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 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?
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
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
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.