Have you ever noticed how sometomes, when people describe or explain the flaws in those they love most, they quickly follow them up with redeeming qualities? The parts of a person that don’t directly irritate them are thought to be counterbalanced by those parts that do. I feel as though that practice may look very positive on the surface, and maybe I’m nitpicking, but perhaps it isn’t a good idea to feel the need to compensate for our loved ones flaws. If you love someone, you love them flaws included.
I am not sure I’m right about this, and I’m still thinking on it, because I don’t know. I’m not sure if it’s better to accept people’s flaws in a way that just plainly states them and accept that what irritates us doesn’t signify more or less imperfection in the ones we love, but a fuller understanding that we are all fallen human beings. Furthermore, my definition of “perfect” is probably not how God sees perfection. What if my insecurities convince me that something he placed in another person was a mistake, or I entirely missed the beauty that I was supposed to see in one given trait or another? I know my vision isn’t perfect, and I wouldn’t put it past me. I don’t know about you, but I crave honesty more than I want my life to be perfect. I would want someone I love to be honest with me instead of trying to be perfect, especially if they have some part of them that they are ashamed of. We all have those bits and pieces, and although I dont have the jurisdiction to approve of personality traits or justify them, especially if they are under sin, I don’t believe in turning away from examining what is. If we love others, we should want to be present in ways the world turns away from. “I may not understand everything, but I commit not to ignoring it.” By making our flaws dependent on our better qualities, we make it seem as though we are all perfectly balanced in terms of good and bad, all of the time. I am not. I doubt that you are. I think a better strategy might be being boldly honest in both the good and the bad. You shouldn’t have to compensate or justify. If I truly care for you, I should want to know the truth.
To me, that logic stands resolutely in relationships of various kinds, although the boldness of being very transparent in your imperfection has an air of intimacy. But being broken isn’t always a private act. If we are brave and can bear to confront our imperfection via the Holy Spirit, that may help us love others more because we understand how deep so much of who we are runs. None of us can help our brokenness. But it’s with us.
I dont think turning away from hurt is the answer. I think that bearing with what we don’t understand and respecting the bravery it takes to be honest are more consistent with Gods holy spirit of love. “Love bears all things”. You don’t need to make a case for yourself or your significant other’s imperfection. Imperfection can be what it is, and under grace, we have a love that lets us be this way. Yes, God will restore, but in the meantime, no matter how broken we remain, he never loves us any less. He stands in our place; he understands. The real benefit of the gospel is not that God would wave his wand and make us just like him spontaneously, its that he loves us no matter how broken we are or what a mess we’ve become. His love is what is consistent. And he loves us just the same even if we have nothing good to our names, if we accept Christ his son as our own family, we can be grafted into his. There could be literally nothing good about someone whatsoever, but in the name of Jesus, that person recieves healing and the divine likeness of God just as you or I. We are equally restored; he is impartial. I can’t imagine what yhe world would be like if we loved our families knowing the steadfast love and endurance that it took (and continuously takes) God to love us. We are broken. And that is okay.