You know we’re fans of transparency, but is there such a thing as *too transparent*? In some cases, we think so. Listen to hear why.
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Scripture, Show Notes, and Resources Mentioned
- Referenced scripture:
- Peter 3:10
- 1 John
- Philippians 4:8-9
- Recommended resource:
Full Episode Transcript
Ryan: All right, today on the show we’re gonna be talking about oversharing. Selena, is it possible for a husband to overshare with his wife?
Selena: Mm-hmm. Yes.
Ryan: Well, there you go. There’s the episode. [Selena laughs] See you next time. [chuckles] In other words, is it ever appropriate… for example, is it biblical to not share something with your spouse? Is it ever okay to withhold truth while not withholding the gravity of the situation, to withhold the details of the situation for the health and edification of marriage?
In contrast, last week we talked about overcommunicating, which has to do more with careless quantities of words. [both chuckles] Today we’re talking about careless content of your words or oversharing—oversharing things that are inappropriate, to be shared given the timing of sharing them and also maybe the content of what we’re sharing.
So the root of this conversation has to do with honesty. So we’re gonna look at honesty, we’re gonna look at scripture. It’s gonna be an interesting one. We will see you on the other side.
Selena: Just right out of the gate, a little warning here. We are going to be talking about some more adult content. So if there are young ears around, you may want to turn it off the speaker, and either pop in your headphones or just listen to it another time. But this is kind of our upfront warning. Some sensitive topics will be discussed on this episode.
Ryan: Speaking of adult content, the viewers of this episode, get to lay their eyes on this wonderful hat. I just got back today from a board meeting. So I sit on the board for a nonprofit called Flint & Iron. And it’s good friends of ours, Nathan and Anna Sutherland. You gotta check it out.
One of the main endeavors of Flint & Iron… he does talks all around really the country for schools and for churches and for communities. And they’re around for youth, but specifically around tech. So he has a podcast… He didn’t ask me to do this. I just want to do it because he gave me this fancy hat.
Selena: For youth, but it’s also equipping parents.
Ryan: Yes. That’s why I said adult context. It’s for parents. [both chuckles]
Ryan: It’s called the Gospel Tech Podcast. If you’ve ever wondered, how do we navigate this tricky world of technology and how quickly it’s evolving, how do we keep our hearts oriented on Christ, centered on the gospel, and how do we instruct our children in those truths?
So we do hope to have Nathan at least maybe even Nathan and Anna on the podcast on the parenting side at some point. But anyway, if you’re watching can see that hat. Check out the Gospel Tech Podcast. Just look for that wherever you get yours. All right. So that’ll be our announcements for today. We’ll do the other stuff at the end.
Selena: All right.
Ryan: Okay. Today’s conversation is in the context of communication mistakes. Right? So we’ve talked about maybe – what? How to love maybe a passive spouse, somebody who kind of refuses to engage. We just released an episode on overcommunication, just talking too much, wearing each other out. Is that possible? If you didn’t listen to that, check that one out.
Selena: Very possible. [both chuckles]
Ryan: Today it’s oversharing. So, like Selena said, this is going to be a little bit more of, I think, a heavier topic, given the subject matter.
Selena: Right. Which I didn’t anticipate that to happen. But as we kept doing our research, it became evident that typically oversharing is a bit of a mistake when it comes to talking about past sin, talking about past relationships, things of that nature. So we’re gonna get into that in a minute, but-
Ryan: What happens is you get people that will say, “I’m just being honest. I’m just telling you how it is.”
Selena: Well, and we’re the transparency like… Yes, we want transparency in marriage. It’s good to know what’s going on, right, in your spouse’s heart and their mind. So it’s an interesting conversation, but it has context, it has… You know, we’re starting with the scriptures, and-
Ryan: One funny example that you brought up was like a couple… You were doing some research on it. You said a couple will say, “Yeah, before I met so and so, you know, I used to think he was – what?
