Me and my wife recently attended a Deaf Marriage Retreat that will forever be in our hearts and prayers. We made new friends and strengthened some current friendships while we were there. Before we left, our goals were pretty much set: (1) Strive to improve OUR relationship in ways to honor God and to honor each other. (2) Be supportive and open to help others, if called upon. (3) Be in prayer for all at the retreat.
As we arrived Friday, we got settled in our rooms, rested, and then got ready for the evening’s activities. Pastor David Mason of Liberty Baptist Church of the Deaf did an outstanding job with a kickoff message. The kickoff message focused on the Home, rather than community and church…which is where it all starts anyhow. After the message, David called upon me and my wife to do an activity that would be challenging for those involved. Before we started, the rules were simple: (1) Be honest with each other (2) Listen to each other (3) Do not interrupt each other (4) What is said in this room, stays in this room. Why these rules? Because the activity forced these married couples to “communicate” their feelings and issues. Some of what will be said may be sensitive information. The activity started and all went well. As I glanced around the room, watching some of the wives expressing their words…my heart broke. My wife, Mandi, was in the back of the room glancing at some of the husbands expressing their words. Her heart broke as well.
But that statement that I want to focus on, “what happens in this room, stays in this room” Where have we heard that before? Marriages can easily be broken up by simple words of distrust. Friendships can easily be broken up by simple words of distrust. So what happens if information that is sensitive between you and your spouse becomes “gossip” outside of the room?
Emotions kick in, shaking of heads, boundaries are drawn more firmly…..and of course, above all, pain sets in.
But as I think of God and His Words…..do we really need to worry about the “sensitive information” that we shared? Isn’t it sometimes good that that information gets out and when it comes back, we may have accountability finally? I know some issues are more sensitive than others. But things like for example: porn issues, communication issues, patience issues, financial issues, discipline issues, job issues, church issues, time management issues. Those are the type of issues that we all need accountability with. So if a person says “what happens in this room, stays in this room”….tell me, how would one acquire accountability?
The scripture that brings up close to this is from James 5:16 which says: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
Accountability is a big thing for me and my wife. We have several married couples who look to us for support….but we also look to others for support ourselves. My encouragement to all married couples, no matter how young you are or how many years you have been together, everyone…I mean…EVERYONE…needs an accountable couple to help them in times of need.
So my prayer is that may you find someone to confess your sins, your needs, your struggles, your pain. So that they in return can pray for you. Prayer for strength. Prayer for wisdom. Prayer for perseverance. Prayer for a better life that can serve and honor Him best.