Stop Hiding Before It’s Too Late

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Prayer is such a vital part of every Christian’s life. In today’s episode we are going to be discussing the Lords prayer. The Lords prayer is spoken by Jesus himself when he gives the Sermon on the Mount. This teaching is super important, because it emphasizes the importance of prayer and personal relationship with God.

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”– Matthew 6:5-13 ESV

Our hearts is that today’s episode encourages you to build on your prayer life, not for salvation, but to build true intimacy with God. Intimacy takes intentionality, just like our marriages we need to invest in our relationship with God. We pray this Marriage After God podcast encourages you to cling to God and deepen your relationship with him.

READ TRANSCRIPT

Aaron:
Hey, we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage After God.

Jennifer:
Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

Aaron:
And today, we want to encourage you to stop hiding before it’s too late.

Aaron:
Welcome to the Marriage After God podcast, where we believe that marriage was meant for more than just happily ever after.

Jennifer:
I’m Jennifer, also known as unveiled wife.

Aaron:
And I’m Aaron, also known as husband revolution.

Jennifer:
We have been married for over a decade.

Aaron:
And so far, we have four young children.

Jennifer:
We have been doing marriage ministry online for over seven years through blogging and social media.

Aaron:
With the desire to inspire couples to keep God at the center of their marriage, encouraging them to walk in faith every day.

Jennifer:
We believe that Christian marriage should be an extraordinary one, full of life.

Aaron:
Love.

Jennifer:
And power.

Aaron:
That can only be found by chasing after God.

Jennifer:
Together.

Aaron:
Thank you for joining us in this journey as we chase boldly, after God’s will for our life together.

Jennifer:
This is Marriage After God. Hey, everyone. Thanks for joining us on this week’s episode. We hope it really encourages you. If you have a moment and you haven’t left us a review yet for the Marriage After God podcast, we’d really appreciate it. We know that it takes time to do that, whether you leave a star rating review or a comment review, but we do want you to know that we really appreciate it and it does help other people find the Marriage After God podcasts. So if you have a moment and you can do that, we really appreciate it.

Aaron:
Also, I just want to encourage you that it’s a great opportunity to share a testimony of what the Lord is doing through this content and in your life and in your marriage. So when people are reading those reviews, they might even be blessed and have their hearts changed just through your words. So think about that. Go leave us a star rating and review today if you have not done that yet. And we appreciate you if you have. Thank you.

Jennifer:
All righty. So today’s episode is really encouragement. Well, it’s encouragement, but it’s also a strong warning, but it’s for all of us.

Aaron:
It’s a warning, yes. In this warning, is an encouragement of reminding us of who we are as Christians. But man, the reason this topic has come up is, over the years we’ve had messages and emails from people that are on the verge of divorce-

Jennifer:
Who we don’t know, and then some people that we do know.

Aaron:
Yeah. And the people that we do know have been hard for us. I mean they all should be hard, but people that are in our lives that, I get these out of the blue messages of this destruction. And I just think, what happened? Where did this come from? Specifically in one of these stories, I’m not going to name names or say who, but I would watch this … Follow this person’s social media and there was no evidence, in their day to day postings and the way they talked about their spouse that this was coming, there was no evidence. And that’s what shook me the most recently, is how we can see one thing, but the truth be something else. This was the case in our marriage.

Jennifer:
Yeah.

Aaron:
For many years.

Jennifer:
Yeah. We shared about this in our book, just about that whole … I think I opened up a story with a picture that I shared on Facebook or maybe you shared it, but just how everything seemed fine on the outside but we were dying on the inside.

Aaron:
Yeah. We were doing all the Christian stuff. We were being missionaries, we … Anyone could look at us and be like, man, they have a … What a cool marriage. What they’re doing, right?

Jennifer:
Oh, go ahead.

Aaron:
I was just going to say, but on the inside we were being destructive and there was hidden sin and there was our fights and our bickering and just the things that were existing on the inside didn’t match with the outside.

Jennifer:
Yeah. And I just wanted to make a note that this isn’t about social media because it’s not about what we do and don’t post. This is just one example, but it even goes … It’s bigger than that. The question is, are we showing people? So not just social media, but are we showing people what’s real or are we only showing parts of our life that look okay? I’m talking about our friends, our family, people we spend time with in community. Or are we avoiding community altogether because of what’s happening?

