Sometimes, I just want to be left alone. Sounds a bit selfish but I had work to do and chance conversations with strangers was on the bottom of my list.
It was an unlikely place for a “chance” encounter – the hidden alcove at the brake shop I trust to work on my truck. Three feet wide, five feet deep – perfect. I chose that spot because today, I didn’t want to talk to anybody. This is a great space to work, no distractions. No one will come back here.
But then, after a few clicks to get to the right page on the computer, energy from the eyes of another human began making my scalp tingle. I looked up into a familiar face but it wasn’t the jovial one I remembered. Drawn and sober, we were soon talking of his father’s passing some months prior, and now his mother had cancer, which had raged undetected for who knew how long?
The scalpel’s sharp compassion cut deep as resolute surgeons determined to remove the diseased flesh but then, without extracting anything, they closed up the wound and called the family for consultation. My friend feared the worst – it was too late. Silently advancing, the cancer had corrupted everything in its path.
If only he had found out sooner . . . then something could have been done.
Cancer – we hate that word and all the heartache and destruction it has brought to so many. Which is why your Enemy wants you to ignore the relational cancer eating away at the substance of the most important human relationship you will ever have. He knows the destruction it will cause if ignored.
Is any aspect of your life hidden from your spouse? Secrets – do you keep them from your husband/wife? They’re cancer, silently destroying. And they don’t have to be big secrets to do serious damage. For driving a destructive wedge deep into your relationship, small ones will do just fine.
Secrets kept from spouses and cancer are alike, the longer they remain undetected, the more damage they do. Trust and loyalty are critical elements for any healthy marriage but hidden sin eats away at the soul, preventing true, open relationship. Is that where you’re living?
Biblical marriage is intended to embody self-sacrificial trust and unity, “oneness”, which is impossible when we hide from each other.
There are a lot of reasons not to “come clean” with your wife/husband. We’re masters at the half-truth, aren’t we? I’ll tell just enough to make it seem like I’m telling all but, the deep end of the pool (cesspool in many cases) . . . I’m staying away from there!
If we rely on half-truths to avoid shame or to “save face” with our spouse, we’re deceiving him/her into believing something that isn’t true. A prostitute in a wedding dress may fool a lot of people but the truth hasn’t been altered. However creative we may be doesn’t change the fact that we’re lying.
Half-truths are complete falsehoods.
It’s embarrassing, it’s hard, it’s often shameful, it’s hurtful . . . cancer is like that. But, the only way to stop the destruction is to cut it out while there is still time. Cutting hurts but there’s no avoiding it if your relationship is to be made whole.
Anticipating the consequences of such honesty keeps many from going all the way. What will she do if I confess? I’ve confessed to God but, what will my husband – wife – think of me if I open up and ask for forgiveness?
The consequences may be severe and you may need a wise, godly (biblical) couple or biblical counselors to help you walk through the process, especially if you’ve been keeping sin hidden. Your spouse might not forgive you right away . . . or maybe at all. Trust God. Do what is right and leave the consequences to Him.
If the cancer remains buried, you can function for a while, even a long while. But if you belong to Jesus Christ, at some point your deceit (sin) will torment you until you remove its power with true confession and repentance.
Cancer is life threatening when undetected and left untreated. Secrets (especially secret sins) kept from our spouse are relationship threatening. Don’t keep them. Open up to the one who was designed to complete you and truly live as one.
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another . . . “ 1 John 1:7
No secrets, no shadows with the one you love.
Matt Jacobson is a biblical marriage coach and founder of FaithfulMan.com a biblical marriage, parenting, and discipleship ministry providing written and audio teaching, as well as couples marriage coaching. He is the co-host (with his wife, Lisa) of Faithful Life Podcast and is author of the bestseller, 100 Ways to Love Your Wife. Matt is pastor of Tumalo Bible Fellowship and is married to Lisa, founder of Club31Women.com (they have 8 kids!).