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Do You Tell Your Spouse Secrets?


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

OK, so this has been on my mind lately as there is some stuff going on within my church that I know about that isn't "public knowledge". My husband does not know about it, and I feel like I want to tell him and be able to talk about it. What happened is causing me alot of stress and I've actually lost sleep over it because I've been very upset about the situation. Do you discuss everything with your spouse, or do you keep some things confidential? I know that I shouldn't gossip, but I'm not sure where the line is drawn when it comes to my spouse.

FYI, what happened does not involve me, but some friends of ours.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
Proverbs 11:13A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.

Steps

  1. Think, Think, Think.





  2. "Just because it is legal doesn't mean it is the right thing to do." - A. Lincoln. "Honesty, without compassion and understanding, is not honest, but subtle hostility." - Rose N. Franzblau

  3. Ask yourself these several simple questions mentally about what you're about to say before speaking aloud:
  4. How would you like it if someone said this about you?
  5. Is it true? Maybe it is, but is repeating it necessary?
  6. Is it kind? It may be true, about yourself or someone else, but if it will harm another, you have no right to repeat it.
  7. Is it just? Is it honest, compassionate, with the person's best interest at heart?
  8. Is it necessary? Will it do any good and satisfy all the other conditions? Not only is it necessary, but is it necessary for the other person to hear? Remember, "Need To Know."
    [*]
    If it passes this simple test, then by all means speak your mind and never fear again that you might be caught being a gossip.
    [*]
    Try not to talk about people behind their back. Remember what goes around comes around. Unless it is necessary, don't say something about someone else that you wouldn't say to his/her face.
    [*]
    Try to think of the implications it might have if you were to pass on the information.
Edited by heartstrings
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Thanks everyone for your input. I decided to tell him last night and he was upset just like me but he was glad that I told him so we could talk about it. My fear was more about protecting our marriage than anything. The thing that happened to our friends is horrible but can happen to anyone. And honestly, this may sound bad but this was a couple that we both looked up to and thought were rock-solid Christians. I know there probably is no such thing, but it is really upsetting when you get let down.

Reminds me of Psalm 118:8 - It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

You never know what is going on behind closed doors and we need to use Christ as our example, not others. This is something that I sometimes struggle with. I'll see someone else and think "well they're a good Christian, so if they are doing/not doing it, it must be fine". I've been reminded that this is false thinking because they are just sinners saved by grace, like me.

Lesson learned.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I had some sleepless nights because of churchfolk doings in the past 5 years that shook me to the core and the last year really 'rocked my world'. I still haven't completely gotten over it but it has gotten better. Yes, continue to trust the Lord. When all forsake you, He is still faithful. Praying for your family and marriage. There's nothing like harmony in the home but the Murderer, the Accuser of the brethren, the Devil, hates the Family. Look to Jesus; pray without ceasing. it will get better.

Edited by heartstrings
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Outside of our relationship with Christ, the relationship between husband and wife is to be the closest, most honest, open and loving relationship we have.

Satan will attack marriage any chance he gets. Husbands and wives need to be very close to one another, share one anothers burdens, edify one another, pray for one another, commit to loving and respecting one another, and seek to grow in Christ not only as individuals but also as a couple. Just as we must guard our hearts, we must also guard our marriages.

One of the greatest dangers is when we think we are totally safe in some area, that we are beyond being able to give into temptation in some area, that some aspect of our lives is beyond vulnerability to attack. We must keep a constant vigil and stand firm against the wiles of the devil. We need to guard against any possible attack from our own flesh, the world and the devil.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I completely agree that no secrets should be kept between spouses. But what about pastors? They go and visit members of the church and are let in on many things that are not public knowledge. Should a pastor share all of those with his wife?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I completely agree that no secrets should be kept between spouses. But what about pastors? They go and visit members of the church and are let in on many things that are not public knowledge. Should a pastor share all of those with his wife?


That's a good question and should include deacons and their wives, too. And, to extend it further to women in the church with positions of leadership, such as the leader of Women on Mission, who are often privy to things shared with them in trust and in confidence.

I agree, too, that no secrets should be kept between spouses. However, can't help but wonder if a qualifier should be put on that. Perhaps, no secrets should be kept between spouses that can affect their marriage. As a very active layman within my church in several ministries, fairly often I learn of "situations" that would have no direct bearing on my marriage. Should I tell my spouse that a fellow church member got drunk after being off the bottle for years and is now very remorseful? Or, a church member is fighting an addiction to playing the lottery? (Just made up examples.)

