Saturday, October 9, 2010

"Bee"ing honest

“…but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up…” –Eph. 4:15

Honesty and vulnerability in relationships always fosters growth and maturity. This is true in marriage and also applies to the relationship between parents and teenagers. Yet we shy away from being honest with each other. Too often, we avoid the truthful conversations that would bring the very peace and closure that we need with those we love.

Fred Goss, owner of a dry cleaning business in Mayberry, invites Aunt Bee to a dance. Bee is not the least bit interested but when Clara Johnson suggests that Andy will never marry until Bee marries first, Bee unenthusiastically gives Goss some consideration. When Andy learns from Otis that Goss is romantically interested in Bee, he believes Bee is interested as well and encourages her to get to know Goss better. Bee and Goss have a few dates. Within days, Andy thinks Bee and Goss will marry and Bee leads him along - believing she is doing the right thing regarding Andy's chances for marriage. In a discussion one evening with Bee on the porch, Andy learns that Bee doesn't love Goss. Andy makes it clear that no one in the family marries unless they are in love. Aunt Bee is relieved that she's released from marrying Goss.

An honest conversation between Andy and Aunt Bee during the first 5 minutes of the show would have made the whole episode 6 minutes long. Not good for the producers, but good for the Taylor family. Instead, Andy and Bee presume and guess their way through each other’s intentions without sharing their honest feelings.

This week, a friend was telling me about an honest but difficult conversation they had with their spouse and about how it produced such a freedom in their relationship. He said it was great for his relationship with the Lord too.

We could all share stories about times when we’ve finally been honest with someone we love about an issue and the freedom that followed.

This morning, I was headed out of the house to work and my brother-in-law Brian stopped me. He said,” Joey, you’re not wearing that shirt- it’s all wrinkled.” I froze and the moment was awkward. But he was right. The shirt (like many items in my somewhat outdated wardrobe) was wrinkled and fit tightly. I changed shirts and thanked him. I didn't like it at the time, but I appreciated it. He was right.

Be sure and model honesty with your teen. Don't be rude and don't be judgmental in your heart, but love your loved ones enough to share the truth. And, allow yourself to receive truth also.

Your kids will appreciate you and love you for being willing to engage with them and share your ideas. They may not act like they like it- but they will respect you for being real.

Speak the truth in love to your teen. It will help your teen grow and it might even keep them from marrying Fred Goss!

By Eric Joseph Staples ©

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