How to Share Your Past with Your Mate

Scripture tells us that Rahab, the prostitute from Jericho who hid the Israelite spies (6:25), continued to live among God’s people and eventually became an ancestor of Jesus Christ (see Matt. 1:5).You have to wonder: What did she tell her Hebrew husband about her past?

Any discussion of sensitive material from your past must occur between two people who understand and have experienced God’s grace and forgiveness. If you are confident that you should proceed, consider some tips on how to confess information from your past:

1. Explain why you are sharing this information now. Make clear that you desire to deepen trust in your relationship.

2. Give the big picture, not the details. Don’t provide specifics of how you sinned. And if you are receiving the information, do not ask probing questions merely to feed your morbid curiosity. Vivid images will haunt you more than general statements.

3. Ask for and grant forgiveness. Don’t ever treat forgiveness flippantly, but ask for and grant forgiveness eagerly.

4. Don’t expect an immediate resolution. Keep a leash on your expectations. Your spouse may not respond positively to your disclosure. That’s okay. Give your mate time to process this new information.

Finally, as you discuss the past, if you get off in a ditch and can’t get out, don’t be ashamed to ask for some help. A trusted godly friend can be a great encouragement to both of you during these times.


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