If I'm asked, in confidence, to help another member overcome a problem, should I break that element of trust by telling my spouse? Especially when the situation has no bearing on our marriage and/or doesn't directly affect our church membership or the congregation as a whole.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

^^I agree that there are some things that you don't need to tell your spouse if it really isn't important. And the issue that originally brought this post up has since become "public" within our church because the man would not repent and it had to be brought before our church to exclude him (He left the church a few months ago anyway). So now everyone knows about it anyway.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Confidences between pastors and others is just that, a confidence between them. This should have no bearing upon a marriage. The pastor and his wife should both recognize that confidences between pastor and another is not a secret being kept from a spouse, it is a confidence kept between pastor and another.

The same should apply in matters such as lawyers/clients, doctors/patients, etc.

Dealing with work related confidences isn't a matter of keeping secrets from a spouse; the spouse knows there are work related confidences which are just that, work related, not marriage related.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Thanks for the further clarification, in terms of this thread. Perhaps instead of saying "there should be no secrets between spouses" it should be said "there should be no secrets within a marriage".

From health problems, to finances (spending money without the other knowing), to children's negative activities, to spiritual growth or lack thereof, are some examples where there should be no "secrets". Outside the bonds of marriage there will be "secrets" (confidences) that must be kept just that, confidential. If/when a husband or wife learns by whatever means that the other already knew about a "situation", there shouldn't be any "If you knew about abc, why didn't you tell me?". (Negative reaction that can lead to ill feelings between spouses.)

From observation, within my extended family and church family, there are some who thrive on knowing and sharing the latest gossip. Sad to say that my own mother wanted to know every detail and liked to share every detail of the struggles of others. She thought nothing of sharing with me (as an adult) things I didn't need to know about my siblings, neighbors, and church members. Things my father didn't need to know either. Often the hurt of knowing lasted far longer than the problem itself. The problem was often resolved rather quickly, but memories of what I didn't need to know didn't fade as quickly. And, I'm sure the same existed for my father, too.

I used this personal example, to illustrate what I'm seeing and hearing in our church today from a few members. And, to illustrate why I don't tell my spouse things told in confidence (especially) nor repeat what's heard on the grapevine, as gossip. Sure, sometimes it's a struggle. Sometimes it hard to find that line that I can't cross with my spouse when an issue is in a grey area of need to know. Especially, when better half starts asking questions because the gossip mongers have an inkling of "something" going on. Since I won't lie about not knowing and won't tell what I know, this can be a sticky situation if both spouses don't understand the need for keeping confidences. Fortunately, for the most part better half understands when I say that I can't talk about it.

Hopefully both husband and wife can come to this understanding BEFORE keeping secrets, that don't affect their marriage, becomes an issue between them.

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  • Moderators

I know my wife won't spread things, as she knows I won't.

There are some things that I know that I relate to her knowing that she will also pray concerning them, some things I don't because she doesn't need the extra burden or because it make create tension that need not exist.

There are things she hears that she feels that I (as pastor)need to be aware of and/or pray about. There may also be things that could be an unnecessary distraction to me or potentially distort my perception of the individual -- I don't know, I never asked her and don't intend to.

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  • Lady Administrators

When my hubby and I first got married, we agreed on several things. We were in agreement that there should be no secrets between us (of course, we agreed on this before we married). The one caveat was if we were counselling someone and they confided in us. We have held true to that for the almost 26 years we have been married.

When a woman talks to me about problems that they want to keep confidential, I usually ask her if she minds if I talk with my husband, to get his input. Normally they don't mind, but there have been some that prefer not. So I don't tell him. And he's fine with that. He usually does not talk to me about any men he counsels, unless he also gets permission (and it is usually only if there is an issue where he needs a woman's perspective [like dealing with the wife]). He never counsels a woman alone.

A good friend of ours once said to me, "I'm going to tell you something and you can't tell anyone...not even Randy." Well, his wife was right there, so I knew it wasn't something that would compromise any of us. But my answer to him was, "I will never keep something that a man has told me from my husband, and no man should ask any woman to do such." He and his wife agreed, he apologized and then said, "Okay, you can tell him, but noone else." :nuts:

PBear, I think you did just the right thing. I think you used some wisdom in going to your hubby. We ladies who have the privilege of being married to godly men are blessed to be able to go to them with our concerns.