Aaron:
Yeah. And we’ve seen this both ways. We’ve experienced it ourself, avoiding community, avoiding too many close relationships because they were too difficult. But we’ve also hidden in plain sight. We’ve been around people, had really close friends that only knew a little bit. We never fully opened up and said, Hey, we’re, this is what’s happening. I think there’s many reasons for that, but this episode is an encouragement and a warning that we stop hiding, because of how destructive that hiding is. The devil wants us hidden. He wants us to internalize everything. He wants us to pretend like no one will understand-

Jennifer:
He wants us to feel isolated and-

Aaron:
And alone. Yeah. And there’s many reasons we do it, but we need to fight it. We want to talk about some of the reasons why to fight it, but that’s really what our encouragement is, like these people that we’ve seen and their marriage fell apart and it’s not just about even their marriage is falling apart. There’s other things that play in this and even what happens after the marriage falls apart and what is happening on the inside and the danger of being autonomous as a Christian, right? The Bible … I just thought about this often refers to Christians as part of a body. Now imagine if your arm was just sitting on the ground next to you, it’s not a part of the body anymore, that arm’s dead. That’s kind of what we do. That’s what the enemy tries to do to Christians, is separate them from the body. Oh, I can love God. I can love Jesus. I can be a Christian. I can read the Bible. I don’t need other Christians. We’re good.

Jennifer:
Okay. What makes me so sad about that illustration is, if my arm was not attached to my body and it was laying on the ground, I’d be screaming, I’d be in so much pain, I just want it fixed, I’d want it healed, I’d want it … People praying for me, go get surgery, go get it fixed, go reattach it, whatever I could. And yet, this picture of the arm being separated and on the ground and someone not screaming and biting their tongue or holding it back, and this idea of hiding, that is emotionally painful for me to just picture and imagine.

Aaron:
Well, and mentally. And it’s destructive. If eventually you just stop caring that you don’t have the army anymore, when now you’re not even a whole body. And so-

Jennifer:
Which hinders your ministry and what you’re able to do.

Aaron:
Yeah, you have one arm now or one foot or one toe missing or the … And that analogy, that the Bible gives us is so perfect because as believers we are a part of a single body. We’re individually members of one another. That’s what the Bible tells us. But we don’t walk that way. We don’t walk with each other. Jennifer and I, when we were early on our marriage, we tried … The few times that we tried opening up, we were still very controlled in what we opened up about. We didn’t get the response we wanted, therefore we didn’t open up anymore, right? We based it off of what we were looking for, our answer, we didn’t open up-

Jennifer:
Not even just that, but if it was uncomfortable, I would immediately be like, Oh, I didn’t like that. I didn’t like the way that felt and so, I’m not going to do that again.

Aaron:
Or the moment someone maybe challenged us, it was like, Oh, you’re not even caring about me. All you’re doing is correcting me. All you’re doing is judging me. And there’s these things that happen in our flesh that keep us from walking the way God’s called us to walk with other believers and we miss out on the benefit of what happens when we do. So when we hide in the darkness and no one sees our hidden sin-

Jennifer:
Or pain.

Aaron:
Or pains or struggles, guess what happens? There is no correction. That hip that’s out of place, doesn’t get put into place. That shoulder that’s dislocated, doesn’t get relocated. The thing that needs to happen, the Bible says, we walk straight so that what’s laying won’t be put out of place, so that we can actually be healed. In James, it tells us to confess our sins to one another so that we will be healed. The reason God’s called us to be this way, is for our benefit and for the benefit of his mission for us, that we’re walking rightly and properly and upright, and we’re healing, we’re being sanctified.

Jennifer:
With this idea of a body, I know just now you’re referencing to the greater community. But when you think about, how the Bible talks about in marriage, a husband and wife are one flesh and you talk about that shoulder that needs to be relocated or that hip that’s out of place, if you’re hiding sin or things that you’re struggling with from your spouse, you’re not the only one feeling a hip out of place. Your spouse feels it whether or not you’ve told them.

Aaron:
They may not know there’s a spiritual thing going on.

Jennifer:
Yeah. There’s something wrong.

