Words of Hope: Secrets
I have made my house a memory palace which is a device to help me remember things.
Near my sink is one of my favorite verses, “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincerely love for one another, love each other deeply from the heart.” I imagine the water washing away all my perceived bitterness and irritation. I imagine how obeying truth is crucial to love.
My husband Shann works as a marriage and family psychologist and has insight into the private machinations of marriage. One of the foundations of his work is the will to be honest and truthful about our inner lives. He believes it is essential to marriage. When a man says his infidelity is between him and God, Shann challenges this thinking. When a woman says she loves her husband but criticizes him constantly, Shann helps uncover this blindness.
Honesty is so difficult especially when we are raised in homes of deep shame and abuse. A friend of mine told me the inner secrets of his mom and dad. It’s a story rife with shame, hiddenness, false piety, and pretense. The second generation, raised with secrets, unconsciously knows something is wrong. It’s crazymaking. The mom and dad have secret sins they have covered with “righteous” talk and outward pretense of virtue such as church attendance, bible reading, and duties that don’t require introspection but allow a judging eye on how someone else is living. These children feel their parents’ scrutiny that is often shaming and aggressive. They either meekly adhere, or they wildly act out. Those who act out are shunned and shamed. Those who meekly adhere become zombie-like in their detachment to real life. They have no real emotions, personalities or passions and often become caricatures of the parents in ideology and behavior without relational depth or true love.
Each person in the family must understand personal honesty. What is truth, what does obeying truth look like, and how can I do this so that I can love my family sincerely?
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincerely love for one another, love each other deeply from the heart. – 1 Peter 1:22