When confrontation is worth it
“I want to write a letter to Nana” Maiah said.
“Okay, what do you want to do once you write it?” I replied.
“Give it to her and then we can have a talk and it will be better ”
Maiah had gotten hurt feelings about something and wanted to talk about her very real feelings. She “felt” as though her Nana didn’t want time with her but that was not true at all, Maiah just couldn’t see all pieces of the picture.
It was an innocent misunderstanding but even innocent unintentional wounds are still wounds and when they don’t get addressed…the wound grows.
The Bible is pretty clear about how to handle conflict, hurts, unintentional or not –
Matthew 18:15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
<strong>When the relationship is valuable and trust binds it together addressing hurts become places where stronger bonds can be built.</strong> Apparantly my discerning little 6 year old understood this concept in her precious heart before I ever taught her; in her mind and heart she had been hurt and wanted to share her feelings to clear the air, feel better and reconnect to her Nana. I don’t know that even the most mature adult handles conflict that way…even knowing the way we ought to handle it.
Have you ever assumed something but not addressed it? Ever gotten your feathers ruffled? I have, and I have certainly done my fair share of ruffling the feathers of others unintentionally or not…so what is your usual response?
Prayer? Addressing the issue with the intent to restore? Letting it blow over?
Not the most common response…
For most the average response is a number of the following :
Maiah could have let it go, she could have pretended it didn’t bother her but perhaps in doing so it may have stunted the way she approached the relationship in the future. <em>Her perception of things were not how they really are but her feelings made her feel as though they were</em> – addressing the feelings showed she cared about the relationship and gave an opportunity for her to understand what was really taking place instead of fostering ideas in her mind based on emotion and perception.
This letter was probably one of the best moments in Maiahs relationship with her Nana because she was able to be vulnerable about how she felt inside and her Nana calmed her fears and expressed what she needed to know…that she was valuable to her and it helped her Nana to know that her time was valued by Maiah.
So many times in relationships we misunderstand what is going on or we ourselves feel misunderstood. While there are some things not worth addressing..there are those times when that thing just keeps eating at us…and it changes us, it changes our perceptions of reality, it changes the way we see the other person…and changes the relationship..sometimes it starts as a little fracture but when we leave it alone it creates a divide as wide as a canyon.
I have seen in my own life and extended family relationships decimated…over a fracture that became the Grand Canyon. No words. No honesty. No trust. No relationship.
Sometimes things need to be said.
Sometimes hearts need to be expressed.
Sometimes fears need to be calmed.
Sometimes pride needs to be torn down.
Sometimes hearts need to be humbled.
Sometimes being right doesn’t matter.
Sometimes the truth stings enough to actually heal something.
Sometimes we just need to learn and sometimes even the smallest child can teach us…inspire us…
My daughter loves her Nana. She values her. She trusts her and that is why she reached out to her with her naked heart. <strong>The relationship mattered enough. The trust was deep enough. The remedy was loving enough to be honest.</strong>
It’s a test of the relationship to be vulnerable when we have been hurt whether it be intentional or not. It is also a test when confronted by another of a wound we may have inflicted on them…it stings but I have been thankful when a loved one loves me enough to be honest…it shows they value me and the relationship enough to create an opportunity for growth and healing.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Proverbs 27:6
What about you? Who needs your honesty? What relationship would benefit from an undisclosed heart?