"Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth."Today my husband had a good word about this verse from the Bible's "love chapter." It encouraged me, so I thought I'd share it.
- I Cor 13:6
To J.P. and I (and I would assume all parents), it is very important that our children always feel free to be honest with us. We've witnessed and experienced the sad situation where children grow up lying to their parents, living double lives, and ultimately being spiritually separated from them, all because they feared telling their parents the truth. We want to create an environment where our children can be honest without fear, because they trust us and our reactions.
The secret lies here in this verse: "Love...rejoices with the truth." It's easy to rejoice with the truth when the truth is positive. But what about when the truth is negative?
So often when Rae does something wrong, I can see the struggle on her little face as to whether she should tell me or not. If she tells me the truth, I'm going to be upset. If she lies, she suffers the guilt and separation that it brings. When she chooses the lie, I usually know shes lying anyhow and she gets a consequence. But when she chooses the truth, she sees my disappointment, plus she still gets a consequence. It's a tough choice for a two year old!
If I, as a parent, can train myself to REJOICE when Rae chooses the truth, and relay that joy to her for choosing the truth, she is going to learn that honesty brings relief, joy, and a bond between Rae and Mommy. She still has to face the consequences for her actions, but she doesn't have to face my disappointment with her, because it won't be there. I'll be rejoicing that my daughter chooses to be honest with me.
My heart would break if my children were so afraid of facing my disappointment that they built a wall of lies between us. From now on, no matter what they've done, I'm going to try to always rejoice when my children tell the truth. Couple that with prayer, and I have a fresh hope that this will foster an environment where they always feel free to be honest with us even well into their adult lives.