This is one of the things I’ve learned in my process of growing up.
Growing up to become a wife.
Growing up to be a better daughter, sister, and friend.
Growing up to be a working professional graphic/web designer (what?!).
Growing up to be a deeper and faster repenter of my shortcomings.
Growing up to choose the Spirit over my flesh more often.
Growing up to see God daily in circumstances, people, and nature.
Growing up to communicate more clearly, to be more self-aware.
But mostly, growing up to know the value of being honest. Honest with myself, honest with other people, honest before God, etc.
Do you understand what I mean? Honesty is a difficult thing sometimes (in my experience). Not the ‘don’t tell a lie’ kind of honesty, but the ‘are you being completely truthful?’
This manifests itself most in two major areas of my life. First, marriage.
When you’re single, it’s a little easier to hide things from the world – whether it be a passion, sin, weakness, idol, or habit. However, when you are married, all of yourself is laid bare across the table. It’s more difficult to hide feelings, sins, unhealthy habits. You married folks, would you agree?
I didn’t realize how dishonest I was with myself or with others until I married J. I didn’t realize how much I buried, how much of a put-together front I tried to keep up 24/7, how I let life walk all over me.
People-pleasing and being anti-conflict resulted in me not being honest with anyone. I would say things were okay when they weren’t, I would agree when I disagreed. It felt wrong to voice my most honest thoughts because they sometimes dripped with jealousy or selfishness or pride (I mean, I am a mega human).
For example, in my marriage, I’ve learned that even if brutal honesty is uncomfortable, in the long run it’s the best way. Being honest, kindly and lovingly, is the way that J and I learn about each other. We learn what the other genuinely feels about a circumstance, we learn how the other operates, we learn in what climates we thrive and which ones we struggle. Sometimes it is a small circumstance, like how words hurt feelings, or “I didn’t feel loved when ____ happened,” or a bigger deal.
Another area where dishonesty manifests itself is in my relationship with Jesus. This is an interesting one so I hope you stick with me.
God already sees all of me, doesn’t He? He knows my thoughts before they even come into my mind. He knows my words before I think to say them. So you would think that my knowing this would help me be utterly honest with Him, right? Wrong.
For the longest time, even with God, I tried to keep it all together. Even with Him I tried to combat frustration or fear on my own, instead of bringing all the raw emotions to Him. Dishonesty.
To me, honesty in my relationship with Jesus means that even in my “worst” moment, heated with anger or doubt or frustration or sorrow, I turn toward Him and hand it off. Or let Him help me hold it, or wrestle with it. There’s no reason to be dishonest with myself in God’s presence. Even in my darkest or deepest negative emotion, He’s not going anywhere. No matter who comes and goes, God always remains. And in that there is so much freedom and peace!
Growing up means being honest. If you struggle with this a little bit also, remember these things, my friend:
Honesty can be difficult. Don’t get discouraged when it doesn’t become the easiest, most natural thing the first time you try it. Small steps, small doses, it will become a habit. When we are willing to change, to love people and ourselves better, I think God is delighted to help us along way.
Honesty sets you free. We think that honesty is only not being a liar, but it’s more than that. Find your inner circle, your loved ones, and begin to be truly honest with them. Be a truth-teller, about what’s on your heart, what you’re thinking about, or struggling with, or what your dreams are. You will find a depth and beauty to those relationships that you’ve never known before.
Honesty sheds light. I’ve learned this most when it comes to my own self. When I’m talking to God, or reflecting on the day and its situations, being honest with myself sheds fresh light. Mostly because I’m trying to believe His Truth (the Bible) over my own feelings, which when preached to my human heart, strengthens and cheers me.
Do you have any thoughts to add? Can anyone else relate to this?
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