Do you or your spouse lie?
We wanted to bring this conversation up to help us all confront the issue that our flesh and our enemy tempts us to lie. But God calls us to a higher standard. In fact, He commands us not to lie. In this episode we navigate God’s Word on this topic and we discuss our marriage and lying. Yes, we have lied to each other, and in ways I never thought were that bad, but lying is lying.
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– Hey, we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage After God.
– Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.
– And today we got a question for you. Are you a liar? Hey, thanks for joining us. As always, we want to invite you to subscribe to our channel so you get notified every time we upload a new episode.
– We’d also love to hear from you in the comments and also we know that you guys have married friends, so be sure to share this with them. So this week, we thought it’d be important to pose a question, are you a liar because sometimes, I don’t know if you guys can relate, maybe you don’t think you’re a liar, maybe you don’t think you struggle with being a liar or lying and so we thought hey, let’s pose this as a question and just put the the idea out there to consider whether or not you struggle with lying.
– Yeah, because there’s things in our life that we lie about and we don’t see them as lies. We see them as fudges of the truth, or white lies, or all these other ways we want to say it. Another thing we do is we say oh, I don’t want to hurt my spouse so I’m just not gonna tell them the full truth. And you know what, the Bible is very clear about lying. We know that in the Ten Commandments, which is the first place I think of when I think of the word lie, you know, God’s moral law tells us not to lie or to bear false witness. And so we just thought that we’d present the idea, the question that you guys could use this episode to discuss in your own marriage if there’s areas that you lie about. Even in the little things, God does not like lying. He hates it. The Bible actually tells us that liars will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. It talks about all these other things that are not gonna be a part of that, and so He desires His children, us, especially marriages that are chasing after Him and are desiring to do ministry for Him, to evaluate ourselves and ask ourselves are we liars and is there any areas of our life that we lie in that we can, you know, ask for forgiveness in and actually ask God to change us in. And so we’re gonna talk about it today. We’re gonna bring up some Scripture and we’re gonna talk about how we’ve struggled with it in the past and currently, you know, get tempted with it every, single day. And so, why don’t you start off and you can, you know, introduce some of the things that we’re gonna talk about today?
– Well, first off, you mentioned it’s one of the commandments and it’s in Exodus 20. And, you know, we teach our children about the Ten Commandments and one of them is not to lie, and so why don’t you just read that verse real quick and we’ll talk about it?
– Yeah, so it’s in, the first place that the Ten Commandments shows up is in Exodus chapter 20. So if you don’t know that, memorize it. Exodus chapter 20. It’s where the Ten Commandments get first presented to the people of Israel.
– And don’t just listen to us read the Scripture. We want you guys to get your Bibles out. We want you looking in the Scriptures and reading them for yourselves.
– Yeah, so it’s in chapter 20 verse 16. It says you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. And so that word neighbor is a good word, if you want to talk about that for a second.
– Well, I mean, we’ve shared it in other episodes before but it’s just this idea that your closest neighbor is your spouse. Okay? Your children are your neighbors. Your neighbor’s your neighbor. Strangers are your neighbors.
– Everybody in your proximity and who you interact with and engage with are your neighbors.
– Yeah, and so since, as we always say, your spouse is your closest neighbor, the things that the Bible teaches us about how we should be to outsiders or to the world, our spouse should be getting that first, and as and as well as everyone else. And so, am I bearing false witness against you? Am i presenting untruths, falsities, lies to you in any part of my life? You know, it could be a white lie, it could be, you know–
– Omitting the truth.
– Yeah, omitting the truth, which is also lying.
– You only tell part of it, just enough to get you by and get that guilt off your chest, but it’s not actually full.
– And the Bible, this isn’t the only place it talks about it. It talks about all over the place. God clearly hates lying because God is the God of truth, so lying is the opposite of that, and that’s why we thought this was important to talk about. You know, so the ten commands we teach our kids, so anytime, you know, one of our children lies–
– Which happens.
– Which happens because it’s in our flesh. It’s natural to protect ourselves, to hide from the truth.
– They’re tempted in ways just like we are.
– Yeah, exactly the same ways and in many more ways as well because they’re just so young and fresh.
