Appearances can only take us so far. What’s on the inside is what matters the most. And all too often we live as whitewashed tombs – looking good on the outside, but filled with death beneath the surface.
For instance, this might play out with our secret sins. On the surface, we might present ourselves as the good Christian man.
And while we might confess to generic struggles with anger, pride, and even lust, this is mostly just playing the part of a good Christian – giving the appearance of authenticity without fully being honest about the dark struggles within. Meanwhile, we keep our deep sin and shame to ourselves, perhaps hoping it will just go away without others ever finding out.
Even still, this deception of whitewashed tombs is not just for our hidden sins in the usual sense. It might play out in marriage as well. This is the marriage that looks good to others but is dead on the inside.
For example, celebrating 50 years of marriage is a wonderful thing. But are we celebrating 50 years of oneness as God intends, or simply the fact that the couple stayed together legally for 50 years?
And when we fight for our marriage, are we just fighting for the appearances of married life, or are we truly fighting for a living marriage that bears fruit in each season?
A dead marriage is like a whitewashed tomb. While it might look good to count up the years of married life together, we’ve missed the point if our union is not also faithfully bringing more life and goodness into the world over the years.
In the end, it’s not enough to simply appear good. We must also be good. Our heart and inner life must match how we present ourselves to the outside world; we’re just whitewashed tombs otherwise.