Honesty is the best policy says Ben Franklin. I totally agree especially when I get to be honest about other people’s problems. It’s so much less embarrassing than talking about my own issues. But when someone asks how you are doing and you share about your husband’s struggles or your children’s problems, that is not honesty that is stealing.
A few years ago I attended a small women’s retreat. At the end of the weekend we all sat in a circle and shared what we had learned especially as it related to an area in which we were currently struggling. Each woman shared something tender and personal and of course we all cried. My girlfriend, Julie, had been going through a painful separation and was hesitant to speak because she felt so raw. But when it came to her, she honestly and courageously laid it out there. I was so proud of her. The last woman to share about her struggles was Mary and I couldn’t believe what came out of her mouth. “I can’t really think of any struggles.” Stop right there. I knew her and could have reminded her of at least ten things that she was struggling with, several of which were driving me crazy. “But I just feel really bad for you Julie. I cannot believe how hard your life is.” That was it. I looked over at Julie and she was sinking fast. Mary’s words weren’t helpful or empathetic, they were insulting. If I had been in a feistier mood and not so drained by all that crying, do you know what I would have said to Mary? “Get your own pain.” I wanted Mary to recognize her own struggles, get honest about them, and not try to steal someone else’s.
It’s interesting that the thing that makes me most mad in others, is usually the exact thing that I need to work on in myself.
When we get honest about our own struggles especially as parents we will feel humbled. James 4:6 that “God opposes the arrogant, but to the humble he gives grace.” Humility is hard at times but there is always a reward: grace. You can’t get it any other way. So be bold mom and dad. Get honest. Be humbled. Show your children how to enjoy His grace.
If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
2 Corinthians 11:30
By Dale Skram
Mom of four
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
real.life.speaker, real.faith.writer, and real.life.coach