Over the past month I have spoken with several women who have been lied to in one form or another by their husbands. Ironically, in every instance the husband seemed clueless as to the effect of his lie on his wife and his marriage. To him, his lie was no big deal; but to her, that same lie left her feeling devastated and wondering whether or not she wanted to continue in the marriage. Is lying a big deal? Let's see.

The Lie.
The most obvious meaning of a lie is something that is not true: a false statement deliberately presented as being true. But a lie is not so simplistic: it penetrates to a level deeper than simple falsehood. To lie is to breach the confidence and trust of another; it is an act of infidelity. A lie is intent to deceive; it is a treacherous act.

You can lie with your words and you can lie without speaking a word. When a husband leads his wife to believe that he is in one place and knows that he has made plans to be somewhere else and has not disclosed those plans to her, he has lied: he has intentionally deceived her. When a husband has taken on the responsibility of paying the bills and the wife later discovers that they are delinquent, he has lied: he has betrayed her trust. When a husband does not tell his wife the truth about this, that or the other (or him, her or whomever) because he "knows how she will react," he has lied: he has willfully withheld the truth.

In scripture, very strong language is used to describe how God feels about lying: it is described as an abomination and detestable. What does that mean in plain language? It means that God hates lying; He regards it with horror; He finds it utterly and completely repulsive and disgusting. If God feels that way about lying, shouldn't we?

The Cause.
Why did these husbands lie? In each instance there were three common denominators: fear, arrogance, and selfishness. Fear says, I will lie because I'm afraid of the consequence of telling the truth. A lie is a cowardly way of dealing with, or not dealing with an issue. Lying because you're afraid of a presumed consequence is foolish because the repercussion of a lie is worse than the consequence you thought you were avoiding. Arrogance says, I will lie because I should not have to deal with the consequence of telling the truth. When a husband lies to his wife he is in effect saying that she is not worthy of being told the truth. Selfishness says, I will lie because the consequence of telling the truth may get in the way of what I want to do. Lying to your wife is a blatant disregard of God's mandate to put the needs and interests of your wife above your own.

The Effect.
When a husband lies to his wife he loses three things: trust, security and respect. Trust is built on truth. When a husband consistently does the good and right things that he says he will do, he will gain or regain his wife's trust. Speaking the truth is one of the most loving things we can do in marriage. When a husband lies, his word loses weight and the weight of a man's word anchors his integrity. When a husband lies, his wife is no longer sure that his yes means yes and his no means no. Now she questions what he says. His lie has sown seeds of doubt in the marriage and the fruit of doubt is distrust. God requires the wife to forgive her husband for lying to her, but God does not require her to trust him. Trust is earned, and it is earned by a consistent commitment to being truthful over time.

A husband is supposed to be the loving leader of his wife, but when a husband lies to his wife he is misleading her making it difficult for her to follow his leadership. She no longer feels safe because the one who has been set in place for her protection has caused her to feel vulnerable and made a fool of. The husband will reap the fear he has sown through the insecurity his lie has cultivated within his wife.

I believe that every husband wants to be his wife's hero. He wants to stand tall in her eyes; he wants her respect. But if through a lie he has shown her no consideration, it will be difficult for her to show him consideration. If through a lie he has not esteemed her, it will be difficult for her to esteem him. A lie is one of the most disrespectful things a husband can do to his wife, and as he robs her of respect by lying to her, he will rob himself of her respect.

The Conclusion.
We do reap what we sow. When a husband lies he sows distrust, disrespect, and insecurity into his marriage, and he will surely reap it. When a husband lies to his wife he is acting treacherously towards her. God says when a husband acts treacherously towards his wife, He won't regard that husband or readily accept anything from him. If God won't, it's likely the wife won't either. Husbands, if you want your wife to trust you, don't lie to her. If you want your wife to follow you, don't mislead her. If you want your wife to respect you, honor her enough to tell her the truth. It is a big deal.

Aleathea Dupree is the author of Though The Vision Tarry: Waiting For My Promised Mate and the Administrator of the Deep Waters website/forum. Copyright © 2005. All Rights Reserved. For permission to reprint, please contact: administrator@deepwaters.info.

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The Gift of Forgiveness
by Charles F. Stanley

Charles Stanley shares the key to personal peace in The Gift of Forgiveness. He shares the specifics of how to go about receiving and giving forgiveness. In this markedly helpful book, Stanley addresses such questions as how to practice a life of forgiveness in all your relationships and how to make forgiveness an ongoing, practical experience in your life.

Are you holding on to a grudge because of something your spouse did to you? Perhaps you are carrying some emotional baggage caused by past hurts. This resource will walk you through the process of forgiveness, which is one of the best gifts you could give yourself… and your marriage.

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Forgiving The Unforgivable
Understand that forgiveness is not: Justifying, understanding, or explaining why the person acted toward you as he or she did. Just forgetting about the offense and trusting time to take care of it. Asking God to forgive the person who hurt you. Asking God to forgive you for being angry or resentful against the person who offended you. Denying that you were really hurt… [More]

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Keep an eye out for our follow-up article to this month's feature article where we'll offer hope and encouragement to the wife who is dealing with her husband's lie.

We'll address such questions as:

  • How do I deal with the hurt and the anger?
  • Can I ever trust him again?
  • What do I do now?

Hope, encouragement, and wise counsel are available. You can recover from the lie.


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