattern for love as we try to build what love in a marriage relationship looks like so that we can be transparent. And that's why we go on to flesh out in the Love Like You Mean It marriage series that we have to address the fact that we can all tend to be posers and to posture and not be open and transparent with one another. All of us long to be loved. We long to be accepted.

We long to have another person who knows us receive us. Say, I know you. I know your flaws. I still love you. I still accept you.

I still want to be one with you. And if we're honest, all of us have a tendency to put up a false front. We have a tendency to want to wall off those parts of our lives that we're not proud of, that we're ashamed of, the things we don't want our spouse to know about us or see about us. The Bible has a word for people who put on a false front like that.

It's called a hypocrite, a person who wears a mask. And in marriage, we're not supposed to wear masks. Marriage is supposed to be masks off and we still love one another. So that's love rejoicing in the truth. Here's the second thing I think the Bible is teaching when it says love rejoices in the truth.

When it says love rejoices in the truth, it means that love can flourish best in an environment where there is trust. I had sown seeds of mistrust in my marriage by hiding Cheetos in the garage. When we keep hidden parts of our lives, that is not an environment that causes trust to flourish and to grow. And for love to flourish and to grow, there needs to be an environment where we can trust one another. We're not always thinking, what is this person hiding from me?

We've been married for seven years, and the first seven years of our marriage was really, really hard. And a lot of that was rooted from some failures that I had made. I had chosen to hire a girl that was kind of a young, cute girl that I didn't want to tell Casey about, and I was dishonest about it. She walks into the apartment, and this young chick's business cards had been delivered, and she's like, who the heck is Sally? Because our business cards had the picture of the person on the card. When I picked up those business cards and saw her face and his business name, I naturally wanted to just pack up and say, I'm done. I'm just going to leave this situation. Yeah, I was caught. And even worse than that, I had deleted text messages to try and really kind of hide the fact that we were even talking. I can honestly say I had no intention of actually doing anything physical with her. It wasn't a physical affair or an emotional affair or anything like that. I was just flirting with fire. But the act of trying to hide it, I think, created a lot of insecurity. And it didn't go over well and really caused a long-term trust issue. There's been times in this where I do want to throw my hands up.

I'm saying, I'm done. I don't deserve this. Love and trust are partners.

They walk hand in hand. When trust is gone, love is going with it. It's hard to love someone who you don't feel like you can trust.

A marriage cannot thrive if we're always wondering, is this person keeping something from me? Are they hiding the truth? They've lied to me before. How can I trust them today?

This is a key component to love. The hard reality is that I was not worthy of the trust that I was asking for. And I remained dangerous. I've since then come to be able to confess whether or not that was the intention.

It was stupid. What's different about marriage versus just any other relationship or anyone who's just moved in together and they're long-term committed is that you can't just pick up and pack up and leave when you want. All of those thoughts and the rushing emotions, I just have to turn it over to the Lord and say, you love Him, and if you can love Him, I can figure out a way to love Him. I've had a mentor say something that was pretty challenging for me.

He basically made it clear that I am prone to wonder, and Lord, I feel it. I am very capable of doing something super stupid. I think when you can humble yourself enough to say, I'm totally capable of destroying everything and doing something stupid and impulsive, and therefore action needs to be taken, it can help to have the confession of I'm not above this. I'm not above being stupid. You're not above an affair. I'm not above an affair. You're not above lying. I'm not above being an alcoholic.

I'm not above any of that. I think until you can recognize your own depravity, it's hard to be humble enough to follow through on the action that needs to happen to create the security that the wife deserves. As long as we both are in open communication and He's being honest and transparent about what's going on, it's not me saying I demand to know where you are and what you're doing 24-7.

It's just that we've worked really hard to put those walls up around our marriage, and as long as He's playing within those, and yes, I do trust Him. Here's the third thing I think this verse is saying when it says love rejoices in the truth. It's saying love rejoices when both of us, as husband and wife, are committed to aligning our lives with the truth of God's Word. We love His truth, and because we love His truth, we love it together. We want our lives to be conformed to the truth of His Word.

Rejoicing in truth is when we hear His Word and we read it together and we consider it. We're in church together. We're in a Bible study together, and we're both saying, this is life-giving to me.

This is good for me. It's good for my soul and your soul. When we're rejoicing together in the truth of God's Word, our love for one another will flourish. Some of you may have seen the triangle that shows how, if a husband and wife are here and they are both pursuing God and getting closer to Him, they're getting closer to one another in the process. Rejoicing in the truth is when we are both pursuing the truth of God's Word and knowing God in the process. Jesus is the truth. When we draw nearer to Jesus, we're drawing nearer to one another. So love rejoices in the truth. That's the third thing.

