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I have sinned against my wife. Should I confess my sins to her?
Thank you for asking your question. I'm sorry to hear that you have had some problems in your relationship. It is our hope that you will call out to God for forgiveness, renew the relationship with your wife and move forward walking in the way of Christ.
The Bible tells us to confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed (James 5:16). The concept here is both a spiritual and an earthly one. Spiritually, by confessing our sin we recognise that we have committed wrong against almighty God. There is also the earthly matter in that we recognise before each other that we have sinned and hurt each other; acknowledging our wrong can renew our relationships with each other. This also stops us from keeping potentially harmful secrets from one another.
Firstly then, I encourage you to call out to God for the forgiveness of your sins. Whatever you have done, repent, turn your back on your sins and walk in the way of Christ. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
In terms of confessing sins to one another, there is some wisdom that needs to be exercised here. For 'smaller' sins, such as saying a nasty word against a loved one, then saying sorry and asking for forgiveness is a good thing to do. It will acknowledge your guilt and encourage you to work harder at your marriage.
For serious sins, however, what you share may have consequences that are deep and long lasting. We should confess our sins to one another, but that person doesn't necessarily have to be your wife, at least straight away. The possible problems here is that if you share with your wife a serious sin that you have done against her, the damage may be irrevocable! Her heart may be changed toward you and your relationship may never be the same again.
Ideally then, you need to meet regularly with another Christian who is able to help you with some of these issues. With a degree of confidence, you can share your sins with them and they can pray and encourage you as you walk in the way of Christ. This could be your church pastor or another leader in the church. The leadership may have a number of people that they can recommend to you, and there may also be Christian counsellors in your area that you can go to.
Moving forward, there are things that you can do in your marriage to improve it. Paul writes: husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25). Just as Christ gave himself for the church because of his love, you need to show a dedicated love to your wife. Think about how you can serve her, encourage her, build her up and demonstrate your love for her.
Reading the scriptures and praying together regularly will help bind your relationship in Christ. Find time together, free from distractions and other commitments, so that you can work on your marriage.
I also encourage you to attend your local bible believing church every week. Meeting with other Christians and hearing of God's love being preached will help you reflect on your own marriage and how you can improve in it.
Finally, we are told to flee from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18). Just because we are married does not mean we are free from sexual temptation. Flee, run away from temptation, however small it may seem. This principle applies to all sinful temptations, not just sexual ones.
In summary, although the bible tells us to confess our sins to one another, there needs to be a level of wisdom in how to do this. Meeting with a church leader or other Christian counsellor may help you to talk through your sins and put measures in place to correct them. Seek Christ in all parts of your relationship, through your actions, prayer, church attendance and bible reading.
I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video
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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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