Selena: “I used to think he was maybe not so attractive but his friend at work was super attractive. I’m just being honest, like, from the beginning of the relationship.” You know, that kind of conversation-
Ryan: Yeah. And that’s kind of funny to talk about. And I think that more speaks to having a filter for like… [both chuckles] Okay, you could overshare that. You could also share that same fact in a way that’s not quite as abrasive. But I think that fact-
Selena: But does it even really need to be shared is the question? [laughs]
Ryan: It doesn’t need to be shared. If you could get it off your chest, I don’t know… [laughs]
Selena: Find the appropriate party to say it to. But I don’t even think you should say it because it’s diminishing to your spouse if that’s what you’re talking about.
Ryan: It could be. It could be. Or it could be funny. I don’t know. It just depends. [Selena laughs] But there are some things-
Selena: I don’t think it could be funny, but- [both laughs]
Ryan: The point I’m trying to make here is there are some things that I think that there’s no really redeeming way to go about expressing those things. Now, the big question, the elephant in the room is, do those things… should they be expressed? And is it healthy for them to suppress them? And if I do need to express something, say, we’ll get into some of the darker instances of this, [00:05:00] where is the appropriate avenue to do that?
Selena: What do you mean appropriate avenue? So when, how, who?
Ryan: Yeah, exactly. In what scenario, with whom is it good to share that with? So let’s start with our foundation. Of course, it’s gonna be scripture.
So the first big question is, why do we even need to be honest with each other? That might sound silly but we do have a scriptural precedent for that. Why do we need to be as Christians living in the light, not just saying, “Okay, I’m over my sin. I’m just going to move on from it-
Selena: We never do, but yes.
Ryan: …but there’s a confession that needs to happen as a command. And this comes from 1 John. You’ve heard us say it dozens of times that we walk in the light as He is in light. So that… The two reasons, the two bases for sharing are gonna be this: being known. We walk in the light so that we might have fellowship with one another is what 1 John says. And the second one is we might be made holy. 1 John words it like this: “So we might be cleansed from our unrighteousness.”
So that is kind of the underlying reason for, okay, why do we even worry about how to confess sin and to what level? But then you think, okay, we’re married, of course, we need to share everything. Right? We’re all about transparency. You know this. The two became one flesh, right? Is it Mark 10:9 says, “What God has brought together let man not separate?” That includes us. Let us not separate in any way-
Selena: Specifically, yeah.
Ryan: Any aspect of our kind of shared consciousness. Now, that’s silly to say it that way, but our shared lives. May you know what’s in my head, may I know what’s in your head at all times?
1 Peter 3:10 says it like this: “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.” This is the important part. “They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
So Peter is there saying they must seek peace and they must pursue peace. We’re actually gonna get to another passage, I think it comes from 2 Peter… No, it comes from Philippians, later on. So that passage itself compels us to then say, Okay, I lack peace in this area.
And I think there are instances where there might be something long gone, and we’ve shared that on this podcast, where I’ve said, “That came out of nowhere.” Like preteens and also made us feel like I need to share it with my wife so that she can actually get to know me. And I wrestled with that for weeks until finally God is like, “Today is the day.”
Selena: I think God’s faithful. I think it’s good to wrestle with something and not… Again, you don’t just need to overshare and whatever you’re thinking just blurt out and whatever you’re feeling just comes out. Like, that’s not wisdom. We see that all throughout Scripture.
But the turning from evil and doing good and seeking peace and pursuing it like it first begins with repentance of acknowledging, “Okay, yes, this was a sin. Yes, maybe you have repented of it in the past, and you’re struggling with it again.” So how do you bring it to your spouse? Do you bring it to your spouse? And why? Why do we bring it to our spouse?
Ryan: Good. That’s the topic of today. But first, let’s talk about this dynamic. Privacy versus secrets. We’ve talked about the phone drop test. Do I have a right to privacy from my spouse?
Selena: Yes. [Ryan chuckles]
Ryan: We got some pushback. I’ll tell you what, because a lot of people really like their privacy. And we’re here to say like, Okay, maybe not in this area. Not in marriage.
So let’s talk about privacy and secrets. This is outside of marriage. So in general, as an individual or as a couple, we might say that we want privacy for our own health. So for example, if we’re dealing with something that’s difficult, health challenge, maybe something within our extended family, within our nuclear home, one of the kids, we might ask for privacy from the general public.
Ryan: I’m not saying that we would hide from Christian community, but like Selena… We don’t always share… We share a lot of our lives with you guys, with listeners, viewers, but we don’t share everything with you because there’s, I think, a healthy sense of privacy.