Aaron:
Yeah. A good example of this, I’ve talked to men who were dealing with, some sort of addiction, not even that big of addiction, just something that they liked. I’m like, “Are you going to tell your wife?” And they would say, “No, I don’t want to hurt her. I’ll deal with this.” They don’t realize that the fact that they’re keeping this, their intimacy, their closeness is broken. They have no interest in their wife knowing what they struggle with, right? That’s where sin leads us. Sin leads us to avoid healthy things. It leads us to avoid the things that God knows we need. It keeps us in the mud when we should be in the bath. Right? This is what hiding does. And so, that’s what this episode’s about. It’s not going to be very long. I’m hoping that this is just a strong push for that person that’s listening, that’s saying, I should tell someone.

Jennifer:
Yeah. And just to clarify, it’s not just for people on the brink of divorce who are already experiencing that destruction. Every one of us should be moved to evaluate whether or not we are avoiding intimacy, hiding a confession or just evaluating whether we’re being open and honest and real with our spouse or with others for the sake of getting help or encouragement or prayer or advice.

Aaron:
Hey, Marriage After God friends, I wanted to take a short 32nd break from today’s topic to thank you. Thank you for your continued faithfulness and listening each and every week. Jennifer and I have often shared with you about how important prayer is in the life of a believer. It’s so important in fact, that we’re told this, in first Thessalonians, “Rejoice, always, pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God and Christ Jesus for you.” It is God’s will for us to pray and we want to inspire you to begin praying for your spouse and marriage every day. This world hates marriage and so does our enemy, because he knows the power that your marriage is meant to have in this world. He knows that if you and your spouse are praying and chasing boldly after God together, that the impact Christ will have in and through you will be powerful.

So we need to be praying more than ever before. Our heart is to encourage you along with everyone who listens to this show, to be praying for your spouses and your marriages to be strengthened, renewed, healed, prepared, and empowered to do the ministry that God has for you to do in this world together. So with that being said, Jennifer and I would love to invite you to join the thousands of other couples in taking our 31 day marriage prayer challenge. This is a completely free and fun way to build a habit of prayer in your marriage. All you have to do to join is visit, marriageprayerchallenge.com and fill out the registration form. Once you do that, you will begin to receive an email every day from us during the 31 days, to not only remind you to pray for your spouse, but we’ll also give you various topics and prompts to help you know what to pray for.

We dare your marriage to start praying like never before. Start the challenge today at marriageprayerchallenge.com. Now, enjoy the rest of today’s episode.

Jennifer:
To keep trying, to keep doing, to keep pressing forward.

Aaron:
Are we going to our spouse on that level, we’re struggling at work or we’re dealing with … We feel down. We feel broken. We feel useless. These are all things that are common in men. We deal with these kinds of emotions. Do you go to your spouse and say, I don’t feel good. I feel off. I feel out of it. I feel useless. I feel sad. Are you sharing that or is your wife coming to you? If you’re the wife, are you sharing with your husband, Hey, my heart is broken or I’m suffering in this way. Instead of hiding and thinking, well, they won’t understand or they’re not going to give me what I need or …

Jennifer:
Yeah. Or that whole play on manipulation where you act a certain way, wanting them to ask you or inquire what’s wrong instead of just telling them and offering your heart to them.

Aaron:
And then beyond that, and this is where the bigger encouragement comes from is, as a couple, are you open and transparent and honest and walking in light with other Christians? Do other Christians know that you’re bickering all the time? Do you go to your fellowship, the people that you walk with and say, we need help. We bicker about everything. Are you going and saying, “Hey, we’re in this financial PR situation and we don’t know how to get out of it. We need help?” “Hey, we have this issue with our son and I don’t know what to do.”

Jennifer:
There’ve been so many times in our own marriage honey where, we do tell people what … We practiced it more so in the last handful of years and we’re better at this, but sharing what we’re going through and that extra set of eyes or harder perspective, someone sharing an experience that they had that was similar and helping us see it a different way has been so impactful.

