Something I would love to do is sit down with people and help them open the lines of communication in their relationships! I really would! I know how hard it seems and feels to open up and speak the truth in love, but I also know how beneficial it is if we push past that fear and aim for better relationships!
“14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”
We can’t live in peace with people if we have bitterness inside us!
I had a lot of anger and bitterness in me for most of my life! 30+ years of it to be exact! But little by little Jesus brought healing to me, until finally one night I dreamed…I could see myself and I could see a hand pulling out of my chest this huge rotten, black, mass of roots. I saw myself scream out in such pain as I’ve never felt before and woke up!
I didn’t feel a thing, but I knew. I could feel the healing that had taken place. I could feel that rottenness gone from my heart. Offense is a jagged fish-hook that if we take the bait on, it sticks inside us and grows with every thought of it, every counting off of what happened and how we were wronged…it grows “to cause trouble and defile many”.
People, including me, hold in their feelings for some pretty misguided reasons. I’ve heard: “it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict them, not mine”, or “they won’t listen”, or that “it will just cause more trouble”… I believe this is part of the root fear behind hiding our feelings in relationships, along with fear of rejection. We think if we are honest with how we feel we will destroy rather than help the relationship, and that we will be rejected.
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
But the Bible tells us that if we have ought against someone we must go to them and talk to them about it. Instead of doing that, we tend to stuff it and ignore it; however, the major problem with that is that we do more harm to our self and others than if we had just faced it in the first place.
We are not taking over Holy Spirit’s job by speaking the truth of how we feel in love, because we aren’t trying to bring conviction to that person’s heart or change that person’s heart by expressing our feelings. We are just releasing the truth of how we feel so that it can be dealt with openly and honestly.
Clearing the air, cleaning the slate, putting our cards on the table…you get it! 🙂
This was the major problem in my first marriage. We didn’t talk! There were misunderstandings that he had about me that he chose to believe rather than asking me about it, he was willing to think the worst of me rather than ask me. And I didn’t explain them, because communication seemed like something to be feared rather than faced. So, nothing was resolved. That is no way to have a relationship! And believe me, divorce is the outcome!
What is Truth in Love?
It’s saying we’re hurt when we’re hurt or sad when we’re sad. It is being honest with how we feel, and yet not being hurtful to the other person in the process. We don’t put them down, slam them, or belittle them to express our feelings. Someone who truly loves us will want to know if they’ve done something to upset us or hurt us!
I think a HUGE part of communicating is to state our intentions! Matthew and I did a lot of that in our beginning! Statements like: “I would not deliberately say something to hurt your feelings, so tell me if I have said something to hurt you!” go a long way to helping people understand where you’re coming from!
Communication in relationship is about getting to know the heart and mind of the other person, and the freedom to express yours. When you know someone’s heart and intentions toward you, you don’t misunderstand them!
If you want to understand someone, start by explaining yourself to them and see what you get back. You taking that step to open up and explain yourself will open the door for them to share themselves with you in return.
Don’t be afraid to speak the truth in love! It’s God’s desire we have wonderful, close, and personal relationships in this life! Holy Spirit will help you, go ahead and give it a try!