Printed on cutesy, girl paper, I display my household routine for all to see on the shiny, spotless refrigerator:
6-7 a.m. Read Bible before my four Sunbeams rise for the day
7-8 a.m. Prepare healthy, hearty breakfast for family
8-9 a.m. Family Bible lesson, sing hymns, family cheer
9-11 a.m. Play-doh, finger-painting, organic gardening, and bread baking
11 a.m.-12 p.m. Family violin lesson (taught in French)
12-1 p.m. Lunch with classical literature readings
1-2 p.m. Backyard frolicking
2-4 p.m. Family nap, accompanied by sounds of Bach and Beethoven
4-5 p.m. Prepare dinner, set table, light candles, soft music playing
Really. This is my life. Every day. At least, that’s what I’d like you to believe.
I hide my piles of clutter in the nearest drawer and frantically run the dust buster before you arrive. I pretend “it’s always like this.” Then say something clever like, “I am so sorry my house is such a mess! I’ve been so busy!” I actually was busy wiping off (intense-panic-cleaning) sweat from my forehead.
Don’t pretend you haven’t done it.
Young women today are vying for the chance to act on a stage of falsehood.
-When Toddler trampoline WWF takes place, I pray that it wasn’t my kid who caused the tears and screams outside. I’m relieved when it was your kid so I don’t look bad.
-I discuss the struggles over meal plans and affording organic groceries, but I don’t tell you that I only do it to impress you.
I smoke-screen you to achieve an image of near-perfection.
Social media has only heightened our ability to remain guarded. I can write all day about my patience, anxiety, or fear struggles. They’re generic, anyone can relate, and no one will judge.
I am here for you, reader. I write to encourage you. If I expose too much, I will lose your full trust.
You don’t need to know that I would love to be your idol, or that I care way too much about your opinion of me, or that I’m jealous of how God is working in your life. So for your protection, I’ll keep that out of my writing.
I falsify vulnerability.
I act as my own public relations director, filtering and broadcasting only certain details of my life. I deceive others and pretend it’s for their own protection. Really, I’m only concerned with protecting myself.
Fake vulnerability breeds shallow relationships. It twists truth, and withholds love.
It’s easy to love people I’m fake with. Live superficially, avoid confrontation, and life is good. I decide what you see so you won’t judge me.
Real, honest and lasting relationships, don’t work this way. Love demands vulnerability, honesty and humility, even when it’s awkward and uncomfortable.
Consider what 1 John 3:14-16 says about those who lack love:
“Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”
Genuine vulnerability is always sacrificial.
I must choose to lay down my feelings and pride, or I will lay down my relationship with you. When I value self-protection, I abide in death, I murder relationships.
If my identity is in Christ, I am called to clothe myself with humility toward others, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” - 1 Peter 5:5
Pride, shame, fear, anger, jealousy, and bitterness tempt me to blame others for my problems or hurt feelings. “It’s all their fault.”God directs me to humble myself under His mighty hand and cast all of my anxieties on him. Even my weaknesses and failures.
I want to be the girl who is awkwardly, yet gracefully, honest in social contexts.Realabout my feelings. If I’m hurt, I’ll admit it. If I’m jealous or angry, admit that too. If I’m dying on the vine, I’ll tell somebody. No more covering pain to save face – I need to get real. I want to push through the weird to get to the worthy.
When I own up to my sin, I confess my need for forgiveness and dependence on grace.
Fake vulnerability denies a need for salvation. Genuine vulnerability gives me a chance to rejoice in the good news of the gospel. In Christ, my sins have already been covered, so have yours, believer. Let’s move forward in love.
Take off the mask of fake vulnerability, friend. Let’s keep it real.
Are you ever tempted to fake it with friends? What will it take for you to drop your guard? Let me know if you're here too. You'll be amazed at how many people are right here with you.