Or if it’s a couple that’s working through like an affair, you’re not going to show up at your church the weekend after you found out about an affair and start announcing it. “Guess what? You know, so and so did. And guess what we did?” And guess my-
Selena: Well, it is interesting though. We do see that more public display on social media of people, you know, sharing the raw and the real. I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s a healthy thing. I would categorize that as probably oversharing passively in that moment. I mean, yes, it visually gives us an example that, yes, nobody’s perfect and everybody’s gonna have these hard and difficult and raw moments, but do we need to share it and why?
Again, it goes to that question of why. Is it a form of repentance? Is it a way of us seeking peace? Is it a way of us pursuing peace or rebuilding? [00:10:00]
Ryan: Or is it a way of getting attention? Which unfortunately online you just mentioned that example tends to be the case. If you’re broadcasting something of this nature, it’s for the attention… I mean by nature of what you’re doing, it’s for the attention.
Ryan: It could be for edification of others. So you have to discern through that. So, again, in general, that’s privacy. In general, secrets would be things that are for non-health related reasons. You’re hiding things for non-health related-
Selena: Not in your marriage.
Ryan: So you’re ashamed of them. You know, if I have a secret habit that I don’t want you to know about, or I don’t want other people to know about, I’m going to kind of engage in that habit outside of the public square, so to speak because I’m ashamed of it. I want to enable something in you, right?
Like, say you have an addiction that you don’t want people to talk about. I’m going to enable that by keeping it a secret, so on and so forth. Also, I can continue sinning without being called out. So that’d be in general.
Now, in marriage, privacy and secrets would look more like this. I don’t really think, and correct me if I’m wrong, but privacy doesn’t really have a place in marriage. That’s the bold claim that I want to make without having like a verse that says, “Thou shalt not have anything in private from your spouse.”
Ryan: I feel like the verses we laid out ahead of time kind of give us the attitude of a marriage, which is everything is shared.
Selena: Yeah. Yeah.
Ryan: And the one example I could think of was if I maybe have a vocational restriction, right? Our friends, one of the husband was in the CIA, right? And he just was bound by government law to not share secrets with his family.
Or if you have a spouse who’s a doctor and they just are bound by ethics to not share details of their patients. You know, why would that be healthy? Or pastor. A pastor shouldn’t be coming home talking to his family, his spouse about things that are done within the confidence of counseling. Right? I feel like that’s… You’re looking at me like I’m-
Selena: Well, that’s where the place where I’m like, How much does a pastor share? Because if he is looking for support in that role-
Ryan: That’s where I would say the pastor go to his board of elders and he would go to other pastors.
Ryan: And he would say, “I’m dealing with this really difficult case.”
Selena: What about the covenant of the husband and wife just asking for prayer?
Ryan: “I need you to know without details that I’m dealing with a really difficult case right now with somebody from our body of believers.”
Ryan: “And the nature of it’s just X, Y, and Z. I can’t tell you any more than that. Please just pray with me.”
Ryan: “I need you to be understanding in this time.”
Selena: This is real-time, people.
Ryan: Real-time processing.
Selena: Asking questions.
Ryan: And then in marriage, secrets. I’ll say this with a hard stop. There’s no place for secrets in marriage.
Selena: Or in family life. I don’t think. The word secret is just not used in our house. We do not have secrets. We have surprises. We don’t have secret.
Selena: Kids do not-
Ryan: We kept Mother’s Day secrets from you, even though you found out what they were.
Selena: Surprises. No, I agree. There’s no place for anything that should be kept only to me. But our sin and our flesh our default is to want to do that. We are not that far from Adam and Eve where we go and hide and we don’t want to be found. We hear the voice of the Lord, but we don’t want to come clean, right? And He’s drawing us out to cover us. He’s drawing us out to extend His grace and for us to know Him.
Ryan: I love that. So now let’s get into this. What is oversharing in marriage? Okay, we’ve just said that privacy doesn’t really have a place, secrets have no place in marriage, but there is oversharing. And this is where it’s gonna get a little bit tougher to listen to, just for the pretty young years.
Selena, why don’t you read this passage from Philippians 4, and then we’ll talk through it from there?
