I remember several years ago I was talking with a grandmother who was trying to raise her teenage son. He was out of control. He yelled at her, refused to come home when she told him to, and basically did what he wanted to do regardless of her warnings.
"What should I do?" she asked.
"Kick him out of the house," was my quick and firm reply.
"Really? I'm not sure I can do that. What will he do?"
"He will learn that there are consequences for his choices," I said. "You need to stand firm with him and let him know as long as he lives under your roof he needs to respect your rules."
She did as I suggested, and kicked her grandson out of the house after he refused to come home another night. Two days later he came to her and apologized.
I'd like to say this story had a happy ending, but this young man continued down a rebellious road and eventually moved out on his own.
My question is this. Did the grandmother show more or less love by kicking him out of the home?
I say more.
We tend to think in our hyper-sensitive culture that love means merely affection, kind words and trying to protect those you care about. However, honest love is much more than that:
* Honest love will tell you what you need to hear, not necessarily want to hear.
* Honest love is willing to love you enough not to be liked for a time.
* Honest love is more concerned with your character than comfort.
Confrontation is never a fun word. However, those who are committed to real and honest love lean into confrontation as a bridge to deeper connection, rather than a roadblock to tranquility.
Love is always about looking out what is best for the other person. Sometimes this involves saying "No" and "This is wrong" and "I disagree with you." Counterfeit love in reality looks out for yourself first. You are not willing to confront because you may be rejected. You are unwilling to say no because you don't want to deal with the person being unhappy with you.
Jesus modeled honest and perfect love. He called out folks when they were wrong or had bad motives. He challenged folks to a deeper and more servant focus. He stayed committed to the character of His disciples far more than their comfort.
As it said in John 13:1, "He loved them until the end."
How honest is your love? If it is lacking, go to the source of true and unending love, and ask for His help and perspective. You may also need to find accountability in this area from a friend, pastor or life coach.
The results can be renewed discovery of love that is true, honest and healing.