– So as parents we want to help cultivate a heart of truth in them. We want them to be able to speak the truth and walk in integrity. I think when we teach them these things, especially not lying, it forces us to consider whether or not we are actually walking in that truth.
– Because we don’t want to be hypocrites.
– You know, and so when it, when it comes up that we use the opportunity to say hey, you know, the ninth commandment, it says do not lie, you know. And are you lying? And then, so instead of it just being our voices of reminding of telling him why they shouldn’t lie–
– We’re supporting it with Scripture.
– Yeah the Scriptures, the Bible, God’s Word is telling our children why and how they should be. And so we bring these Scriptures up a lot. We’re like hey, you know, what’s the ninth commandment? Do you not lie. You know, what’s the fifth commandment? Honor your mother and father. So we bring these up often. So we just want to start with God’s moral law. He just he says it right, very in the beginning of the Bible, don’t lie. Don’t be a liar. And so we wanna, you know, it’s easy for us to think, like, well of course I don’t lie. Like, I’m not gonna, I don’t do big lies, I don’t say. But like, what are some of, like, the little things that we do that’s lying? It’s bearing false witness that we don’t even, we might not even be thinking about. Maybe they’re, they don’t even realize they do.
– Um, well, I don’t know. I can’t speak for them, but I know for me that something happened recently with us that I felt really guilty about and had to confess and let you know that I repented of this specific thing. So, you were getting frustrated with the kids because they weren’t brushing their teeth. They were kind of chomping on the toothbrush, playing with it like swords and, like, just not focused on brushing.
– Yeah, all the bristles are like.
– Which I think kids do, but–
– And we were getting ready to go somewhere and so you were in the bathroom with them, and I’m usually the one that is with them in the mornings getting them ready for their day, doing that whole routine.
– Cause I’m gone.
– And you made a comment from the bathroom and you said, “Have you been teaching the kids “how to brush their teeth?” because you were getting so frustrated at them not doing any sort of brushing of the teeth.
– It was almost as if they’d never done it before.
– Yes, yeah.
– But they do it every day.
– Yeah. And so I came out even more frustrated because I felt like this is an attack on my motherhood. Like I, of course I’m teaching the kids that I’m, they need to brush their teeth and how to do it right. And so I said yes and I went further to explain–
– Of course I do. I do it every day.
– How I teach them. And I lied. I exaggerated what was true to make myself feel and look better. And because I was embarrassed that they were having a hard time and and I thought–
– Well, also frustrated I even brought it up.
– Yeah, yeah. And so I don’t know if it was that same day or maybe the next day, but it was just–
– Actually I feel like it was a like a couple days later after like a, like, something happened that triggered in you.
– Yeah, well, it had been on my heart ever since the moment it came out of my mouth. I was just, I was really upset about it because I don’t usually lie. So when it does come up, I recognized it right away. And so I remember finally getting the courage to tell you hey, I need to talk to you. And I was so embarrassed because now that I’ve told the truth trying to exaggerate who I am as a person and what I do on a regular basis, I had to confront that that, that that wasn’t true too. And so I remember telling you, like, when I told you that the kids are learning how to brush their teeth I lied and that although I do teach them, I don’t teach them every single day and sometimes we’re rushing out of the house–
– It’s been a consistency issue.
– And I just quickly put toothpaste on the toothbrush, hand it to them, and kind of like do this quick, get-it-over-with-thing.
– And had I been more intentional with the kids, they would be brushing their teeth better. But I repented and I told you that I was sorry not just for lying about it, but also for not spending that intentional time to teach the kids because that is part of my job and part of the routine that I’m supposed to be having with them. And so, that was really, really recent and I don’t even remember why, like, that that temptation came and I did it and it was really–
– Well it’s, and I forgave you of course.
– And I wasn’t even mad about it because, you know, little things like that happen and over the years we’ve gotten better at being honest and open with each other. And I’m not immune to this. An example of me is, and this has happened several times in the past, and the husbands listening might agree with this. You know, I tell you I’m gonna be home at a certain time, like, I’m spending time with friends or I’m doing this, you know, a project, or I’m out and about, and I leave a little late, later than I said I was and I’m, or I forgot or I lost track of time. And so you would call me and I’d be like, oh, I’m right around the corner.
