Should Couples Keep Secrets?
‘Nothing Should Be Hidden From Your Spouse’
(Archbishop Joseph Imariabe Ojo, Presiding Bishop of Calvary Kingdom Church, CKC, Lagos-Badagry Expressway)
“HENCEFORTH, I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you” (John 15:15). This scripture is my reference in answering the question of how much information couples should share.
In a marital relationship, there should be nothing hidden from your spouse. Your wife is not your servant, but your friend. A successful Christian marriage must develop through three stages: The stage of being brother and sister in the Lord, the stage of friendship and the stage of marriage. If you were friends before marriage, there is nothing you cannot tell your spouse. Jesus said, “a servant does not know what his master does, but a friend knows everything.” Couples should be open to each other, especially the man.
For example, it would be extremely hurting for a wife to discover after her husband’s death, even before the burial that another woman is coming into the family with a child for him. The man should be courageous enough to tell his wife about it and plead for forgiveness over the situation. It is better for the man to take the bull by the horn and own up to the situation while still alive rather than postpone it for your children and family to deal with.
There is nothing wrong for husband and wife to go through each other’s phones and even pick calls. If you appear to be hiding something, you will only create unnecessary suspicion. Both of them should have enough confidence in each other and should not be over anxious about who calls the husband or wife or who sends text messages. Some women need to be advised to pray for their husbands instead of being too suspicious.
There is this story of a pastor, who was praying and the wife overheard him saying thus, “Father, I thank You for the love of brethren that is growing in my life. I thank you for Grace, thank you for Mercy and Joy” etc. The wife just came from nowhere and slapped him, saying, “That is all you can pray for, only the fine, fine girls in the church. You can’t pray for John or James, you this foolish man.”
There should be mutual trust between husband and wife, because without it, the marriage is bound to suffer. These are some of the secrets of a successful marriage. And to the glory of God, my wife and I have experienced and enjoyed this for good 40 years.
‘Husbands Should Be Careful Of The Information They Share With Their Wives’
(Ojulari Surajudeen Ademola, Missioner and Member of governing board of the Nasrul-Lahi-l-Fatih Society Of Nigeria, (NASFAT), Oshodi, Lagos)
HUSBAND and wife should share a lot of information, but the husband should take caution. It is not really an issue of being secretive, but weighing the type of knowledge he gives his wife.
In communication, the sender of a message needs to be cognisant of the receiver’s ability to decode the content, so, as not to misinterpret the message. Women, most times, misinterpret the messages given to them and are thus likely to misuse them.
So, husbands should be careful of the kind of information they share with their wives to avoid misinterpretation and misunderstanding of the information.
‘Share Only Information That Do Not Offend Each Other’
(Dr. Lateef Mobolaji Adetona, Associate Prof, Islamic Studies and Director, Centre for General Studies, LASU is also the Deputy Chief Imam of Nawair Ud Deen Society, Lagos.)
SPOUSES can share as much information as would not offend each other’s sensibilities and sentiments. However, it would be proper not to share information of what you know will irritate your spouse. This is just to avoid commotion in the home and not because you want to keep some secrets away from him or her.
As an Imam, if it would not disturb my wife, I could allow her take my calls, scroll through my phones or go through my other documents. But I must point out that it is in the best interest of any Imam’s spouse to avoid prying into such documents because the Imam, as a spiritual leader, has in his possession the secrets of many people that require confidentiality and she may not be able handle such information the same way the husband would.
‘Understanding, Timing And Maturity Determine What To Share’
(Rev Gabriel Agbo is of the Assemblies of God, Surulere, Lagos.)
COUPLES should share all information. However, while doing this, they should consider the level of understanding, timing and maturity of each other. This is very important. Some spouses can be too emotional over certain information or can even totally misunderstand the motives. Spouses are not to keep secrets from each other. They can go through each other’s documents or phones, as there should be no hidden agenda. They should have nothing to hide. But some women can be very jealous and suspicious. In fact, some women don’t want any female, in any form, around their spouses. Some wives are terribly possessive. Though some men need very close monitoring, but a covenant child will guide himself. You do not need people to remind you that you are a priest of God in public and in private.
