It has taken me a little longer to return to this series of posts, primarily because my fiance and I spent about 7 days together just last week. Since we don’t get to see each other regularly, we want to make our time together very special and that we did. We were together first in North Carolina and then we drove back to New Jersey where she met the members of my congregation (that went very well). We dealt with home matters in preparation for her moving here following the wedding. The week went by much too fast before she flew home.
Another characteristic I hold as being important is honesty. I am at the stage of my life where I want the woman I love to tell me exactly what I have done to aggravate her, or offend her, or sin against her. Too often, games are played between men and women where honesty is not displayed and everyone loses. That is not for me.
Now I also understand that being brutally honest can be just as hurtful as not being honest at all. The Lord gives us what I call “sanctified common sense” which means He gives us the wisdom and discernment necessary to speak in ways that build up a relationship and not tear it down. There are times when a little more digression is very useful in helping your loved one.
God is very honest with His appraisal of humankind’s condition when we are told, “… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God …” (Romans 3:23) It is this honest approach with us that points us to our need for a Savior from our sin. Our Lord tells us this not because He wants to embarrass us or push us away from Him, but rather He wants to draw us closer to Him for all eternity. Only when we acknowledge our sin and see Jesus as our Savior from sin can we be close to God.
Honesty between a man and a woman will help strengthen those bonds that hold them together. For example, when we were driving from North Carolina to New Jersey last Saturday, my fiance let me know when she thought I was following a vehicle too closely and I learned that for her to relax a bit I needed to change my ways of driving. It’s a little thing like that in the grand scheme of life which can really help in a relationship. I knew what was on her mind and I could respond. If she had never let me know what she was thinking, it would have been a less pleasurable trip for her. And she also learned that I can handle criticism which allows her to feel more comfortable in the future to be honest with me. Of course, my problem is that I all too quickly revert back to my old style of driving. Therefore, I need to learn as well.
Being honest is a great confidence booster to the individual as trust builds in the relationship. A lack of honesty breeds distrust and fear. Which would you prefer?
Barbara and I are working on our honesty between us. I pray you can do the same with your loved ones.