– And I’m just, like, just leaving.
– Yeah, and you’re racing home.
– And I’m not right around the corner and I’m speeding.
– Well, what is right around the corner?
– That’s how you justify it right? You’re like, I am on my way home.
– I could be like, I am on my way home, but in reality, the truth was I was late, and I did not pay attention, and I was I was unfaithful to my word, and I lied about where I was and how soon I was gonna be home. And the reason we do it is, like, in our flesh, you know, when I mentioned the toothbrush thing, your flesh immediately is like, oh, this is something that’s gonna hurt me.
– Like I feel like you need to defend it.
– I have to protect myself.
– But it always is because of something that we had already decided to do earlier, some sort of, you know, negligence or sin. And that’s where the temptation comes from. And they don’t have to be big things, but the thing is is that the Holy Spirit doesn’t desire us to have any of that in us. And God’s heart is that we would be people of truth and light. And those things, those little lies, it’s darkness, it’s separation, it’s not being honest, it’s not being open, it’s not being light. And if we are in a habit of those little lies, which is often, like, we don’t have to just jump to like, boom, big lie like we’re hiding a second family or something, Like, we don’t jump to big things like that. It starts with all of the little, you know, I get comfortable with my wife not knowing the full truth of things, you know. And that’s the danger for us. And that’s what, you know, our Savior wants to save us from is us being okay with all those little things.
– Can you speak a little bit as to why lying affects marriage or how, like, what are the different ways?
– Well, like we’ve mentioned in many episodes is it’s immediately darkness. It’s not being fully forthright. It’s hiding because we usually lie to protect ourselves. Our flesh is somehow gonna be harmed by this, so we lie, we tell, we say things that protect us. Other things that it does is we lie when we want to get our way. And so it’s manipulative. Let’s say I, you know, I want your attention or I want affirmation, or I want something from you and I lie to get it, and I manipulate you with my words and my untruthfulness. And what that does is that turns us from a oneness, and a team, and a loving relationship to a lording it over, as Paul tells us not to do, and a manipulation, and I’m controlling you with my words.
– And the other person feels that. Like, they can usually sense, you know, they have this–
– Sense in their heart that, you know, they’re either being lied to or something’s not quite right even though they don’t, they may not know what–
– Yeah and sometimes you don’t recognize it. But all that’s doing is is making the relationship fragile and cracked because we are allowing that darkness in. And you know what it does? It gives a foothold to the devil.
– Oh, totally.
– And we have an enemy, and he hates us, and he’s gonna use whatever he can, and he’s gonna use our own desires, and our own passions, and our own sin to dismantle the ministry that God’s given us, which is each other.
– Right, which is what I was gonna speak a little bit to. What I’ve noticed from lies coming up in our marriage is that it breaks that unity and trust. Like, it really tears down my ability to trust you, your ability to trust me. And that’s when doubt pops up and insecurities and it gets really hard to move forward, especially in any sort of mission to, or ministry to serve God when we are not on the same page or we are not close or we’re not being intimate because of lies.
– And it it if we’re lying in our marriage, what’s gonna stop us from lying outside of our marriage to someone we’re witnessing to, someone that we’re sharing the gospel with, someone that is in relationship with us in our church and fellowship? And they ask you, like, oh how you doing and you’re having a rough day and you’re angry, and bitter, and frustrated, and you say I’m great.
– That’s lying.
– Yeah that’s a good example.
– Or you’re, you know, you meet someone that you don’t really have a close relationship with but they are genuinely curious about how you are and you want to avoid having a conversation. So you’re like, I’m great, man, good. Versus actually, you know, I could use prayer because of this. And so we end up lying to people outside our marriage because it’s so easy inside of our marriage. And so that’s why we wanted to talk about this. And I want you guys to ask yourselves and evaluate yourselves and look inside and say, like, is this something I have a habit of doing even in the little things?
– That’s good.
– You know, because it’s just it’s darkness and it’s not how God created us to be.
