Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Our Marriage Rules to Live By: Rule #2

Hey Y'all (I picked that delicious phrase up from the St. Paul Rodeo this weekend).  Ready for Rule #2?

You betcha. Let's get this buckin' bronco a'rollin.  Alright, so maybe I'm not a cowgirl afterall. But, this weekend certainly made me tempted to try barrel racing and that one event where you lasso baby cows.  I'm serious. I would rock at it. The winner of the event only makes like.... $37,000 per event... which is only a minor incentive.

At any rate, our second rule has nothing to do with the rodeo, although I should definitely come up with an analogy of marriage based on the rodeo... Maybe something like  - if you jump on a angry bronco and he spears you or steps on you, it's your own idiotic fault. Which should tell you that in marriage....

I'll work on that analogy. It will come to me.

2. Do Not Lie

This should seem like a pretty easy one, right?  We're not all pathological liars. We don't answer questions like "What do you do for fun?" with outlandish responses like:

"I ride lions in africa on the weekends. And then on the weekdays I heliboard down mountains all over the world. In the evenings I write best-selling novels about my near death encounter with sharks in the Oregon ocean."

"Wait, do sharks even live in Oregon?"

"Of course they do. They're angry ol'e fellows too. They bit my leg off."

"They did? Then what's that [points at leg]?"

"Oh that? That's my amazing prosthetic. You can't even tell that it isn't real. Cool, huh?

Right. Unless you've been diagnosed as a pathological liar, most people try to be mostly honest. We tell the truth - most of the time. But in a way, I think people in marriage struggle with lying more than our single-counterparts.  Think about your day - how many times do you lie to your spouse in the following ways:

"What do you want to do tonight?"

"I don't know."

"Are you mad at me?"


"What are you thinking about?"


"What's wrong?"


"Does this make me look fat?


Okay, so the last one was a joke. Hopefully. :D

When we realize that we are telling eachother these lies which don't even seem like lies, we can communicate about them instead of shutting down with non-answers or lies. In some cases, we lie because we don't want to hurt the other person's feelings or we don't want to get in a fight or we don't want to admit that maybe we don't even have a good reason for being irritated. No matter what our reason was, our answer is untrue (unless, of course, it isn't untrue and you really aren't thinking about anything...).

Maybe our truthful answers might sound something more like this:

"What do you want to do tonight?"

"I really want you to take me on a fancy date, but I don't want to look needy and I know we're tight on money. So maybe you could just rub my feet instead?"


"I really want to just relax at home, but I don't want you to feel like I don't want to spend time with you. I've had a hard day at work and I don't really want to go anywhere tonight, but I don't want you to be disappointed with me."

"Are you mad at me?"

"Yes. I'm raging furious mad, but I can't remember why now. I remember it was really important and you did something that really made me mad. But now that I can't remember what it was, but I'm just going to be mad and not tell you why. Then it will look like what I'm being mad about is really important."


"No. I'm not mad. But I'm hurt and I don't know how to put my feelings into words. Maybe we could talk about this later when I've processed it a little more?"

"What are you thinking about?"

"I was thinking about how annoying it is when my sunburn starts peeling. Am I growing freckles?"


"I was thinking about selling my i-phone and buying the newer cooler version."

"What's wrong?"

"Everything. I feel like everything is wrong. Are we drifting apart? Do you still love me? Our house is a mess. I'm tired of working. I want to have more free time. I don't want to do laundry. I'm tired of worrying about money. Our dog is acting lethargic - do you think she's sick? I'm really hungry - I haven't eaten all day. Why? I don't know, I just got so busy I forgot to...  I want to travel. I feel like my dreams are being bombarded by reality. Will we ever do anything with our lives? Are we doing what we're supposed to be doing?"


"Wrong? Hmmm... I guess I have a headache and I'm kind of annoyed about this situation at work. That's it. I guess I'm just tired..."

"Does this make me look fat?

"No comment. This question can only go from bad to worse."

My guess as to why we lie is that it is too complicated and difficult to tell the truth or perhaps it is that at the moment we're being asked the question, we don't honestly know the answer.

Whatever the reason, when we lie, we're shutting down communication and we're closing off our hearts and minds from our spouse.  If the way you fall in love is to share your heart and mind with one another, it would seem to follow that the way you stay in love is to continue to do so.

My challenge is to tell the truth in love to your spouse at all times. If you can't do it in love, then tell your spouse that you want to talk about it, but that you aren't ready to do so yet.  There is nothing wrong with postponing an answer until you are ready to share. However, remember that sharing your heart and feelings is how you stay close to your spouse when things are difficult.  If you bottle everything up inside, you may be deceiving your spouse which is hardly different than lying.

The truth will set you free. It will help your marriage grow together in the midst of the trials and frustrations. It will help you know your spouse when it is so easy to live only as separate room-mates instead of one soul. It will release you from the chains of unspoken feelings which can begin to choke you and, therefore, your marriage all too easily.

"Do not lie.

Do not deceive one another."
Leviticus 19:11

This amazing photo was taken by our good friend, Nate Yaro, at our fourth of July celebration this weekend. You can check out his photography here and his daily blog about what God is teaching him here.

1 comment:

Gaby said...

Good read Elisha!! And funny :-)
It's happened many times that I don't even remember why I was mad in the first place haha.