Selena: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Ryan: Okay, so right off the gate we have something that’s a little bit counterintuitive. So most times we read that passage, we say, “Yeah, just focus on the good stuff. Focus on the things of the Lord.” And I think that’s an okay interpretation of that.
But consider this. The first line, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, and whatever is honorable, and whatever is just, and whatever is pure.” What happens if the thing that’s true is not pure?
Selena: For example?
Ryan: Well, we’re gonna give a lot of those coming up.
Ryan: There’s the dilemma that-
Selena: Just putting the questions out there. Okay?
Ryan: So it would seem, and we’ll get through some of that, it would seem though that in this passage Paul is commending things that reflect… intrinsically they make much of the character traits of God. So they’re grounding indicators of whether or not something is actually worthy of expression.
So again, think through that lens. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true…” God is true. “Whatever is honorable…” God is honorable. “Whatever is just…” He is just. “Whatever is pure…” He is holy. “Whatever is lovely, commendable, if there’s any excellence…” right? These are all things worthy of praise. Who’s worthy of praise more than our God in heaven? [00:15:00]
So there is a certain kind of underlying purpose for the expression and for Paul to be giving the Philippians this particular encouragement. I think that helps us kind of give us a grounding principle for things that would make much of God like a true thing. Because there are going to be cases where I have to… You know, if I’m bringing something to you, am I focusing on something that’s impure if I’m bringing it to you as a confession? Because it’s the focus of that thing… Or the focus is rather turning away from that thing.
Ryan: So, therefore, I’m going to share this truth that is involved in something that’s not pure. The whole reason for confession is because something’s not pure.
Selena: Right. So some of these filters a principal… Our first questions to kind of help filter through whether or not this is pure or this is something I should share, or am I oversharing is, does this edify my marriage?
Ryan: Yeah, will it hurt us or it will actually make us stronger?
Selena: Right. I mean, I think the tension here would be, well, I’ll feel better if I just get this off my chest. But if I get this off my chest, how’s that gonna affect to you, and then how could how will that affect us ultimately? Not that that should be the entire determining factor whether or not we share, but it’s something to be considered about and acknowledged.
Ryan: Here’s the caveat. Huge caveat. I know this is not what you’re saying but I wanna make it clear for our viewers and listeners is that I could easily see a husband saying, like, “It would be way more painful for me to tell my wife I’m addicted to pornography than for me to just deal with it by myself. So therefore, I’m not going to overshare.” That’s not what we’re talking about.
We’re talking about, yes, there is a sin. That sin needs to be confessed and dealt with and your spouse needs to be involved in that process, (a) because she’s your helper, (b) because you’ve sinned against her directly, and (c) because she’s gonna have a huge part to play in your sanctification through that, and (d) maybe you need to deal with some of the real outcomes of that sin.
Selena: Absolutely there will be consequences. Sure.
Ryan: Like you’ve hurt your wife. You need to deal with her lovingly now and ask her for forgiveness and walk through the path of forgiveness. Brushing it under the rug is not going to get that done.
Selena: Right. So you’re saying we need to acknowledge that if you’re dealing with pornography, then you need to say that’s what it is. But when it becomes impure is when you start divulging details.
Ryan: Yes. That gets more into the actual tangible examples, which again this is generally speaking. So I just wanted to use that caveat because we could easily hide behind this “it will hurt my spouse, therefore, I don’t have to share it.” Well, the degrees of this-
Selena: And that’s more of a peacekeeping attitude versus a peacemaking attitude. Christ calls us to be peacemakers not peacekeepers.
Ryan: And it’s not scriptural. I mean, the Scripture tells us to walk in the light. We have to confess the sins. We confess every detail of that sin I think that’s what we’re talking about here today.
Okay, here’s some more filtering questions. Number two is do I have to share for the health of our marriage moving forward and for healing? So again, if there’s something you just gotta get off your chest to move forward, is that something that has to be gotten off your chest to move forward? Does your wife have to be the one or your husband have to be the one to take that on?
The third filter. Do you want to read that?
Selena: Can my spouse or should my spouse bear this burden with me?
Ryan: Yeah. And some of the examples of like a first responder will really bring that example to bear that this is a filter that you want to go through. The fourth one is God knows. He already knows the full depth of whatever you’re dealing with, the depravity of it.