Aaron:
And I would say that this was changed a lot in us, is first of all being obedient to God because he’s called us to be this way and we’ll talk about that. But in doing it, in being obedient and saying, you know what, regardless of how people respond, we’re going to walk in light. And you know what? When you walk with people that love you and it’s easy to find people to walk with that love you when you’re real, because then you’ll find real people. You’ll tell them, I’m going through this issue. I’m struggling with this way of thinking. I’m dealing with this thing and I don’t know how to get out of it. I think this way. And then they tell you and talk to you and encourage you and they challenge you, but you know what? That’s what people don’t want. But when we started doing it and we started seeing it, we started seeing the benefit of it. Things changed in us, but it takes a change in our way of thinking.

It takes an obedience to the way that the scriptures have called us to walk as Christians so that we can benefit from it. And if we’re afraid of being judged, well, if I tell them this, then they’re just going to judge me. Well, you know what? Sometimes we need to be judged. I should say, if I come to my brothers and I say, man, I just, I keep yelling at my wife, but I don’t want to tell them that because they’re going to be like, stop yelling at your wife. Why are you being like that? I don’t want to hear that. Then I’m going to keep doing it. But if I go to them and be like, I don’t want to do this anymore. And they say, well, you’ve got to stop. Let’s pray about this. Let’s walk through this. Let’s look through the scriptures and see how you should be. What’s triggering it? Why are you not having self control in that? Isn’t that good for us? It’s good for me as a man. It’s good for you as a woman.

Jennifer:
And the cool thing about it is, when you walk those types of situations out in your marriage and you overcome them and you become a better person and someone else in the community comes to you guys because you’re there for them, you’re able to walk them through it, right?

Aaron:
Yeah. Well it’s that whole … It’s the plank eye thing is. You’ve had a plank removed from your eye and now you can see the speck in your brother’s eye clearly. And there’s a lot of planks in our eyes people. We need people that see clearly, that can see the plank in our eyes and help us take it out.

Jennifer:
Okay. So let’s rewind just a little bit and share a part of our story, parts of our story that really, is why we share this message of light and darkness and the encouragement slash warning that this message is, because we experienced it.

Aaron:
Yeah. Well, there was issues in our marriage that we didn’t know how to deal with and that were hurting us, sexual issues and we’ve talked about in a previous episode. And it amplified other bad behaviors in us and gave us justification for sinful behaviors and addictions and-

Jennifer:
I would say the first three and a half to four years of our marriage was this wrestling-

Aaron:
On the outside, we’re doing ministry and doing these things and on the inside, we’re being just totally destructive.

Jennifer:
Day by day, both of us walking more into isolation from each other, even though we shared a bedroom. I mean, it was-

Aaron:
And if we would have … It wasn’t until what? About four years into our marriage when we found that marriage ministry at our church and sat down among men and women-

Jennifer:
It was three and a half years, yeah.

Aaron:
That were just totally sharing their worst moments out loud. And we’ve looked at each other and we’re like, what is happening? And it also showed us that we weren’t alone. We’re like, wait a minute, we’re not the only ones dealing with these kinds of issues. We’re not the only ones that make these kinds of mistakes and act this way.

Jennifer:
So before we get there though, I want you to share a little bit on your part and then I’ll share a little bit just about what that hiding experience was like.

Aaron:
Oh, so for me it was very lonely because we didn’t feel close to anyone. So we had isolation in our marriage, isolation from fellowship. My sin was, even though I would confess to you, and that’s all it was, I was telling you what I was doing, nothing really ever changed dramatically until years later.

Jennifer:
Yeah and sometimes there would be a long time or space between when it happened to when you actually told me.

Aaron:
Yeah, well, because I wanted to control how I did it and I didn’t want you to be that mad at me, so I wanted to give space and I wouldn’t engage with people on that level. I wouldn’t tell guys what I was dealing with. First of all, I also assumed everyone dealt with the same thing and I assumed no one could help me. I assumed it was something I was always going to deal with. But it slowly over time turned into apathy and my relationship with you slowly deteriorated. My relation with God felt fake.

Jennifer:
Do you ever feel like, if you were to ask me a question to try and get to know me or see how I’m doing, were you ever fearful that then I would turn around and ask you a question that maybe you didn’t want to have to answer so then you avoided that altogether?

Aaron:
Yeah. I don’t think we had too many deep conversations. They were surface level about things we were doing, future plans, ideas-

Jennifer:
Because I’ll admit to that.There were certain times that I was just like, man, I want to go there with you, but I don’t because then I feel like I’d have to answer some hard questions too. So let’s just avoid that.

