My brother just got married to a woman who is shorter, browner, quieter in some senses and louder in others. They share many loves such as food and people but they also have come to the relationship with things that the other doesn’t love. It will take some getting used to – living with someone.
In a letter read out at the wedding Mr Thompson spoke about how yes in a marriage there is submission but making one out of two doesn’t mean one disappears and the other stays. It means you fight it out and come to conclusions in love.
For one and a half years I shared a room with an amazing man called Luke Summerell. Luke is a very neat man. He likes things to look and smell good. He was a 9 – 5 guy who enjoyed his sleep.
I on the other hand don’t care what my room looks like, I usually just chuck clothes on the ground where ever. I don’t have the greatest sense of smell, at that stage I was insomnia-ridden and was working graveyard and morning shifts at a service station. So I would be up till 3am playing nerdy video games most nights as Luke slept on.
Luke figured out that he could keep my stuff to a minimum if I just tried hard to keep my stuff to one corner of the room. Because then the rest of the room would be neat and tidy. We came to an agreement. When up late I would keep my earphones in to lessen noise. He was a strangely deep sleeper too. He would call cleaning days and I would more then not automatically jump to help. When we got bored with the room set up it would be agreed on when to move it.
There wasn’t a lot of conflict because both of us are pretty sanguine and passive but imagine if there had been. There would have to be certain conversations and comments made to improve the situation. These conversations could easily be done out of love because we both enjoyed the others company or it could’ve easily have become a thing of violence.
Now expand this idea to 50 people living in a house, or working together in a business or community or missions team. We all have preferences.. sure. We all have favourite ways and means. But ALL of us DO.
The trinity balances perfect submission and knowledge of the others with passionate love and excellence.
Speaking the truth in love.
I’ve been through seasons of gutlessness. Where I just take everything and not care much about what happens. I have also been through seasons of resolve to change things for the better. Cutting through others preference to attempt to give them the revelation of my superior ideals.
I feel like speaking the truth in love has more of a relational connotation. A combination of both but more.
Two examples: deep loving relationship and dialogue.
I have two friends – Christina and Lydia. Lydia is my little sister, she loves me deeply and I her. We have been friends for 24 years. There was a period in her teens that I arguably hated her guts, and I feel like she would agree she wasn’t too nice. But we have a history and a respect for each other that would cross many obstacles. She has the authority and in some ways the permission to comment on when I’m a butt head. When I do stupid things, When I say dishonouring statements. When I hold to beliefs that don’t make sense. I take it on board even when its super harsh, because of our former relationship.
And because of Lydia I don’t take offense often to strong and blunt women who speak out truth. The first time a met I had been told of her by my best friend Evan. He spoke very highly of her. That first time Christina she didn’t say much, but the bulk of what she said to me boiled down to “your being a freaking idiot, just shut up.” What she was referring to, kept me thinking for the next 24 hours, ridding me of sleep for that time and ended up changing my life.
The context and relational background of how we speak the truth in love….
My sister and a friend of my best friend = a certain amount of trust?
The other example – is dialogue.
Today I sat with two of my bosses. And to be completely honest with you my history with meetings and bosses means that I don’t trust authority figures easily and I hate meetings because they are usually time wasteful and pointless. (Thanks to the invention of twitter.. NO MORE BOREDOM)
I have a gutless relationship with one of my bosses. I don’t like asking questions, I don’t like pointing out holes that I see, I just work as quietly as possible and see where that can get me.
But I needed to know.
I needed to know how she thinks.
So I broke out of my gutless silence.
In hindsight I probably got courage from the fact that I was sitting next to her on a couch and she invited me to sit there but I casually started asking questions.
– Side point, usually when I get nervous and ask questions of authority figures like this I get really defensive and disrespectful which is why I try not say anything in the first place.
But the casualness of the setting fueled a relaxing approach in me. We discussed the problem I had. There were time where both of us didn’t understand the other but we just asked more questions and the other would honour the question with honest answers. We must’ve talks for almost an hour. Sitting there together trying to solve a misunderstanding. I felt honoured, I felt like the conversation was constructive and I felt heard. She commented in a similar fashion and later that night her husband commented that she liked me. We even honoured each other on twitter.
I stepped over my own line of conflict. And I was invited to sit. And discuss. Me and this boss are similar in ways but soo different. We are different in age and experience but we found a common ground in which I felt lead well but listened to.
The second boss I sat with asked me questions that could’ve ruined my next 3 months by overloading me with responsibility that I previously felt I needed to take on. But she asked a question that wasn’t leading but was honest and a fresh blessing to my soul “do you want this?” After answering her she replied with almost a relieved sigh that I had told the truth. We both spoke about what could be a difficult path from then on and set up a dialogue for later.
Within dialogue, manipulation wasn’t used to get an outcome. Truth was spoken and discussed in open love when rebellion could have (and in some ways usually does in me) reigned.
Communities that we were designed to exist in need more love truth speakers and less arrogant manipulators/submissive walk overs. We aren’t designed for charismatic loud ones to make the decisions and the quiet ones to be the servants. Communities are stronger when we are all serving decision makers.
We all lead in authorities given to us, which we serve in. Because leadership is a service gift.
So what do you need to humbly speak up about?
What do you need to humbly shut up about?
And most importantly who should you be listening to and loving in services so that relationship is our priority about being right and comfortable?