Before we address (or undress if you will) the “do I look fat in this outfit?” question, we must establish that 98% of the situations we face are not lose/lose scenarios. There is no reason to lie.
As we’ve seen in this series of blogs, adult children of divorce (ACD) often think telling the truth will bring fearful consequences. But in most cases this simply isn’t true. Lying also puts us at odds with God who hates it. So what can we do?
Following these words of Jesus is a good place to start; “Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”1 Though sometimes counterintuitive, if we want to trust people, we must first be trustworthy. To live our lives without unnecessary fear, we must communicate (truthfully) how we feel and what we’re thinking with our loved ones.
In an extreme example of this, I heard a counselor say that couples that survive an affair (a much higher number than you’d think) can actually have a stronger marriage than before the tragic incident. The reason is, if the counseling is done properly, they’ve bared their souls at such a deep level that virtually nothing they could share in everyday life compares to the brutality of the conversations about the affair.
Unfortunately, so few of us will take the risk to experience deeper relationships when the cost is vulnerability. But choosing to take positive action to overcome our negative fears can greatly reduce the temptation to lie.
I love the verse in Proverbs that says, “The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely.”2 Lets rephrase that to, “I trust, have confidence in, and believe my heart is safe with my spouse.”
Can you say that? Can they say that of you? Does it seem like an impossible dream? It’s not. Remember, most of the time we have no reason to fear our spouse (or good friend) and everything to gain by trusting them. But we must choose to change.
So in summarizing this series, to avoid the quicksand of lying we need to:
- trust God and not fear people
- lean on biblical truth
- communicate your desire to change to loved ones
- start with smaller safe situations to stop lying
- And do unto others as you’d want them to do unto you.
Now back to our question of the day: “Do I look fat in this outfit?” Just like the real issues behind lying is often fear, behind this question is often insecurity, shame, and inadequacy. So address the root: “Honey, no dress or outfit will ever affect my love for you. You’ll always be my [term of endearment.]” Do unto others. . .
1Luke 6:31, New Living Translation
2 Proverbs 31:11, Amplified Bible
Images: “Sharing”, by Aaron Concannon; “The Conversation – Redux”, by Bill Gracey