Aaron:
Yeah. Well, and then also we have this persona, we have this outward appearance that other people were seeing and our fear of divulging where we are at, then people would see the kind of people we were, which is exactly what should have happened.

Jennifer:
Yeah, probably.

Aaron:
We should have been called out way earlier. Like, Hey, why are you doing this stuff over here for ministry but you haven’t dealt with this stuff over here in your home? But you know what? Pride got in the way. We didn’t want to be called out. We didn’t want to be embarrassed. We didn’t want to be told we were wrong. We were trying to do it on our own. And you know what? And then we tried doing it individually on our own and guess what? Nothing came …

Jennifer:
That was really hard for me to go through.

Aaron:
Yeah. And so essentially, we were walking in darkness. We lived in the dark. We played in the light, so everyone see this way of being and then we lived in the darkness, which is not how God’s called us to live.

Jennifer:
Well, our marriage was falling apart.

Aaron:
Yeah. Almost completely fell apart. And so, God finally got ahold of us. He had been trying to get ahold of us and he did. He didn’t give up on us.

Jennifer:
So going back to that community that we became a part of around three and a half years of our marriage, we saw a transparency in other couples. It was really the first time that we sat in a group and heard what other types of conflict or situations or pain people were going through and experiencing. And we looked at each other like, but even for a couple of weeks, we still didn’t want to say anything.

Aaron:
It took us a little bit to open up.

Jennifer:
But I would walk away in tears because I wanted to say something and there was this like … I don’t know. This-

Aaron:
Burden. Well, it’s a fear. I think you said a really good thing, there’s risk involved in walking in the light because then people get to see you. They get to know you and all the work we did to look a certain way, it gets thrown out the door. And so, I would say that was a defining moment for us in our marriage, was not even us opening up, but being around people that were transparent, which is the power in walking in light. Because think about this, when you take that step of faith and you say, I’m going to walk in light, I don’t know how people are going to respond to me, but I want freedom from this. I want to healing from this. I want help from this, I want accountability in this, and you do it. You are an example to those that are in darkness and it encourages them like it encouraged us.

Jennifer:
You literally are bringing light into the room and to the table.

Aaron:
Yeah. Instead of everyone just walking in this like, no, we’re going to be in our darkness over here. Let’s keep everyone at arm’s length. We’ll we’ll say hi, we’ll give the smiles, we’ll say how you doing, but not really want to know because then we’ll have to tell how we’re doing and get rid of the formalities and get rid of the mushy gushy, service level nonsense. But actually be like, I’m actually really struggling. I’m completely broken inside and here’s why. Here’s the things that are going on. I don’t know why or how to fix it, but I need help. And then you have brothers and sisters in Christ that see it and say, maybe they say hard things to you. Right?

Jennifer:
Yeah. Sometimes it’s an encouragement. Sometimes it’s just a prayer. Sometimes it’s just a presence of being near in those moments.

Aaron:
Maybe they cry with you. Maybe they laugh with you.

Jennifer:
We’ve experienced all of this and that’s why we’re sharing it with you guys. If I could narrow down a phrase of what changed in us, it was saying yes. Saying yes to building friendships with other married couples who were chasing after God. They weren’t perfect-

Aaron:
Even when it’s difficult.

Jennifer:
They weren’t perfect, but they were pursuing him. That sparked something in us, that changed us, that changed the way our relationship was. Saying yes to hard questions, being open in that way-

Aaron:
Instead of just trying to give the wash over answer, like, Hey, just this is enough for you to know.

Jennifer:
Saying yes to those pricks of conviction that the Holy spirit lays on your heart for confession. So saying yes to, even though I’m scared right now, I am going to go tell you something. Saying yes was huge for us and it’s a continual thing.

Aaron: We want to read some scriptures and give you some warnings and encouragements. So the first one is, stop hiding in the darkness. If you’re in a place, let’s say you’re bickering, you’re struggling, there’s financial problems, there’s parenting problems, there’s sickness, there’s these things that … There’s something going on. And you’re just not willing to tell someone because you don’t think they’ll understand. You think they’re going to judge you. We have people email us and they’ll say, I can’t tell anyone in my community this because they’re just going to judge me, so I want to tell you a complete stranger on the internet my problems.

