“The reason that marriage is so painful and yet wonderful is because it is a reflection of the gospel , which is painful and wonderful at once. The gospel is this: we are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope. This is the only kind of relationship that will really transform us.
Love without truth is sentimentality;
it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws.
Truth without love is harshness;
it gives us information but in such a way that we cannot really hear it.
God’s saving love in Christ, however, is marked by both radical truthfulness about who we are and yet also radical, unconditional commitment to us. The merciful commitment strengthens us to see the truth about ourselves and repent. The conviction and repentance moves us to cling to and rest in God’s mercy and grace.”
Tim Keller in The Meaning of Marriage, p. 48
As I read this, the words resonated with my spirit. After the initial, nice, I ponder: do I agree? so I rummaged through the marriages I know more deeply, and I can say yes.
Can this love and truth tension of the Gospel seen in a more broad application? I think so.
A person with a chronic health issue needs the truth of their limits and the hope of support and love being offered by his or her community. Even with the limits, your value as my friend or as my child, is esteemed.
An adopted child who may have to consider uncomfortable origins, and desperately wants, needs, to be unconditionally loved. The adopted child needs the truth wrapped in all kinds of love and support, affirmation of his or her inherent worth. Your behaviour, your insecurity may exasperate, but I love you enough to walk through this pain with you.
A student with a learning difference does not need false positivity, rather real comprehension and acceptance of the learning challenge and the wide wake of frustration that presents matched with expectant support, unwavering love, and hopeful affirmation.
Truth wrapped in the love and grace of Christ a beautiful gift.
Love expressed with a gentle but whole truth can offer precision heart surgery.
An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips. Proverbs 24:26
8I will hear what God the LORD will say;
For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones;
But let them not turn back to folly.
9Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him,
That glory may dwell in our land.
10Lovingkindness and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11Truth springs from the earth,
And righteousness looks down from heaven.
12Indeed, the LORD will give what is good,
And our land will yield its produce.
13Righteousness will go before Him
And will make His footsteps into a way. Psalm 85:8-13
“We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” Tim Keller