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I constantly advise NEVER, NEVER, NEVER...... be alone with the opposite gender even if for no other reason than to avoid suspicion (okay, time for the smart comments like "that must be hard on your wife, what about your daughter, etc.).

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I constantly advise NEVER, NEVER, NEVER...... be alone with the opposite gender even if for no other reason than to avoid suspicion (okay, time for the smart comments like "that must be hard on your wife, what about your daughter, etc.).

Amen! How many broken marriages, wrecked ministries and scandals could have been avoided had this one bit of common sense been observed.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

No, I cannot reveal everything to my wife, that would not be proper, I would not be honoring my call to God, & no pastor should. There are things told me that has to stay between me & that person, & of course God. Sometimes it can be a heavy burden to carry, but, Christ shall give me the strength to carry it, & lighten my load at the same time, & He will do the same for you.

There are many, very many things a husband & wife should share with one another, yet they are things they should not, if its suppose to be confidential between you & another party, it should stay confidential.

And I can't imagine a spouse wanting their spouse to break something that is confidential between their spouse & a friend.

We are in a times there's few people that will trust anyone, & its simply because to many people have broken their trust.

Some years back I had a pastor friend that I talked with quite often, I really enjoyed out conversations, & I believe he did as well. It was great to have such a person to talk with about certain issues. There's things I can talk to some fellow pastors about, that I cannot talk to anyone else about, they just simply cannot relate to it.

Yet this pastor friend would bring up somethings that he should not. Several times I told him before he mentioned a name, please, don't tell me who it is. And I said that while my flesh was screaming at me wanting to know who it was. I'm guessing, guessing that it made him feel important for that person to have shared what they did with him. I might say this, I know he trusted me, knowing I would not gossip, nor spread it around. Or maybe it did not make him feel big, perhaps he was overwhelmed by some things, knowing he could trust me, & by telling me lightened his load & he was able to go on. Since that time he died of cancer, I sure do miss him.

There is nothing better than having someone you wholly trust when your a pastor, yet there's so few people that you can trust per say. I once had a friend I could wholly trust, talk about anything with him, & knew it would never go anywhere else, & that no matter what it was, there never would be no put down. This man had been a thief, a drunk, been to prison, ruined his marriage with the woman he truly loved, & though the years revealed all to me. more so than he did with his pastor, & he was a member of the church of Christ.

Through my life I have had several real good close friends. I sure do miss them. When you've lost such a friend it sure does hurt deep down for a very long time. And it sure takes quite a bit of time to build such a trusting friends. Although we all may have many friends, many good friends, yet not hardly any that we can truly open up with about anything & everything. And it goes double if your a pastor.

I know of several pastors that I would not trust sharing anything with them, they are to lose mouthed, & love gossip way to much. I really believe there some people live just to say to everyone they talk to, "Have you heard ......................................................... about so & so?" And it makes them feel extremely important to keep up with all the latest gossip revealing it to everyone they talk with.

Oh how nice this world would be without vicious gossip, & many wounds would never take place, & most of these type of wounds never fully heal, nor does the consequences of much vicious gossip ever stop.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I was listening to BBN on the way home yesterday. Only caught part of the program. A person was giving advice to married couples about trust. In summary, how can a spouse trust the other, when the other betrays confidences given to him or her? Example given was when one is on the phone and promises not to tell a living soul. Spouse hears that promise. Then, hears it being broken. An element of trust is destroyed.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I was listening to BBN on the way home yesterday. Only caught part of the program. A person was giving advice to married couples about trust. In summary, how can a spouse trust the other, when the other betrays confidences given to him or her? Example given was when one is on the phone and promises not to tell a living soul. Spouse hears that promise. Then, hears it being broken. An element of trust is destroyed.


What they mean is, I want tell another soul until I hang up my phone & talk to one of my good gossip friends.

Wow, It makes some people feel so important to be the 1st one to tell their gossip friends the latest juicy gossip.

I know such a person, when they think anything has happened, a piece of gossip is in the air, they make ALL contacts possible tying to find it out, & if they happen to find it out, them that woman is on the phone to all of her gossip friends saying, "Did you know that so & so ...............................................................................................

So many people just can't understand, believe only half or what you see, & nothing you hear & be not a busybody. Of course the gossiper always says, "My source is always reliable."


2Th 3:11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

1Ti 5:13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

Pr 20:19 ¶ He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.

1Pe 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.
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      I am... Brother Ramsey
       
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