Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Armed with Love: Honesty

"Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth." 1 Corinthians 13:6

I'm about to be honest with you. Our family, like any family, has struggles. Some of our struggles are unique because our family was built by adoption. All of us long to be accepted by one another. We want to feel loved, accepted, and appreciated. We want the security of a loving family. Our fears of rejection hurt us at times. Those fears make us lie to each other about who we really are and what we really want. Those fears make us run away from each other, even when we are standing in the same room together. We act and pretend to gain acceptance. I love my family. I don't want to pretend to be okay when I'm not. I don't want them to act like someone they aren't because they are afraid I won't love them for who they are.

The first part of the verse says, "Love does not delight in evil." As I studied the lexicons I discovered a better translation of this verse would be, "Love does not rejoice exceedingly the unrighteousness of heart and life." To me this verse talks about delighting in the lies we tell in our hearts and lives. We shouldn't be happy when we get our own way, knowing it makes our spouse uncomfortable. We shouldn't be glad when our kids make a choice we want them to even though it makes them unhappy. Living this way is living a lie. Our family has learned in therapy that we all bring a "fake" self to situations in order to find acceptance. If we always bring our fake self, we won't be loved for our real selves.

The second part of this verse says, "[love] rejoices with the truth." The Blue Letter Bible helped me understand that this means that we rejoice with or take part in another's joy in what is true in any matter under consideration. When we rejoice with the truth we celebrate when those we love bring their authentic selves into the relationship. We embrace the truth when they show who they truly are. For me it means accepting my children's likes and dislikes even when they are different then mine. It means listening and understanding my husband's needs even when they are not convenient to me. I want to be intimate with my family. I want to know them. I want to love them for who they really are. I will rejoice in the truth of who God made them uniquely to be.

Don't settle for "fake" relationships. Find out what is real about the family you live with and rejoice in it.