Jennifer:
They don’t always word it just like that. I think you have a lot of-

Aaron:
They don’t. Well, my frustration and my fear comes from, no, the point of your community is that you go to them and-

Jennifer:
I just want to clarify, what they say when they start to tell us their stories is, I don’t have anyone else to tell. But they do, they just-

Aaron:
They don’t want to. And so, if that’s where you’re at, stop hiding in the darkness. Acts 26 verse 16, through 18, it’s when Paul, before he’s Paul, when he’s Saul. He’s on the road and he gets met by Jesus. And this is what Jesus says to Saul. He says, “But rise and stand up on your feet for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and a witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles to whom I am sending you to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”

That was the ministry that Jesus gave to Paul and it’s the ministry that Paul passed on to us. That we turn people from darkness to light. And then in first John one, verses five and seven, it says this, “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in it is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him …” There’s that word fellowship. “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he’s in the light …” Listen to this. “We have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus, his son cleanses us from all sin.”

So when we walk in darkness, we don’t have fellowship with the father and we don’t have fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ. If we walk in light, we have fellowship with the father and we have fellowship with one another. And so, one, we’re a liar, one, we’re not a liar. So stop hiding in the darkness. If you guys are going through issues and you don’t know what to do, go tell people. Go to people.

Jennifer:
If you’re struggling individually, if you are wrestling with sin or whatever it is, and you haven’t told your spouse yet-

Aaron:
Go tell your spouse.

Jennifer:
Make time for that.

Aaron:
And if you’re afraid of how they’re going to react, this is how I started doing it, is I wanted to be more afraid of God and what he thinks of me than if my spouse. So that my telling my spouse is out of awe for God not out of a obligation to my bride, even though it is an obligation to her. And that is much more powerful because it’s going to hurt my bride to tell her this truth, but I’m going to do it anyway because I’m hurting her no matter what. Even if I don’t tell her, it’s hurting our marriage.

Jennifer:
And here’s the thing guys is, hiding doesn’t work anyways. Okay? Luke 12:2 says, “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed or hidden that will not be known.” We don’t want these things that we’re struggling and wrestling with to be made known in a way that is total destruction and hurts people. We want it to be revealed in a humble way, in a way that shows remorse and desires reconciliation for the purpose of God’s glorification, not our own.

Aaron:
Yeah. And so, stop hiding in the darkness and stop hiding your sins. It doesn’t work and it doesn’t get healed. if you hide it, it can’t be healed. All it does is grow and fester and get worse and it gives birth to death.

Jennifer:
Here’s another lie. I talked about lies earlier. Here’s another lie that the enemy likes to say, you don’t need to tell anyone, you got this. You can do it yourself. You can overcome this thing by yourself.

Aaron:
Oh, yeah. Just be better next time.

Jennifer:
Oh man guys, it doesn’t work. We both will tell you right here, right now, it doesn’t work.

Aaron:
And guess what? That’s actually the definition of salvation by works. So when the devil comes to you and when you hear these lies that says, don’t worry about it. Don’t go confess, remember God has forgiven you already. Just keep it inside and just be better next time. You’re essentially being told, do it in your own strength. That’s what the lie is.

Jennifer:
That’s a lie, yeah.

Aaron:
But Jesus died for the sin and he’s told us how to … One of the ways that to help with that is confession, is to go to tell and to speak it out loud and say, this is not who I am anymore. I want to walk better than this and I need the spirit of God to do it in me. And I need my brothers and sisters to see me and to know me.

Jennifer:
So another thing that comes to mind with hiding is, when you hide, you lack peace. Because you know that this thing exists in your life, whether it’s sin or something else that you-

Aaron:
Or hidden turmoil.

Jennifer:
Hidden turmoil, whatever it is, and you feel the conviction by the Holy spirit that you should tell your spouse or tell the community that you’re a part of and you don’t, and you resist that, you are a person that does not have peace. John 16:33 says, “I have said these things to you that in me, you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation, but take heart, I have overcome the world.”

Aaron:
Yeah. So hiding our struggles and our hidden sin and these things, thinking that they’re just going to disappear, does nothing for us but makes it worse and hurts us. And Jesus is telling right here, he’s like, we’re going to have these things.

