DOUBLE CONFESSION – HOW TO RESPOND WHEN SINNED AGAINST
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”
Though Marge forgave Biff, she neglected to tell him that she was sinning against him because of what he did 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.
A double confession is when the one who sinned against you confesses his sin and asks for forgiveness and you confess your sin and ask for forgiveness.
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 “unresolved fracture” in their marriage. It is unwise to dismiss, justify, or ignore any sin in your one flesh.
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.
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 because of his retaliations. What these wives are admitting is a legitimate fear. If the husband and wife are not on the same “confessional page,” 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 each other.
Create a Context of Grace – Release your wife from the fear of you by creating a context of grace in your home. Encourage and invite her to bring critique into your life. Make it easy for her to serve you. After she brings critique, support her and express your gratitude for her corrective care. Your wife married you because she loves you. Respect her enough to let her help you with your deficiencies (Genesis 2:18).
Carefully Draw Her Out After You Repent – As you perceive her sin in response to yours, humbly come alongside her 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 her to respond to your redemptive questions.
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, I began to clearly see how I was an habituated “sweep things 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.
Do you sin in response to your spouse’s sin? Are you aware that the harboring of unconfessed sin will turn into bitterness and other forms of anger? What needs to happen for you and your spouse to become habituated double-confessors?
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.