– Yeah. So, one of the Scriptures we wanted to read today is Ephesians 4:25. It says therefore having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. And I love this verse. I felt like it speaks especially to this example you gave of are you lying to your community. You know, when people ask you how are you doing, are you lying to your neighbor? Are you lying to the body that is supposed to be united as one? Because lying will destroy that. It will–
– Well, it absolutely doesn’t cultivate unity.
– No way.
– It actually makes it feel much more fractured and impossible to have real relationships. And we’ve all experienced this. You have a relationship, you’re like, man, I just don’t know. Maybe I don’t think they’re lying to us, but we don’t ever know the full truth. You’re like, I don’t know where they’re at. They say they’re great every single time I see him. But I see these posts online and it’s just what see looks different than what I hear, you know.
– Another thing you said was we lie to try and protect ourselves and what I’ve noticed about lying is because you’re trying to protect yourself, when something else arises that contradicts that lie, you have to lie again just to protect yourself again.
– All these Band-Aids.
– Yeah, it’s really terrible.
– And you know, I was just thinking about this and in relationship with other Christians how many times have you told someone hey I’m gonna pray for you.
– And you don’t.
– And you don’t pray for him?
– I’m guilty of that. I’ve done that before.
– We all do it. And maybe we forgot. Maybe, but what it is, is it’s the intention of our heart was never to pray for them, you know. We desire to and we wish we were that kind of person, but we say hey, you know, I’m, oh yeah pray for you. Sweet. And you walk away, you go about your day. With this specifically praying that for people I’ve gotten, I’ve tried getting in the habit, because I would do this; I would say oh, I’m gonna pray for you I leave and then I’m like I never prayed for that person one time, praying right away.
– Okay I was just gonna say that exact same thing. I was gonna interrupt you to tell you.
– Tell me an example.
– Well I just have, you know, girlfriends that will be sharing where they’re at and even if they’re just over, you know, to hang out in the backyard the kids are playing and I’ll have to be intentional to stop and say hey, let me pray for you. Otherwise it slips my mind or, you know–
– It’s gone.
– We get busy. And it’s not that I’m trying to be just deceptive in that I want, I do want to pray for them, but unless I make a habit of praying for them right away, I do forget. And we also have, you know, a text message string with all the women in the fellowship. And when somebody puts out a prayer request, if I say I’m gonna be praying for them, I have to stop and pray for them right away, otherwise I do feel like I’m not walking with integrity.
– So the, you know, it’s not necessarily that we’re trying to lie when we say we’re gonna pray for someone and we don’t, but it’s not having the mind and our heart in that place. You know, in Matthew, Jesus says this in Matthew 5:37. He says let what you say be simply yes or no; anything more than this comes from evil or from the devil. And so this is the idea of, like, is our, do we care what our words are? Do we think about our words and say, like, oh, my words matter?
– You know, as it tells us in James that our tongue is like a flame that could set an entire forest on fire or it’s a rudder they can turn a large ship. Like, it’s so powerful. Do we care what our words are, you know?
– I feel like this also speaks to the commitments we make which are followed by action. So you gave the example of, you know, I’m right around the corner because you committed to being home at a certain time and then you fail to do that, and so when I think about this, like, let your yes be yes and your no be your no, you you have to know yourself, and know your capabilities, and know your commitments and follow through with them. That’s being integrity. That’s being a man of your word or a woman of your word.
– Well and where the lying comes in or the truth-telling, when you fail, when you mess up, or when you’re, you know, when you can’t fulfill the commitment or what you’re trying to, you know, that you agreed to doing, you tell the truth. And you own up to it. That’s the idea of owning, like, oh, you know what, I said I was gonna be, I’m, I didn’t, I wasn’t, I’m very sorry, and I just, I, next time I’m gonna be much more careful, next time I’m gonna leave earlier, next time I’ll let you know if something changes, and so that my wife knows where I’m at in my heart.
