Recently, my husband and I began attending a marriage enrichment program at our church called Re|engage. This programs helps couples move towards oneness through the testimonies of other couples, worship, prayer, and small group. It is a 16-week experience existing help reignite your marriage or completely restore it.
We are in our 4th week and it is amazing the difference I have seen in both my husband and me. We pray more together, he is more attentive to my needs, and loving.
Every night begins with worship and prayer, and then a chosen couple who has graduated from the 16-week program shares their testimony about how their marriage was restored. These stories make you laugh, make you cry, and cry some more, and it makes you think. Wow, there are so many marriages being attacked today in the body.
Pornography and sexual sin have been a part of nearly every story we have heard since beginning this program, and one of the things they all mentioned that truly was a step forward in their healing process was confession.
Confession brings healing, and forgiveness, peace, and freedom. These are all things needed to begin the healing journey in a marriage.
Confessing our transgressions also tells the other person that you are assuming responsibility for your actions. You are not selfishly blaming your actions on others, and more importantly you acknowledge the weight of your sin just like God does.
The Greek word for confess is, "to agree with." When we confess our sins to our Father, we are agreeing with Him, His attitude about sin. Because although we lied and betrayed our spouse, ultimately our sin is against God, and it is destructive to His will and His purpose for our lives, and it carries with it consequences that will prove very, very painful.
Remember, that your sins never just affect you. They effect everyone around you. They effect your relationship with and with God, but acknowledgment of those sins places you back in right standing with God and those that were hurt in the process.
So, why do we confess?
1. Sin separates us from God.
But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. (Isaiah 59:2)
Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. (Ephesians 4:18)
2. Unconfessed sin keeps us from experiencing life.
He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)
If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:6-10)
3. Revealing brings healing.
I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. (Psalm 32:5)
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:16)
God’s Word of grace builds me up and gives me my inheritance. (Acts 20:32)
Jesus came that we may have life and have it in its fullness (John 10:10). However, when we are in bondage to our unconfessed sins we forfeit all of the goodness that God offers. I'm not talking about material things, or any other earthly thing. It's supernatural what happens when we confess. God's unsurpassing peace and liberty begin to fill our hearts when we humbly and authentically acknowledge our wicked ways, and turn back to Him.