Although I am a firm believer in love covering a multitude of sins, I have learned that sometimes warped definitions of love can make situations worse instead of better. My complete understanding of love used to come from a few verses in I Corinthians 13..” love suffers long, is kind, does not envy, is not proud, is not rude or provoked, and thinks no evil.” While all this is true, I neglected to see verse 6 until the Holy Spirit illuminated it to me one day. Consequently, the realization that rejoicing in truth was part of love, changed my thinking and ultimately my relationships.
All relationships call for patience or long-suffering…daily dying to self, However, when a relationship is defined by one partner suffering at the hand of another, it is not long suffering….it is abusive or at best dysfunctional. Suffering should come from sources outside the family unit ie… sickness, persecution, financial difficulties, etc. not directly from the hand, mouth or actions of a spouse or other family member.
While the Word encourages us not to behave rudely or to seek after our own, it does not discourage confrontation. For not only are “Truth-in-love” confrontations healthy expressions of love, they also set the climate for change by giving a person the choice to either soften his heart and repent or harden his heart and rebel.
The following are somethings I try consider before I confront:
Have I prepared my heart in prayer? If my heart is not full of compassion and empty of judgement I will not be in truth.
Have I sought wise counsel? I might be blinded to what someone else can see clearly.
Have I checked my motives? Is my desire to seek revenge, vent anger, manipulate, control, shame or preserve my pride, or do I truly desire what is best for all involved?
Am I aware that I am not responsible for the results? Although we are responsible to express love and concern, speak truth, set healthy boundaries, and offer opportunities toward change and healing (ie. counseling, accountability), we are never responsible for another person’s choices.
When my heart, vision, and motives are right, and I have given the results to God (which could take days, weeks or even months) , only then, I am ready to confront.
Have a blessed Day!