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Marriage Day 25 – Double Confession: How to Respond When Sinned Against

Marriage Day 25 – Double Confession How to Respond When Sinned Against

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31-Day Marriage Devotion Resources

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed (James 5:16).

Biff sinned against Mable, and Mable was hurt. Biff asked Mable to forgive him. Mable forgave Biff. They reconciled—but not really. Though Mable forgave Biff, she neglected to tell him that she was sinning against him because of what he had done to her. Though she understood that it is never right to sin in response to being sinned against, she did sin against Biff as a response to his sin.

  • Have you ever responded sinfully to your spouse who sinned against you?
  • Did you confess your sin against your spouse who sinned against you?

A double confession is when the one who sinned asks for forgiveness, and the offended also asks for forgiveness, recognizing they sinned in response to the offender’s sin. Because of fallenness, double sinning happens more often than you might think. A husband, for example, can be harsh or unkind toward his wife. God brings conviction, and he repents. But rather than working through all the ramifications of his sin, the wife harbors sinful anger toward him. He confesses, but she does not. There is no one-flesh reconciliation because of the unperceived, unmentioned, and unresolved fracture in their marriage. It is unwise to dismiss, justify, or ignore any sin in your one-flesh union, even if you were the offended one.

Sin is sin regardless of who does it, and there is only one right response to its encroachments: confess, forgive, reconcile. A well-loved wife lets her husband know about her sin and seeks his forgiveness. These attitudes and actions reconcile them, which releases them to enjoy the unencumbered fullness of what a one-flesh union should be. Perhaps someone would say, “Sounds great, but what if your husband is immature?” Many wives have shared how their husbands are brutish and insensitive; they don’t have the liberty to have this kind of dialogue with their husbands because of their retaliations. What these wives are admitting is a legitimate fear. If the husband and wife are not on the same confessional page—confessing to and forgiving each other regularly—the stubborn spouse will inhibit the willing spouse from being transparent, which is why every home should be a context of grace that permits the drawing out of and speaking into each others’ lives.

  • Create Grace Contexts: Release your spouse from fear of you by creating a context of grace in your home. Encourage and invite your spouse to bring critique into your life. Make it easy for them to serve you in your sanctification. After they bring critique, support them and express your gratitude for their corrective care. Your spouse married you because they love you. Respect your spouse enough to let them help you with your deficiencies (Genesis 2:18).
  • Carefully Draw Out: As you perceive your spouse’s sin in response to yours, humbly come alongside them with insightful questions. Never forget that the log in your eye is so much larger than the speck you are examining (Matthew 7:3-5). The context of grace you have created will release them to respond to your redemptive questions.

For the first five years of our marriage, I never confessed any sin to my wife. Remarkably, it did not occur to me that my lack of confession was tearing away at our marriage. As God began to dismantle my self-righteousness and self-reliance, I began to clearly see how I was a habituated “sweep it under the rug” guy. My first confession was to God. My second was to my wife. Then, it was time to create an environment of grace, which began by looking under the rug.

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Time to Reflect

  1. Do you sin in response to your spouse’s sin?
  2. Are you aware that harboring unconfessed sin can turn into bitterness and other forms of anger?
  3. What needs to happen for you and your spouse to become habituated double-confessors?

Practical Suggestion

Talk to your spouse about the importance of an environment of grace in your home and how you both can work together to make it a place where everyone is free to confess their sins to each other.

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