‘Only Couples With Skeleton In Their Cupboards Keep Secrets’
(Johnson Odesola is Pastor, Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), The Throne of Grace, Ebute-Metta, Lagos and Special Assistant to RCCG General Overseer, Admin and Personnel.)
ACCORDING to biblical injunction that says: “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder,” there should be no secrecy between the husband and his wife. The husband should bare his mind to his better half and in some cases; she may have good suggestions to offer, since no man is an island of knowledge. It is even said that two heads are better than one and the best person that can offer better or the best advice is the wife because she is a stakeholder. She would want the best for the husband, herself and her children. So, in the husband’s best interest, he should not hide anything from the wife; he should be very open.
However, there may be some exceptions, when it comes to executive discussions in the office, which are purely official. The husband should not be all that flippant to the extent that he would be divulging official secrets to the wife and vice versa. Official matters are that and they do not have anything to do with the home, especially where the issue of confidentiality is concerned. Apart from this, there should be no secrecy or anything that the husband should hide from the wife. Spouses should not keep secret from each other, unless there is skeleton in the cupboard. The Bible says of the first father and mother that both were naked and were not ashamed. When we consider it from that perspective, then what else is the secret that spouses should keep form each other?
As a pastor, I sometimes give my phone to my wife to take my calls, when I am busy. At times, when I have text messages, I asked her to help me read them. And if she desires to use my phone for any reason, I simply oblige.
‘It’s Damaging To Discover A Secret About A Partner From Another Person’
(Felix Odogbo, Resident Pastor, Heritage Assembly, Ajah, Lagos.)
THERE is no doubting the fact that couples should share vital information about themselves. In fact, honesty demands that they do. But, being honest with each other doesn’t mean you must share every single thought, or fantasy with your spouse. Honesty may be a double-edge sword in your marriage, if you are not careful. So, being honest in your marriage is better complemented, when you know what to share and what not to share. Knowing what to share and what not to share is an important communication skill for couples to learn and use in their marriage. You should understand your spouse well enough to know whether he or she can handle certain information and not be bruised beyond repair. Yes, there are occasions, where it would be necessary for you to share an information with your partner, even when you know that he/she would be bruised, as long as you also know he/she would get passed it.
Many people struggle with how much information they should share or want to share with their partner about their putrid past. The reason for this struggle is because they are unsure of how their spouse might react to it. In my position as a pastor, I have seen situations, where the marriage almost crumbled and indeed, crumbled because a spouse could not bear with some information shared. Jesus knew what information His disciples were able and unable to bear at any moment in time. He said in John 16:12, “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.”
My submission is that you can share anything as long as you know it is healthy enough for your spouse. But it is damaging for a spouse to discover a secret about a partner from another. Then, trust is broken and once this happens, it is very difficult for the betrayed partner to recover from this. They will be plagued by a sense of doubt. And you would have taken from them their sense of full safety and security in the marriage, and that might never be built back up again.
You need to reveal to your spouse as much information about yourself, as you know and are sure he/she is able to put up with. These may be your thoughts, feelings, habits, likes, dislikes, personal history, daily activities, and plans for the future. You may feel vulnerable disclosing these things, but this is normal. Adam and Eve where both naked but, they were not ashamed (Gen. 2:25). However, don’t just rush out and unload the dump truck. Give it prayer and consideration. We all want to be accepted for who we are. These are necessary risks in order to create a successful and stable marriage.
‘Information Required To Succeed In Life Are Shared In Love’
(Charles Osarumwense, Pastor, Abraham’s House, Lekki, Lagos.)The secrets you keep now, when discovered later will affect the trust level of your family. There should be no secrets, as your spouse is your covenant partner, except you married the wrong or a bad one. Amos 3:3 says: “Do two people walk hand-in-hand, if they aren’t going to the same place?”
Couples are covenant partners going in the same direction and this should be the reason you got married in the first place. According to the scripture above, couples are to walk hand-in-hand to achieve their purpose in life. The information required to succeed in life are shared in love. If they are having sex together but are keeping secrets, they are not yet one.