The other day, my 5yr old son, Tate, used permanent markers to decorate the inside of my truck. The rule in our home is that crayons, markers and pens are only to be used on paper. Tate knows this rule very well. His 7yr old sister, JoJo, knows this rule, as well. JoJo, full of love for Tate, told me that he did not do the art job in my truck. She knew he had broken the rules and he would be punished accordingly. The problem is that real love doesn't hide sin; it brings it out of hiding, even though it might create temporary pain.
Chace: On a recent date night, when Shane read his journal entry, above, to me, he also gave me formal permission to be the truth-telling sister in Christ that I haven't consistently been. When I'm at a fork, of whether to ignore or confront my husband or children, I confess that I've avoided conflict, frequently. Though my heart was trying to love them, by stuffing my God-given emotions, it often backfired. I'd sometimes end up overreacting about their struggles later, when I'd stuffed for so long that a volcano began erupting, over some tiny example of something they weren't having 100% success in overcoming.
Learning to communicate truth, in the right timing, without wearin' 'em out with T.M.I./too much info, and in a 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 kind of a way, has freed our family up to begin this more integrous lifestyle of not 'hiding our heads in the sand' when dealing with each other's stuff. Relationally stagnant waters are starting to come to life around here, as we attempt to apply this passage of Scripture, in this way, with the Holy Spirit as our guide. When Proverbs tells us that 'the wounds of a friend are faithful,' I'm reminded:
If Shane and these children are to be my best friends, the way God intended them to be, I must learn to let Jesus embody a 1 Cor 13:4-7 Biblical love through me, when one of them is significantly, rhythmically off track, or I will not have their hearts.
Where we once tiptoed around, thinking it was 'nicer' and more grace based to turn a blind eye towards the careless injuries that good willed people cause, we're now trying to be less dysfunctional (walking wide circles around people in sin) and more normal. With God's help, as we learn to behave in more emotionally healthy, Biblically authentic ways, Jojo and Tate will have something more Christ-like to mimic. :)