In my relationships, particularly my marriage, I struggle with the tension between love and truth. An epic battle in all the world, but one that plays out daily within me. Sometimes the oscillation of my pendulum is wilder than at others times, but it is rarely steady.
Love without truth is flaccid. Having no definition. It looks passive, letting the other do and behave how they want, defining all the boundaries. Seeing hopes, desires, or healthy expectations as an imposition, love in this system has no standard.
As the pendulum flies in the other direction, truth without love is brutal. It is rules. Easy to measure because you have a check list or a leader board. It is shame and judgment. There is not love to soften it.
One is all authority and the other has none.
In all honesty, I tend to the love side of the pendulum. For me to swing wildly is to go just a little past the equilibrium point. That is tough, but that is part of my journey of trust and strength. To embody more truth and balance it out. Providing the boundaries and authority that a loving relationship is dependent upon.
My fear is of becoming a dictator. A tyrant ruthlessly leading my wife. That is a long, long way off. But tending to the truth side of the spectrum just feels that unnatural for me. Yet, it is good for me to get out of my comfort zone more and more. Generational patterns are hard to break free from.
I’m not alone in this, entire denominations of Christianity (and if we generalize even more, all belief groups) reflect one side of the pendulum or the other. We seem to be more comfortable with truth or love (I wonder how our family of origin systems prepare us for the groups we choose). Either way, we are choosing a religion. Either I’ve got my list of rules and hierarchy of authority, or I’ve myself authority of what is to be right or wrong.
God does not swing on a pendulum of tension between truth and love; He is the standard, the plumb line. Jesus embodied truth and love. Our minds think it was a 50/50 split. Half truth and half love. So, He was loving up to a certain point, then truth and judgment came to play. Rather, He was fully love and fully truth. One hundred percent of each. All love and all truth. Perfect balance, exhibiting both in tandem. Yet another mystery about Jesus that our finite minds cannot wrap around.
I’m pretty sure in this life I’ll not become a plumb line. While our two natures battle, this is something that is just out of our reach. Yet, as we become more like Christ, the amplitude of the oscillation should decrease – reflecting more balance and equilibrium between love and truth.