What was the first thing that Adam and Eve did after they sinned?
They both denied it.
What did Cain do when confronted with his murder of Abel?
He denied it.
And what do we do, when marriage puts a spotlight on our sin?
All too often, we play the same game and deny it, too.
Men get caught in a pornographic web, their wives catch them, but instead of coming clean and confess it, they are too quick to make up a lie: “I don’t know how that got on there.”
A wife has a chronically negative attitude; her husband brings it to her attention. Instead of accepting that there may be a weakness in her life, she denies it through blame: “If I just had some more help I wouldn’t have to sound so negative.”
If we could see the blackness of our hearts—and I am talking about Christians here—how we are still pummeled with pride, resentment, selfishness, a lack of forgiveness, and the like, we would welcome the “sanitizing” moments of marriage, instead of denying our sin and profiting nothing. In fact, when we deny a true observation, we are corrupted by our denial. Repentance leads to healing; denial leads to addiction.
Look at it this way: let’s say you had an ache in your arm, you go into the doctor, he orders an x-ray, and then, after looking at it, tells you, “Your arm is broken.”
Would you respond, “No, it’s not. There’s nothing wrong with my arm. The x-ray is wrong. You’re an incompetent doctor. I bet your eyesight is bad, and where’d you get your degree? J.C. Penney’s?”
That sounds absurd, but when your husband comes to you and points something out, do you say, “That can’t be right, and who are you to diagnose me anyway? When’s the last time you picked up your Bible? And before you get all holier than thou on me, how about turning off the television before 11 o’clock and saying a prayer with the kids once in a while?”
You know what? Your husband may be negligent reading his Bible. He might be lazy at home. He probably should spend more time with your kids at bedtime. But does that mean your sin doesn’t matter? Does that give you a free pass to perfection? Your spouse’s sin doesn’t excuse your own.
All of us—every single one of us—have rough areas in our lives, points in our personality that still seem to resist God’s refining fire. Let the revelation of marriage call you to repentance, not denial. The only thing denial does is keep us looking like the devil, when God wants to use repentance to make us to shine like His Son. Are you cooperating with God and the revelation inherent in marriage, or fighting Him and denying His truth?