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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

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Today we are going to talk about transparency in marriage. This question was sent to us by a reader.

Any thoughts on transparency in marriage? I am finding with the age of computers, email, texting and twitter so much of what we do is now "hidden" from each other if we are not careful.

My opinion is that in a marriage everything should be out in the light - nothing should be hidden. (John 3:20) If we truly love and respect our spouses this should just be a natural outflow of that love and respect. As a believer, authenticity and transparency should be our lifestyle. (I have been discovering the truth of this, and the necessity of this, more and more this past year and a half.) This mutual transparency should be a high priority in our marriages. I believe that authenticity and transparency brings about a vulnerability in marriage that can strengthen the relationship in a very unique and lasting way.

A marriage is made up of two {imperfect} people. Like it or not we can never be perfect and we did not marry a perfect spouse. Because of this truth we are going to fail and make mistakes again and again. I desire to be a help meet to my husband and in doing so to bring out the best person that he can be. However, if he is not transparent and sharing his weaknesses, his faults, his failures with me then I cannot really come alongside him the way God intended me to be able to do. The same is true of myself, if I am not sharing my weaknesses with my husband, he cannot lead me and guide me the way God intended him to. It is a tragedy when couples deny one another the blessing of being able to encourage each other in weaknesses. One benefit of marriage is the encouragement that can come in building one another up. When one spouse is stumbling, the other can reach out and help to hold him or her up. (Proverbs 18:24, James 5:16, Hebrews 10:24, Romans 12:10)

I am sure that technology and social media are having an affect on many marriages. We do live in a technology, social media driven culture, and as many benefits and blessings as there are to it; it can also come with a price and be a curse. It is easier than ever for husbands and wives to carry on secret, hidden relationships and private lives via this technology. We need to guard against this, and we can by being open and honest about everything. There must be complete transparency in our marriages in every area - including social networking and email. My husband knows my passwords (a lot can hide in the dark behind passwords - guard against this) to everything, and he reads my facebook and blog. He has open access to my email and any of my social media outlets - nothing is hidden. The same is true for his accounts. This is not because we do not trust each other, but instead because we respect each other and want our lives to be open and bare. I try not to befriend a male on facebook without first running it by Jim, and I just do not send private messages or emails to males. What starts up as something innocent has the potential to snowball into something catastrophic. I would rather just not even touch that.

Proverbs 18:21 says Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit—you choose. I take this verse very, very seriously. I love words. I love writing, but I must be careful that my words are fruit not poison. I try very hard to never publicly, or even friend-to-friend speak ill of my husband (or children for that matter). I believe one day I will be held accountable for my words - this goes for my written and typed words as well. I try not to ever write anything on facebook or my blog that I would not say to Jim's face. Our arguments are private and not for other people to participate in. Something like this could make a great foot-hold for Satan, so I choose to {mostly} make my words sweet and upbeat.

My biggest piece of advice for transparency in marriage is to be honest about everything, keep nothing hidden (no bank accounts, receipts, spending habits, friendships, passwords, etc. - NOTHING) and to communicate openly and often. Not talking with one another is a big step in the wrong direction. If social media and technology is driving a wedge between you and your spouse and bringing up areas of insecurity and mistrust into your relationship than just get rid of it. They are not worth sacrificing what could be your beautiful, vibrant marriage!



If you have a marriage question or topic that you would like us to discuss in future Wedded Wednesday posts, please feel free to email amomentcherished(at)gmail(dot)com or write in the comments below.

To read my husband's thoughts on this topic of transparency read here.

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3 comments:

Gail said...

We are the same way Tiffany. We both have access to all ares of social networking, email, texting, etc. This topic really hits home for me right now because of other's circumstances around us. When we feel the need to hide something, there is a problem. My husband and I are very open with each other. I think honesty and transparency are extremely important to safeguarding your marriage. Thanks for sharing this!

Tammy ~ Country Girl at Home ~ said...

Hey Tiffany,

I popped in over here today and what a great topic! I totally agree with you and had even thought about a similiar post. I could say alot here...we aren't on facebook because of convictions we have about that and so many times I see couples eating out and both are glued to their phones and hardly even talking (texting etc.). That saddens me so much and makes me wonder about marriages. Oh, I could talk so much about this, but you are right, if you are going to do these things (social networking), there should be NOTHING that isn't available for the other one to view or read and discuss....nothing hidden! It's absolutely necessary to be transparent. However, I'm convinced that all of this social networking is not good for marriages. I'm sure I would be ridiculed for such a statement, but that's another story. Maybe I WILL do that post one day...... :)

Hugs,
Tammy

Jessica said...

The other day a married friend of mine asked her unmarried high school sweetheart if he wanted to meet her for coffee while he was in town - via facebook - which her husband isn't on. I was stunned when I saw it, and it really reinforced for me the importance of carefully choosing who my facebook friends are. Not all former relationships need to be picked up again just because an exboyfriend from fifteen years ago sends us a friend request. For the sake of avoiding even the appearance of evil and guarding ourselves against tenptation, I think its very important to be transparent in these areas, and also to be very selective in who are internet friends are.
Thanks for this post.

(I first left this comment over on your husbands blog - but I thought I would leave it here too. I like your polioy of not sending private messages or emails to men - thats very important.

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