Jesus teaches accountability in Scripture, not to bring punishment, shame, or guilt, but to uplift grace and bring glory to the Father.
God’s grace is about honor and freedom, not bondage. Grace is unmerited and inspiring. It’s compassionate and merciful, not condemning. How can accountability be anything less than that? Too often we allow Satan to distort our view of accountability with God and others. In reality, it is the fertile soil in which God grows our character. It’s not something that we should be afraid of. It shouldn’t motivate us to hide or bury our sin, but rather come boldly to the Christ and confess what we’ve done with what He’s given us.
How have we used our mind to think? Our tongue to speak? Our hands to act? Our feet to go? Our gifts to minister? What have we done with His grace?
We must be accountable to the Lord; and the Bible takes it one step further, telling us to be accountable to other believers. We are to confess our sins to each other, encouraging and forgiving one another. Accountability should motivate us to faithfulness, inspire us to depend upon God’s Word, give us purpose and direction, and remind us of the rewards we receive from the Master…“Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
Christians have such a warped perception of accountability with God that they cringe at the thought of confessing to each other. Especially between husband and wife.
This is where secrecy creeps in. William Barclay said, “Secrecy kills the disciple or the disciple kills secrecy.” In any realm of sinful behavior, burying and hiding our sin is a death sentence. And, in our opinion, none more so than with sexual sin. Sexual sin carries a certain stigma, a certain shameful label that we try to avoid at all costs. Instead of seeking the help we desperately need, so often we entomb ourselves in our depravity hoping to somehow overcome it on our own because the shame of admitting our weaknesses seem too much to bear. But confession must be a staple in the healing process.
In this battle for sexual purity, not only do we need the mercy, grace, and power of Jesus Christ, but we also need the accountability, prayer, and encouragement of Christian brothers and sisters who have “been there.” There’s nothing more powerful in overcoming sexual sin than admitting the problem and facing it, as well as confessing the struggles that come with recovery. Secrecy only keeps us in bondage and prolongs our misunderstanding of God’s grace. It is only when we humble ourselves to bring our darkness into the light that we have the opportunity to heal.
Isn’t it time we redeemed accountability?
Humility Is Key
Husbands – Remember that you have hurt your wife deeply. No matter how wounded you were or why you chose to do the things you did, your sin broke her heart. Excuses and justifications only feed bitterness, but humility will go a long way in helping he become the help mate you need in the pursuit of purity
Wives – Remember that we are all sinners and we all need grace. Your husband’s sexual sin may be very painful for you, but it’s not the verdict on his life. Just as your own sins (outbursts of wrath, hatred, gossip, slander, malice, ect.) are not the verdict on yours.
Listen w/ Tenderness
Husbands – Your wife is vulnerable. She wants to help you through this extremely difficult process, but it’s hard to hear how you may have fallen. If she does cry or get angry, try to remember what she is going through and do not invalidate her feelings.
Wives – If your husband is willing to come to you with his weakness, be a safe place for him to confess. He needs to know that he can come to you with anything and that you will be willing to listen to him and help work through it.
Husbands – Use discretion but do not be too vague. Your wife needs to know the extent of your sin but, she does not need to be crushed every time you battle sexual temptations. It is a delicate balance between being genuinely honest with her about your struggles and sparing her the hurtful details. This is why it is imperative for you to have male accountability partners that you can confess in greater detail what you are struggling with
Wives – When your husband confesses a sin or struggle to you, do not prod him for all the dirty details. It is hard enough for him to admit something that may be embarrassing or that he is afraid will hurt you. Not only that, but too much detail can hinder you in your healing process. This is why it is of utmost importance for your husband to also have male accountability partners that he can confide in as well.
Respond w/ Repentance and a Plan
Husbands – Do not just confess to your wife for the sake of it. It is important to keep a repentant heart and have a plan of attack. She needs to see your repentance in action. She needs you to explain why you feel and what you can do better to try to overcome temptation next time.
Wives – Your first, inclination might be towards anger and that is OK at times. But if you have a repentant husband who is willing to come to you in his moment of weakness, love and respect will not only encourage your husband on his path towards purity, but will also strengthen your bond on the path towards restoration.
Pray Without Ceasing
Husbands – Ask the Lord to help you maintain a redeemed perspective of accountability. To not shy away from it, but to have courage in confessing and repenting of sin that keeps you in bondage. Also pray for your wife, that Christ will continue to mend and heal her heart as He molds her into the woman He created her to be.
Wives – Ask the Lord to help you maintain a redeemed perspective of accountability. To not use it as a tool of control or a weapon against your husband, but to allow his honesty and your response to build genuine intimacy in your marriage. Also pray for your husband that Christ will continue to heal the wounds that led him into sexual sin as He molds him into the man He created him to be.
Accountability is a key component in recovery. XXXchurch.com offers two options for accountability.
X3 Groups is a online based group that meets weekly at the same time offering personal accountability with others. This is an option if you are unable to find someone in your area that will offer this help.
X3 Watch is another option that goes hand in hand with the X3 Groups and any accountability. This is a program that can be placed on either your computer or mobile devices.