Is he making it clear that my spouse should also know? So I shared that example of us years back. That was a very clear example of our time when God made that clear to us. And I say us because when I shared you reciprocated. And that was a very profound experience of love in our marriage. I would say it’s one of the milestones.
Selena: And I think that’s something that begins to be… It’s a result and an indicator. So when you were sharing, I wasn’t getting all riled up and angry and frustrated that you were sharing these things. In fact, it just caused me to like want to share as well and for us to kind of unify even more. So I think… I don’t know. It’s kind of a-
Ryan: Well, the Holy Spirit-
Selena: …as you’re taking steps, what are you seeing around you? And there will be some anger probably with confession of sin and that’s okay. That’s supposed to happen. But-
Ryan: But it’s funny how we expect the Holy Spirit to be working unilaterally in those situations when he ain’t been working in you all the same. And you may not have detected it, but you were in a place where you were ready to express love.
Selena: Once again affirming-
Ryan: Yeah. And that was God timing thing. It wasn’t something that we could have conjured. It was a God thing. And just as a reminder, our whole goal here is not to have secrets, but to look to share things with the goal of edification, strengthening the marriage, and being sanctified from sin. Not just to divulge every detail of everything.
So, here’s some examples. [00:20:00] This is where we’re gonna get a little bit more specific. We talked about pornography addiction. So imagine your spouse is addicted to pornography. In our experience, it’s usually the husband. It’s not always the husband by any means. And that is getting more and more equalized. Women are dealing with this as well.
But however you find out, either you’ve discovered them and caught them in it, or they’ve confessed it to you, how do you go about divulging and dealing with that sin without oversharing?
So here’s an appropriate maybe responses. “I’ve struggled with lust. Here’s how long it’s been happening. Here’s maybe a sense of the severity of it, meaning it’s not just something that happening once a month, but it’s maybe a weekly thing or a daily thing.” Like you need to know the sense of severity of it. I’m repenting of it. Please forgive me. I need help to walk away from this sin.” That to me feels like an appropriate divulgence of details.
Now, inappropriate would look like… And we’ve seen couples come up to us in conferences when we’ve spoken and the pain on the wife’s eyes as she’s saying, “I can’t get it out of my head. What has he looked at?” There’s lots of questions like, “Well, what sorts of things are you into?” after your husband has just told you. Like, “Okay, well, what sites were you visiting?”
Selena: Right. And sometimes I think as wives you just feel ill-equipped, even as a human being, to deal with a confession like that. Sometimes we just feel ill-equipped. And we don’t have to feel ill-equipped. First of all, we can go to the God every day, be in prayer, be in the Word. And God is constantly… He’s equipped us.
So we don’t have to be caught on our heels with confession or repentance. I think that the Holy Spirit can also, I think… When we were dealing with it early on in our marriage, being reminded that like, I can’t hold his sin against Him, and yes, it hurts me. So I need to be able to communicate that hurt. But how do I communicate it?
I don’t want to condemn him. I know that he feels guilty, because clearly he’s repenting of it. But I do want him to know that, yes, it hurts my feelings. It makes me feel like I’m not enough or I’m not valued, you know, and that you have to go somewhere else.
Ryan: So giving more detail around this, you know, the actual sin is probably not going to help you to that end of-
Selena: So focusing on what is true and what is pure and not… So we’ve sinned or you’ve sinned, or one of us has sinned, we’re coming together to deal with the sin. And if it was against you, for example of pornography, or if it was against one of us and we’re asking for forgiveness. But we’re focusing on the truth part of this. That it is sinned but Christ has died risen again and He’s forgiven us. So, therefore, we can walk hand in hand out of this together.
Ryan: I want to be sensitive, though, because that does sound… That is the right answer absolutely. But it can sound like a pat answer to a couple who’s reeling from the pain of this, and they’re thinking, “I have prayed and I don’t feel right that God is with us.” So that’s maybe why we’re here today is remind you that He is going to-
Selena: It’s not gonna happen in one day. [chuckles]
Ryan: It will take time. God is faithful. Keep walking. Here’s another question. What if the wife just cannot get past it? Like, what is she to do? So just some quick thoughts. It’s usually rooted in pain. A lot of that it’s rooted in pain, it’s rooted insecurity, it’s rooted in distrust.
