What Lies Beneath
By Carlos Santiago
A few years ago, I discovered a tiny stain on the ceiling. I did what any responsible person does: I ignored it for a few months.
Then, I decided to investigate. Turns out the drywall was soft.
I cut a small hole in the ceiling just large enough to fit a hand inside and feel around. When I did, my hand emerged covered in an odd dust I couldn’t identify. As I expanded my access hole to get a better view, I was able to discover the source of the dust.
By the time I was done tracing back the path of destruction, I had completely removed the ceiling, the walls, and two large sections of the adjacent living room. The critters completely devoured three vertical support beams and severely damaged several joists supporting the second floor.
My son’s entire bedroom had been in danger of collapse, but we didn’t even know it. The only thing that had been visible was a small, half-inch stain. From our point of view, everything looked fine, but on the inside, our home was crumbling.
Hidden sins in a marriage are a lot like this—easy to overlook. Maybe it’s a sarcastic comment or an extended sigh. They’re issues which, when compared against those of our friends, can seem small.
But like a tiny stain on an otherwise perfectly white ceiling, there may be something more serious hiding just beneath the surface. That sarcastic comment could be a sign of our own disrespect. That sigh might be hiding a discontented heart and a lingering eye.
It’s easy to convince ourselves that as long as we can keep our sins hidden, they can’t hurt anyone. But secret sins tend to destroy us from the inside out.
They eat away at the very foundations of intimacy and trust necessary for marital oneness and need to be dealt with.
The good stuff: Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians 5:11-14)
Action points: Next time you see a stain developing in your marriage, ask God for the courage to investigate further. It may get messy for a while, but do what it takes to ensure little problems don’t turn into big ones.
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