– And I can trust that–
– And that you can trust my words. Our words matter. Our words are the intentions of our heart. It says out of the overflow of your heart the mouth speaks. So if you’re telling lies, even if they’re little ones, that’s what’s in your heart. You’re storing up lies in your heart of, like, I’m not gonna tell the truth. My wife’s never gonna know the full truth. I’m not gonna tell her this, you know, the things that I want to hide from her because I like to hold on to them. And then on the other hand, like, my relationships with others, I’m not going to tell the full truth to them because I don’t actually really want them to know me fully. That’s just not what God desires for us. And you know what? There’s there’s two contrasts we want to look at here and the first one is gonna be in John chapter eight. So John 8:44 says this: You are of your father the devil and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and he does not stand in truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Okay, that’s a heavy Scripture, right? And he’s talking to the Pharisees about this, but we gotta ask ourselves, like, are we liars. Because if we’re liars, who are we acting like? We’re acting like the devil. He’s not our Father. We don’t want him to be our father. We have a father. Okay?
– But if we’re walking out our days lying, then we are reflecting his image.
– And we don’t want that. We have an image. And so would you read the contrast to this?
– Yeah, it’s in Colossians three, nine through 10 Do not lie to one another seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
– Whose creator? Our Creator. Who’s the creator? God is. So whose image do we want to be in?
– We want to be in God’s image.
– That’s Who we’re created in and that’s also Who saved us and Who’s regenerating us through knowledge. And you’re getting a knowledge right now, so do you, you know, take this and just leave it and say well, no, those little things are not big deals? Or, actually, I want to present these things to the Lord and ask Him to transform those areas of my life? I want to be a truth teller. I want to be light not darkness. I want to represent my Father in Heaven not the father of lies.
– What I also like about this verse is that it gives you that imagery of the old self and new self. And when we are walking with God, we are a new creation. And so, we just want to encourage you today if you have, if you’re looking at your life and you’re like, man, I’ve been a liar, I’ve been lying to my spouse, or I’ve been lying to my community, or if you just, even if they’re just small lies and you’re recognizing that, that can be your old self. Walk in the light of Christ. Walk in the knowledge that God has given us through his Scripture and be renewed, just like you’re talking about.
– Yeah, He’s renewing you every day and this is what we get to walk out as as Christians. You know, the Bible tells us to work out our salvation.
– You know, we have a salvation. God freely gave it to us by us believing on His Son Jesus. But He also gave us His Holy Spirit to transform us. And it says in first, it says in Romans that He’s giving life to our mortal bodies. And that’s amazing. So we just want to encourage you, like, we don’t need to be liars. We’re not slave to the old self anymore. We’re not slave to sin anymore.
– I know. It doesn’t mean that the temptation won’t come because it does come–
– All the time. But it’s a matter of walking in integrity and is telling your flesh no, I’m not gonna do that. And if you’re watching this right now and you feel like you need to confess, the Holy Spirit will guide you in that way. And if He does, I just want to speak to the spouse receiving that kind of confession. Be graceful. Be forgiving. Be someone who’s gonna uphold them with accountability, and love, and support because that is how we’ve experienced a, just, renewing in our marriage of trust building, of love, of connectedness, and oneness being restored. Because you can’t have one confessing and one not forgiving. It just doesn’t work that way. And so we just also want to be an encouragement to you to make sure that you guys are walking this out together and that you’re encouraging one another.
– Yeah, and it’s just good for us to be evaluating ourselves always. This is not a works mentality. This is not anything like that. This is purely learning to walk in the truth that the Word of God has given us and the power that the Holy Spirit’s given us. And that’s what the good news is. The good news is that he didn’t leave us dead. You know, we were dead bones before, and now, and then He’s regenerated us and made us new and given us new life and the Spirit of God lives in us. And as Galatians five, chapter one, or Galatians 5:3, verse one says for freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. So that’s what we get to walk in, freedom. We don’t need to be liars. We’re not of our, we’re not of the father of lies. We’re not from him. That’s not the image were created in. We’re created in God’s image and we He has His Spirits in us and so we can be truthful and honest because He created us and lives in us. So we just hope that that encouraged you today and we’re excited to see the fruit that comes from this. We just pray that your marriage is blessed by this, what we talked about today, and that as the body of Christ, as Christians in this world, that we’d be light and salt and that we would learn to walk in truth and not lies and that we would be in unity with our spouses and with the body of Christ. So, we’ll see you next week. Did you enjoy today’s show? Find many more encouraging stories and resources at marriageaftergod.com and let us help you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.