All that had been precipitated, or in part had been precipitated by this sin or by this revelation of sin, it feels right in those instances to want to know those details, especially if you want to know. It feels right. It feels like you have the justification.
Selena: It feel like I should be able to ask you anything and you should have to answer it.
Ryan: Here’s the caveat. It doesn’t mean it is right, and it doesn’t mean that it is pure, it doesn’t mean that it is good and true and worthy of divulging.
Selena: It doesn’t mean that it’s gonna give you any peace of mind. It may not lead to peace and it may not lead to a willingness to forgive and a willingness to extend grace. It might actually just route you deeper into bitterness.
Ryan: So we’re not gonna leave you there. We’re gonna leave you with tangible path out from that. But first, let’s go through a few more examples. What if there’s an affair, whether it’s an emotional or physical? So what’s an appropriate divulgence of details in this case?
Confession, of course repentance. Hey, spouse needs to confess, “I have sinned against you. I have had an extramarital emotional or physical affair. I’m deeply sorry. Please forgive me. I need a turn from this. Help me change from this.”
Selena: Well, and I did like what you said: understanding the severity. Because I feel like that’s kind of the gray part of how much do I share and how much do I not share? Well, a one-time emotional affair is still very hurtful. It is still wounding to your spouse. Something that has been going on longer may have a deeper and different effect. So, again, knowing I think the timeline-
Ryan: “I think the whole five years of our marriage have been a lie.” That’s different than-
Selena: I think a timeline and… not consistency, [00:25:00] but how consistent it happened or how-
Ryan: Yeah. Because then you can start to actually deal with it for what it is.
Ryan: Now, what would be an inappropriate response to this is, you know, asking details. Many times you might know who it was and that might be kind of a foregone conclusion. But you could say things like, “Well, what exactly did you like? Or what exactly about this guy was attractive to you? How was he in bed?” I’m sorry, a lot of men will have that question. I’ve heard men ask those questions in real-time as like, “Well, was he better than me?” That is more of a jab than it is a sense of like, “I want to be reconciled with my wife.”
And there’s legitimate pain being felt in that case. We’re not saying, dismiss the pain get over it. We’re just saying that we need to stop some of these questions at the gate and turn that filter on and say, Is this going to be edifying to our relationship?
Selena: And the time and place and person. So if you’re in counseling and you have a third party there that is able to kind of navigate and facilitate-
Ryan: And referee.
Selena: …a healthy way to have a conversation through these hard things. And you’re allowed to vent there, or you’re allowed to cry and do all the things. We share a lot of cry with your spouse and vent, of course. But I just think that it’s important to know, to use that wisdom of who, what, where, when, and why.
Ryan: Generally, our rule of thumb for us and whenever we’re talking to couples is you don’t necessarily need to rehash the experience. And most often it’s not going to be fruitful to rehash any of the details of the experience. It’s enough to know that sin happened, it’s enough to know that I’m repenting of that sin. Let’s move on from it. A lot of times the deeper questions they don’t really… not deeper questions, but the more detailed questions can derail that process.
Okay, so the final example that we’re gonna give is work-related trauma. So we alluded to this earlier. We have a good friend who is a firefighter, and he sees some things. I mean, if you know anybody who’s a police officer, EMT, first responder, who has been in the military, I mean, some of the things these guys come back from, you know, battle zones, the things they’ve experienced, the things they’ve seen, the things they’ve done, it’s traumatizing.
For instance, good friends of ours, John and Becca Level, I know John has seen battle many times. And he specifically will not share details because he knows that it’s not for his wife to carry those details. Hope I’m not speaking out of turn, John, if you’re watching this. I think you’ve shared that with me in the past. But it makes total sense because women are not equipped, okay, they’re not equipped to deal with war the same way men are equipped. They’re not equipped for that.
In the same way, children are not equipped to deal with certain aspects of what it means to be an adult and deal with hard situations. That would not necessarily be helpful for a husband, even if he’s dealing with severe PTSD, to come home and dump this. “This is what I saw. I saw this horrific situation I saw a child killed in front of her parents. I saw her parents burned alive, I saw…” It gets dark. And dumping that on your spouse’s shoulders it’s… you have to discern. I think it warrants this question of “Is this going to edify? Is going to build up? How do I process through this in the healthiest way possible?”
