Whether it’s walking in someone else’s moccasins or insisting on truth in relationships, we can know there is a time for both if the relationship is real.
Trust is a huge contingency in all successful relationships.
As we relate with people—loved ones, fellows, colleagues and peers—it is only a matter of time before the smoothed words and faked smiles bridge the chasm of authenticity... then, can the relationship survive the impending conflict? Trust, as has been mentioned, is the key.
We cannot enjoy the saliency of tender love without enduring, first, the agency of tough love.
In more plain terms, if the relationship cannot get past the awkward truths that threaten to stifle it, it cannot enjoy the flourishing trust and respect that necessarily profits from the fire of genuine rapport.
So, tough love comes first. Well... first inauthentic love – then trust-issued conflict veiled as tough love – then, conditional on humble reception, tender love as a result of tough love.
We can know the true sense of ‘brothers and sisters in arms’ type of love only after enduring the darkest days that awaken the dawn.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.
This article was inspired by Bill Hybels’ book, Who You Are When No One’s Looking (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1987), pp. 57-79.