Liars don't go to Heaven. The Bible's pretty clear about that.
We'd like to think we're pretty honest. We don't cheat on our taxes, we return extra change at the supermarket (remember paying with cash?), we don't move the golf ball for a better lie even when there's no one around to see.
Okay, two out of three...
And then we come to the acid test.
The dynamics of a building a relationship and a life in constant proximity to someone we probably met in adulthood is taxing in many, many ways, and perhaps nowhere more than in our definition of ourselves as honest.
In no other human relationship are we nearly as accountable as we are to our spouse. The money that we spend comes out of the common pot.
The reputation we build in the community reflects on our spouse nearly as much as it does on us.
And a spouse's good opinion can make life heaven...just as a bad one can make it hell.
The whole mix is a threat to truth, because we want to project the best possible face to the person to whim we're married.
Think it's ridiculous, that your mate knows you, warts and all?
OK, when did you last mention something really stupid you did at work, compared to something bright?
Have you bought something you knew you should have passed up, and then looked for a way to hide it directly, or at least conceal it among other purchases?
And - for guys. when you went to the beach, and your wife caught you looking at a twenty-something in a bikini, and asked what you were looking at...did you say, "Nothing"? (Husbands typically don;'t notice who their wives might be eying at the beach,m because their eyes are on...well, never mind.)
Marriage can batter honesty into something approaching insensibility, a state in which white lies and half-truths can appear to be equivalent of a speech by Abe Lincoln, because we know what lies we could have told...and what we've done in the past.
So how can we be better than this? How can we carry the Christian life we can easily project with strangers and colleagues and friends into the crucible of home and hearth?
It's easy, and it's hard.
The easy part is identifying what we have to do, or more accurately, we have have to not do.
We simply have to avoid any occasion that would tempt us into a lie. This means no looking at the girls on the beach (or in 'those' magazines, or the Internet).
It means not buying things that go against the budget agreements you and your mate have.
It means answering direct questions honestly, and trusting our reputation with the person we've married.
That's the easy part.
The hard part is that we have to walk the Christian walk 24/7. We're told to 'put on' Christ as we walk in the world.
We don't get to take Him off when we get home.