Are you the same person both inside and outside of your home?
Aah…what a challenging question. I consider myself to be fairly open and honest with who I am. If you don’t like me, well, then, so be it. What I mean is: I’m not going to purposely offend you, but I am not going to pretend to be someone I am not just because you won’t like the real me, either.
But I can’t deny I am still a little different at home than I am out in public.
When someone does something that upsets me in public, I may frown a bit and fume a bit inwardly. If I am really upset, I may grit my teeth and grumble to my husband. On a very rare occasion, I will say something and try to keep my tone kind. Notice the word try.
But when I’m at home…well, that’s a different story.
A few months ago, I realized just how true this is. I was having a little fit of temper with a couple of my kids while their friend, unbeknownst to me, was waiting in our mud room. Although it is now a bit of joke among us all, it wasn’t very funny to me at the time. Actually, I was quite ashamed of myself.
And I had to ask myself–would I have had that fit of temper if I knew that friend stood listening to me? Absolutely not. I would have controlled myself.
Many of us tend to be very different people when we are around people we don’t know very well.
And it begs the question. What would our walls say about us if they could talk?
What would they say about–
–The websites we visit and the movies we watch?
–The tone of voice we use when we talk to our husbands?
–The way we treat our kids? Our parents? The salesperson on the phone? The neighbor who hates us?
What would the walls say about–
–The language we use?
–Our organization and cleanliness?
–Our Christian testimony in our homes?
–Our use of time?
Fortunately– at least for most of us–walls can’t talk.
In this Christian culture, there is so much emphasis on being real. Be real and show your struggles. Be yourself wherever you go. And while I think there is value in being honest in who we are, I don’t always want to show my real self to the public–because it’s not always pretty.
But I am not suggesting that we become fake at home.
No, I am suggesting that we allow the Lord to take control of our lives no matter where we are. That our appropriate reactions and kind responses, even in public, would come from our hearts instead of from social etiquette.
Because only then can we truly be the same genuine and godly person both inside and outside our home.