A close-up shot of an open Bible, highlighting the verse from Proverbs 12:22 that states "The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy."

What Does The Bible Say About Lying To Your Spouse?

Marriage is built on a foundation of trust. When that trust is broken by lies between spouses, it can deeply damage the relationship. But what does the Bible say about lying to your spouse?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The Bible clearly instructs us not to lie or deceive others. Lying to your spouse goes against God’s design for marriage and will harm the relationship.

In this article, we will examine multiple Bible verses about honesty, truthfulness, and integrity. We’ll look at biblical principles and examples that speak to the importance of truth and warnings against deception in marriage.

This includes exploring the origins of lying, the reasons people lie, and the consequences. With a biblical foundation, we will then consider practical tips for cultivating honest communication between spouses.

The Bible Condemns Lying and Deception

Old Testament Warnings Against Lying

The Old Testament makes clear that God detests lying and deceit. In the Ten Commandments, God instructs His people, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16). This commandment prohibited all forms of lying, false accusations, and dishonesty.

The book of Proverbs especially warns against deception, stating “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight” (Proverbs 12:22).

Wise King Solomon later wrote, “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue…a false witness who breathes out lies” (Proverbs 6:16-19).

Clearly, honesty and truth-telling were vital virtues, while lies and deception grieved God’s heart.

New Testament Calls for Honesty and Integrity

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ modeled perfect integrity and truthfulness. He boldly proclaimed, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6) and lived a life free from any deception or falsehood.

As followers of Christ, we are called to model His example of honesty in all our relationships.

The apostle Paul instructed early believers, “Do not lie to one another” (Colossians 3:9) since lying was contradictory to their new life in Christ.

He reminded Christians that since they “have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self…they must put away falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor” (Ephesians 4:22-25).

Clearly, Scripture is consistent from beginning to end—honesty and truth-telling are righteous, while lies and deception fundamentally oppose God’s character.

So what does this mean for marriage? A healthy Christian marriage requires mutual love and respect between husband and wife. Since deception erodes trust and intimacy, lying to one’s spouse is always contradictory to God’s design for marriage.

Lying Harms Intimacy in Marriage

Lies Break Trust

Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship, especially marriage. When one spouse consistently lies to the other, whether about big things or small, it damages the trust that is essential for true intimacy.

As the saying goes, “Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair.”

Lies, even white lies meant to spare feelings, break down trust in a relationship. When a spouse discovers that their partner has lied, feelings of doubt, suspicion, and betrayal often arise.

The lying spouse may rationalize it was a small lie, but to the spouse who was deceived, the size of the lie does not matter as much as the broken trust.

Rebuilding trust after lying requires humility, honesty, and changed behavior over time.

Research shows that lying negatively affects relationships. In one study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, couples who reported lying to each other more also reported less satisfaction, intimacy, and commitment in their relationships.

The damage from lying accumulates over time, and erodes the foundation of truthfulness that relationships need to thrive.

Honesty Builds Intimacy

While lies divide, honesty brings spouses together. Honesty involves appropriately sharing thoughts and feelings with one’s spouse, even when it is difficult. Honesty fosters understanding, growth, and connection in marriage.

Spouses who are honest with each other, even about mistakes, build deeper trust and compassion in their relationship.

They are able to be vulnerable with each other, bringing a new level of intimacy not possible when hiding lies and mistakes.

When spouses can share their true selves, without fear of judgment, they experience greater intimacy.

Honesty also enables couples to work through problems and grow together. Issues left unaddressed through secretive lying often escalate, while openness and honesty allow spouses to work through struggles in a solutions-focused manner.

According to research, honest communication is a key factor in marital success and satisfaction.

The Bible emphasizes truthfulness in marriage, stating “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another” (Ephesians 4:25). Honesty honours God and builds stronger marriages.

A black and white image of a couple standing at opposite ends of a long, empty corridor, symbolizing the emotional and physical separation that can occur in a strained marriage.

Biblical Principles for Honesty in Marriage

Speak the Truth in Love

The Bible teaches us that honesty and truthfulness are essential in a marriage relationship. Ephesians 4:15 says, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”

Being truthful with your spouse, even about difficult matters, demonstrates love and care for the relationship.

While the truth may sometimes be uncomfortable, speaking it gently and lovingly builds intimacy and trust.

We must balance truth with love and compassion. As Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

Before confronting your spouse, ask God for wisdom on the right timing and approach.

The goal is restoration, not condemnation.

Confess Your Sins to One Another

The Bible calls us to confess our sins to one another, including our spouse. James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

Bringing sins into the light allows God’s forgiveness and healing to flow.

Admitting wrongdoing demonstrates humility and builds trust in marriage. While transparency about sin is difficult, the freedom it brings strengthens intimacy.

We must create an environment where confession feels safe for both spouses. Listen without judgment, offer forgiveness, and pray together.

Set a Guard Over Your Lips

The Bible warns us many times to watch what we say. “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3).

Impulsively speaking hurtful words during conflict damages trust and connection in marriage. We must restrain our tongue and filter our speech with our spouse.

Before responding, ask yourself: Is what I’m about to say true? Kind? Necessary? Will it build up or tear down? The Proverbs say, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Proverbs 12:18).

Season your speech with grace, thinking of how your words will impact your spouse.

Living in truth and light builds intimacy and oneness in marriage. While honesty can be difficult at times, God rewards those who walk in integrity and righteousness.

“No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11).

Practical Tips for Fostering Honesty in Your Marriage

Examine Your Motives

When feeling tempted to lie, pause and examine what’s driving you. Consider whether fear, shame, or insecurity are factors. Being self-aware can help you make wise choices. As Ephesians 4:22 says, we must “put off” unhelpful behaviors and attitudes.

Ask Clarifying Questions

If something seems unclear, seek clarification before assuming ill intent. Don’t accuse or assign motives. Gently ask questions to better understand. This models the “love believes all things” attitude of 1 Corinthians 13.

Listen Without Judgment

Create a safe space for transparent conversation. James 1:19 advises being “quick to hear, slow to speak.” Listen fully before responding. Withhold criticism. Offer grace in the spirit of John 8:7.

Admit Fault and Seek Forgiveness

When you mess up, own it. Confess and ask forgiveness rather than hiding missteps. This aligns with 1 John 1:9’s promise that if we confess our sins, God will forgive and cleanse us. Give your spouse that same grace.

Pray for A Heart of Integrity

Ask God to search your heart and reveal blind spots, as Psalm 139:23-24 suggests. Pray for wisdom to walk in truth, aligning with 3 John 1:4. Also pray for your spouse, marriage, and a home filled with love and honor.


In conclusion, the Bible contains strong warnings against lying, deception, and dishonesty. Marriage requires mutual trust, vulnerability, and openness. When we lie to our spouse, even with good intentions, we violate biblical principles and inflict harm.

God desires truth and integrity to prevail in all our relationships, including marriage.

While we may rationalize small lies, partial truths, or omissions, God calls us to live by His higher standard of love and honesty. Through God’s strength, humility, and help from Christian community, we can nurture marriages where truth flourishes by God’s grace.

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