Here's number four. Love rejoices when we not only agree with God's Word, but when we're both pursuing God's truth as a pattern of life for us, when both of us are committed to righteousness. Right before this, in the Bible, it says, love does not rejoice in wrongdoing. So it doesn't rejoice when there's unrighteousness.

I think this is the other side of that. Love rejoices when a husband and wife are pursuing truth together, living that out in their lives, when they're committed to righteousness, when they're committed to aligning their lives and their behavior with God's Word. When you see your spouse reflecting the image of Jesus in his life or in her life, your love for them swells up.

It increases. You're drawn to that because we're children of God. We're drawn to him. And as our lives are being conformed to the image of his Son, we love that. We love one another. Love rejoices in the truth. Do you rejoice in the truth?

Well, we've been listening to an excerpt from the Love Like You Mean It video series. of God's Word and the truth of who Jesus is. It's not just the truth about our own lives, but it's the truth about the gospel that we both love and rejoice in. That gives us the freedom to rejoice in the honesty and transparency where we can see each other's failures and go, okay, I got issues, you got issues, we've all got issues, but the gospel means that there's no condemnation in Christ for those issues for us, and we're not going to condemn one another. We're going to extend grace to one another. That's the liberating truth of the gospel.

Do you think it's possible to do that when a spouse is not reciprocating? Well, here's how I'd answer that. Romans 5 says that God demonstrates his love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. So God does not wait until we're lovable or loving to love us. I think it's possible for us to extend grace to somebody else, even if they're not extending grace back. Is it easy?

No. But in some ways, that is Christian marriage, that is vertical marriage, that is love like you mean it, that is the gospel applied to marriage. We don't deserve forgiveness, yet when we bring the truth of who we really are to God, what do we get? Mercy. When our spouse brings us the truth, boy, oh, boy, it's the hardest thing in the world.

But how could we be a recipient of mercy and not give it? And when we give what we can't even muster up in ourselves, that's a picture of love like you mean it, marriage and gospel, vertical, whatever you want to call it. That's the most beautiful relationship that exists on planet earth, I think. I know we had a lot of couples last spring who joined you online on Facebook for the vertical marriage small group that we did. We've just had a lot of couples joining us online on Facebook for a love like you mean it video small group session. We believe there is power in couples going through this content with other couples. And I think the reason is because if we just go through it together, we can kind of feel like, I think we're the only ones who struggle with this. You go through this with other couples and you go, okay, it's not just us, everybody has these challenges.

And there's a sense of accountability with the group, too. And you're right to see that we're not alone. We're all doing this together. We're all struggling. We're all pursuing God. There's real hope in that.

Yeah. Well, we hope you're motivated. We hope you are ready to call some other couples and say, let's get together somewhere where we can be socially distanced or over Zoom or however you're able to do it these days. Get together and go through the new love like you mean it video series. It's available from us here at Family Life. You can see some samples of the series online at familylifetoday.com. You can pre-order the series.

It's available on DVD or if you'd prefer, you can stream the sessions. There's an assessment for each person who's going through the study to take so you can see where your strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to loving one another in marriage. Again, find out more when you go to familylifetoday.com or pre-order the series online. Again, our website is familylifetoday.com.

If you have any questions or if you'd like to pre-order by phone, the number is 1-800-358-6329. That's 1-800-F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. And I just want to say thank you again to our legacy partners, those of you who contribute monthly to help support the ministry of family life today. Your investment in this ministry is having an impact in the lives of hundreds of thousands of husbands and wives and moms and dads, singles, grandparents, people all around the world are benefiting from the investments you are making.

And we're so grateful to be partnered with you. Today's program, the resources we're making available, you make all of that happen when you support the ongoing work of family life today. If you're a long-time listener and you've never made a donation, I want to challenge you to go to our website or call us at 1-800-FL today and join the team, help pay it forward, help others benefit from what you've been a beneficiary of. Invest in the work of family life today. And if you're a regular listener and you've thought about becoming a monthly legacy partner, why not do that today as well? Go to familylifetoday.com for more information or call 1-800-FL today and say, I'm ready to join the team. I want to become a legacy partner. And then be sure to join us again tomorrow when we're going to talk about one of the most challenging, most painful experiences any parent can go through.

That's when a son or a daughter becomes a prodigal. Craig Svensson joins us to talk about his experience with that, and we hope you can tune in as well. I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, along with our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our hosts, Dave and Ann Wilson, I'm Bob Lapine. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. . Family Life Today is a production of Family Life of Little Rock, Arkansas, a crew ministry. Help for today. Hope for tomorrow.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-27 04:17:49 / 2024-01-27 04:29:47 / 12

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