Jennifer:
Yeah. But we have to do it in … We have to live out this life his way.

Aaron:
Well, and what I’m getting at also, it doesn’t make for … Another reason why Jennifer and I hid our struggles and our issues, was because we felt this this unspoken fear of making a bad name for God. But you know what makes a bad name for God? Being a hypocrite. Acting one way and then internally not being it, right? So what’s better than being a hypocrite, is being honest. And coming out and saying, Oh, you know what? I have this sin issue that needs to be dealt with and I want my brothers and sisters to help me deal with it and to convict me and to keep me accountable and to walk with me. Or I have this struggle in my marriage, I’m not walking in holiness or we’re not walking in understanding or we’re not walking in … Whatever it is, hiding your struggle is the worst thing you can do for that struggle.

And here’s the thing, everyone has struggles. So hiding it is so ridiculous. And you know what it does? It also doesn’t help anyone else, because everyone else hides thinking, well, no one else has problems. So if I say it, I’m going to be the only one that has this problem.

Jennifer:
On the flip side of that, what we experienced, the moment you’re transparent and say, Hey, this is happening in our marriage, all of a sudden that burden that you feel, that rock in your heart, that just hurts so bad, immediately feels weightless-

Aaron:
Lighter.

Jennifer:
Lighter, because you go, Oh, I can relate to that and raise your hand, actually me to-

Aaron:
Yeah and be prepared, you’ll start getting people to share with you and be open with you that you never thought they would. So you can be an example in that.

Jennifer:
It’s the difference between humility and pride. I know you brought up pride earlier, but this is what we’re talking about, is the difference between humility and pride.

Aaron:
Yeah. I’m going to lay down my pride and I’m going to be light as God’s called me to be. And then here’s something to think about. If you think no one’s going to understand, be careful that you’re not being prideful. Because that’s the other thing, I have received messages of, the people in my community, they just won’t understand. That’s a pride stance. Thinking that there’s not a single person around you that can relate to the problem or give you biblical advice. Because even if I can’t directly understand what someone’s going through-

Jennifer:
If you didn’t walk step by step what I went through, there’s still going to be parts of my story that you can speak to or relate to or understand.

Aaron:
And even if I couldn’t directly relate to something, I could totally either know someone who could, you know what? So-and-so has dealt with something just like this, would you like to talk to them? Or you know what the word of God says?

Jennifer:
Yeah. Point you back to God and that’s what we need.

Aaron:
I don’t need to have to understand exactly every point of contention and issue and struggle. It could be as simple as, Well, hey, it sounds like you’re believing wrong or it sounds like you have a false understanding of something and you know what often our pride doesn’t want to hear any of that. All we want in our pride is someone to confess to and that’s going to say, Hey, praying for you. Sometimes that’s all we want because we don’t want to be actually changed and healed. We just want someone to commiserate with us and that’s not good.

Pride will keep you from humbling yourself, before those who love you and desire to see you strong and healthy. Pride will keep you from the people that love you and desire to see you strong and healthy because you’re going to say things like, well, they’re not going to understand or they’re going to tell me something I don’t want to hear. What if the thing that they tell you that you don’t want to hear is the very thing you need to hear? And often that’s the case, right?

Jennifer:
If anyone’s cringing from their pride right now, let’s read some scripture to encourage them.

Aaron:
Yeah, because that we get it from the Bible. It’s not from my opinion. Psalms 138:6 says, “For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly.” First of all, that’s so beautiful. “He regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.” I don’t want God to know me from a distance. I want him to regard me in my lowliest state. And you know what? All of us are lowly. We deserve only wrath and yet we get righteousness from Christ. And so, let’s put away our pride. Proverbs 29:23, “One’s pride will bring him low, but he is who’s lowly in spirit will obtain honor.” Can you read the last one? James 4:6.

Jennifer:
Yeah. It says, “But he gives more grace. Therefore, it says God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” That’s what I want.

Aaron:
Yeah. Grace please, Lord. A little bit more than that.

Jennifer:
Don’t oppose me.

