Trusting Our Loved Ones

by Richard Mansel, managing editor
momdaughter3.jpgCarla’s face reddens with anger and her eyes flash as her mother, Jennifer, tells her she cannot go to the movie until her room is clean. Carla screams, “You hate me!” She turns and storms into her room.
Carla’s words pierce like swords and warm tears sting Jennifer’s face. How could her own flesh and blood hate her, after all she has done for her?
Innumerable parents have heard these kinds of painful words from their family members. What are we missing in our family communication skills?
We look for anything that we can to help us develop better relationships. The deeper we go into the study of relationships, the more complex and nuanced the lessons.
Each of us has memories that store everything that happens in our relationships. We log the yellow colors of peace and love, as well as the reds of anger. Collectively, they constitute the dialogue of our familial bonds.
Each moment, whether good or bad, greets us when we face a new situation and conversation. We do not start over every day with a blank slate.
Jennifer does not like something her husband, Tom, says. She blurts out, “I thought you loved me!” Jennifer has just picked up Carla’s sword.
Jennifer needs to return to her log and remember all of Tom’s expressions of love. She needs to read the notations of flowers, gifts, hugs, kisses he has given her. With these in mind, should she not give him the benefit of the doubt?
We are not talking about occasions when adultery or abuse enters the relationship. We are talking about daily moments when we forget how our family members feel about us, separate from their momentary anger.
We should not have to start over every day. We have earned the benefit of the doubt.
Jennifer goes to Tom. He is hesitant thinking the storm still rages. “Honey, I’m sorry. I know you love me. I must have misunderstood. You deserve the benefit of the doubt. What did you really mean?”
Tom relaxes and they converse as lovers, rather than adversaries. Later, Carla moves slowly to her mother and says, “Mom, I know how you feel about me. I was just mad. I’m sorry.” Jennifer smiles and tearfully hugs her precious daughter.
“Carla, I realized today that we need to remember that we love each other and to give each other credit for that. We are always family”
“That makes sense, Momma. We don’t need to act like little children. Life is too short.”
Are we mature enough to give our loved ones the benefit of the doubt?

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

2 thoughts on “Trusting Our Loved Ones

  1. A very nice article. Unfortunately, there is not one scripture quoted in it. It could have been written by any psychiatrist or family counselor. whether or not they are a Christian. There are psychiatrist, family counselor, etc., everywhere, and their secular counseling is available to almost everyone. Aren’t we as Christians supposed to “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17). “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” (I Peter 4:11).
    Isn’t this part of the reason we are having problems in the Lord’s church today?

  2. Brother, thank you for saying that my article was good. I appreciate that. My article is not indicative of what is wrong with the Church. I have over 300 articles on this site filled with Scripture. This is the only one without. I was dealing with a complex idea in a small amount of words. Once does not constitute a pattern. Thanks for reading Forthright.

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