Selena: And where do I find the support?
Ryan: And where do I go?
Selena: Where do I find support in that, and somebody who will help me go back to Christ and help me to bring this to Him daily?
Ryan: And thank God that we have the body of Christ that is ready and willing to serve. Or you have pastors that… you have other brothers in Christ that have seen similar things and work through similar struggles. Couples, brothers and sisters in Christ that have worked through whatever a trial a marriage might face, and they’ve come through it, and better for it in some cases, and they glorify God more because of it. And they have seen the death. They’ve been on that side of the death, but they’ve also been on the side of the resurrection after that death happens. And that death being the death of trust or the death of whatever previous marriage you had.
So I think this whole conversation is not to say, here are the things that you can and cannot talk about. Like this is what oversharing is. I think it’s always going to come down to your discernment as a couple in Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit, surrounded by the body of Christ, asking these hard questions. How can we move forward through this trauma-
Selena: Being in Scripture, understanding God’s instructions and word? Absolutely, absolutely. Because I think there’s truth, like you said. So you asked a question at the beginning here when we were reading in Philippians, and you said, “What if something that true is impure? What do you do?” [00:30:00]
And I think we have answered that. That even though something is true and it has happened, and if it is impure, then it may not be at the level that you need to share. Maybe go up one level of, again, this detail doesn’t need to be shared. But here’s the consistency of how much it happened or the reoccurrence of it or something like that.
And only you can discern through that. And I think, if you’re having trouble discerning through that, I highly advise you to go to your pastor, or to somebody who has accountability over your very soul.
Selena: Right. Well, I guess some motivation too, right? Like, are you hiding as the person who’s in sin or are you policing the one who’s been affected by the sin? Again, I mean, everybody’s in question here for motivation.
Ryan: Yeah. So we can’t possibly do a video that addresses all those scenarios. We just have to encourage you to go back to Scripture. Namely, we talked through Philippians 4:8-9. Go back there and pray over that scripture. God, what is true? What is good? What is pure? And how do I walk through that in this situation? And thankfully, like I said, we don’t do that alone. We have the body of Christ, but more than anything, we have Christ Himself who is indwelled by the Holy Spirit.
And if you’re hearing us say that, and if that is a foreign language to you, we’re here to tell you that that’s the reality if you are in Christ. If you have put your faith in Christ and said, “Jesus, I am not enough to earn my way into heaven, to earn my way into being known and loved by you, and to be forgiven by you, I need someone to step into my place,” Christ has done that. He didn’t stay dead. He rose again, and He ascended into heaven, He reigns on the throne even today. And He has sent the helper, the Holy Spirit, the third part of this Triune God, third person, I should say, of the triune God to indweller so that we can work through these hard things.
So if all that sounds a little too good to be true, I’m here to tell you it is true. And you can find out the details by going to thenewsisgood.com. We’ve set that site up just for you to get some information there and to find next steps.
With that said, Selena, would you pray us out?
Selena: Sure. God, thank You that You are with us and You’re with the couples that are hearing and listening and seeing or watching this video. I pray that our feeble words and our feeble effort would be used for Your glory. Holy Spirit, I pray that it would knock on doors of hearts and marriages that might be struggling with things alone, God. That they would find wisdom, they’d find clarity, they’d find a path forward, a path out of sin through You, Jesus. May we just be an encouragement to them right now. We love You, Lord. In Your name, amen.
Ryan: Amen. Amen. Just as a reminder, this podcast is possible because of our incredible patrons. So if you’re still watching this and there’s chance that this podcast or this video is helping you, we would love it if you would pray and consider becoming a partner. Just go to fiercemarriage.com/partner. There are benefits. However, don’t do it for that reason. Do it because you want to see this message of the gospel proclaimed in the areas of marriage and family continue. We hope by God’s grace to do it until He stops us. And we will, whether we want to or not.
So anyway, with that said, this episode of Fierce Marriage is—
Selena: In the can.
Ryan: See you again in seven days. Until next time—
Selena: Stay fierce.
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