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Too Much Honesty

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Honesty that doesn't have the best interest of the other person at heart is really a cruel form of selfishness.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace.” Colossians 4:6

Most marriage counselors emphasize communication as a foundation for a healthy relationship: Nothing should be withheld from the marital partner. There is wisdom in that advice, provided it’s applied with common sense. It may be honest for a man to tell his wife that he hates her fat legs, her varicose veins, or the way she cooks. It’s honest for a woman to dump her anger on her husband and constantly berate him for his shortcomings and failures. But honesty that does not have the best interest of the other person at heart is really a cruel form of selfishness.

Some couples, in their determination to share every thought and opinion, systematically destroy the sweet spark of romance that once drew them together. They’ve lost any sense of mystique in the relation‐ ship.

So how does one express intimate feelings while avoiding too much honesty? Paul’s advice to all Christians works especially well for married partners: “Let your conversation be always full of grace.”

Just between us . . .

• Am I sometimes so honest with you that my words are hurtful?

• Do you think there should be exceptions to telling “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” in marriage?

• We know that God honors truthfulness, so how do we apply this to marital communication?

• In what areas could we use more honesty and in what areas, more grace?

Heavenly Father, we know that truthfulness is Your will for our lives—but please give us the wisdom to know when to speak the truth and when to keep it to ourselves. Amen.


From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson

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