Aaron:
Yeah, don’t be opposed to me. I would love you to regard my lowliest state and I need your grace. And so let’s put our pride away. People. If you feel that, if the Lord is convicting you, saying, you’re not speaking out, you’re not walking in light with your brothers and sisters, and it’s a root of pride that’s keeping you from it. Tell the Lord, say, “I’m sorry, change this in me, help me to be humble.” It’s better to humble ourselves than to be humbled, just so you know. It’s so much easier to humble ourselves than to be humbled.

So we’re coming up to the end. The whole point of this is to encourage you to walk in light. Stop hiding. There’s a reason God calls us to be these kinds of people. In Ephesians five, eight through nine, it says, ” For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light, for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true.” That’s who you are. That’s who we are. We don’t want to be liars. We want to have fellowship with the father, so we need to walk in light as he is light and that light, it lives in us. Why don’t you read this last one just as a culmination of everything we’ve been talking about?

Jennifer:
All right. It’s Colossians one, nine through 14. “And so from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will and all spiritual wisdom and understanding so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved son in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Aaron:
That’s who we are and that’s what we’ve been delivered from, is the domain of darkness into the domain of his son, Jesus.

Jennifer:
I also like that part. It says, “Bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” And if we’re going to be couples who do this, our arm can’t be laying on the floor. We need each other to be transparent and honest. We need marriages that are covered in light, that are exuding light for God’s glory.

Aaron:
And this might sound harsh, but if you don’t think you need the body of Christ, other brothers and sisters, you’re deceived. We need each other. We are made for fellowship. We are made for unity. We are made for walking with other brothers and sisters in Christ. We are.

Jennifer:
I know I was deceived back when we were struggling in our marriage. I was convinced that isolation was what I needed and desired. And that that was more comfortable to me than participating in the body. Like what you’re saying. But the truth, I was deceived and I’m saying this from the other side, I was deceived. And I can see now that regardless of the hard conversations we’ve experienced over the years with people in fellowship with us, that was way more comfortable to me. And it’s way more comfortable to mean now, even when hard things come up then the uncomfortable feeling of isolation and marriage, feeling lonely and marriage feeling torn apart in our marriage. That was uncomfortable. That was painful.

Aaron:
Well, and as first John tells us, we were liars. We were walking in darkness-

Jennifer:
We were lying to ourselves.

Aaron:
Yeah. And we were lying to other believers. When we don’t tell the truth to other Christians, to people that we walk with, we’re lying to them. We’re liars. Two more quick encouragements. Your healing and strengthening in your marriage, makes you much more effective for the need that the body has for you. You’re needed. You who are hiding and are afraid to share what you’re going through, you’re needed. And the hiding keeps you from what God wants to use you for in the body.

And then the last thing I want to say and the last thing I want to encourage you in is, when we start to do this, when you start to … When you choose to say, I’m going to walk in light, you are going to be misunderstood. You aren’t always going to get the appropriate response from someone that loves you-

Jennifer:
Or the desired response.

Aaron:
Or the desired response. It may not always work the way you think it’s going to work, but don’t use that as an excuse to not do it, because it’s the practicing of walking in light that we want to do. And so, do it anyway and continue to do it. And you know what will happen? People will open up to you the way you have opened up. And you will start to know people on a level that you never have before and you will start to be known like you’ve never been known before.

Jennifer:
Think about this in context to your marriage, your spouse, if you’ve been hiding things from them and you haven’t fully expressed your own heart to them, you will be making yourself known in a very intimate way, the most intimate way to the person who loves you most. To the person who lays in bed with you and should know you the most.

Aaron:
We’re going to pray for all of us and we love you and we just pray that this encouraged you to put away the lies that your silence and your hiding is what you need. God wants us to be people of light.

Jennifer:
And you can do it.

Aaron:
Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of marriage. We pray we would be husbands and wives who bravely walk in light. Help us to make ourselves known to each other, to be transparent and to be honest and to confess and repent when we need to, for the sake of reconciliation. Help us to be pure in heart and in everything we do, help us to forgive and to continue on and faithfulness as we chase after you. In Jesus name, Amen. We love you guys. We’re praying for you and we hope that you were encouraged by this and we hope that some amazing testimonies come out of what the Lord is going to do. See you next week.

Did you enjoy today’s show? If you did, it would mean the world to us if you could leave us a review on iTunes. Also, if you’re interested, you can find many more encouraging stories and resources, @marriageaftergod.com and let us help you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

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