(Photo by Lindsay O’Neil)
Bringing Your Honey For The Holidays
By Emma Verschueren
Whenever I had a crush growing up, I, like many of you, hid him from my family. You may be familiar with the secret text messages you tried to hide from your siblings or the smile that slipped when he came up in conversation. I was definitely that girl. Well when my crush became my boyfriend and eventually my fiancé, I had to learn how to introduce him to the family. For both of us, the experience was truly nerve wracking. Not only did I have to admit that I had romantic feelings for a boy, but I had to put him in front of mom and dad and tell them this is the boy I want to marry. Everything I tried to avoid was suddenly becoming inevitable.
The first time he met the entire family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) it was May, but my mom decided she wanted to make a Thanksgiving meal. There was no easing into this. However, despite the build up of nerves over the years, I was not ashamed or scared to share my significant other with my family. I was proud.
Here was a boy who began as an acquaintance, became a best friend, and turned into the love of my life. Despite the fact that we had always been attracted to each other, our relationship was cultivated through prayer, doubts, joys, fears, and through the sheer grace of God. So by the time I had to share him, I wasn’t afraid because God had been guiding us the whole way and he was present in the decision we made to be with each other.
However, for some the family situation is a little more complicated than just pent up nerves. There are real issues that come to the surface during the holidays and introducing a significant other, or even another future member of the family, can be a make it or break it situation. One thing I’ve learned is that love and grace cover a multitude of sins. Grace is so needed in these initial meetings because if you have none for either your family or your significant other then you’re missing an opportunity to be Christ to others. In addition, if there is no grace then there is also no proof that you’ll love either party deeply and unconditionally. Love is needed because the ultimate goal is to make your family love your significant other, and vice versa. It starts with you.
Whether your situation is as silly as mine was or [could be] a serious source of conflict, the main thing to keep your eye on is the Lord. There is no fear in sharing your feelings about a boy to your family because if the Lord has led your relationship and you know it is a good and healthy aspect of your life, then you should be proud to share something so beautiful with your loved ones. Whether or not your family situation is a little more complicated, you should be eager to administer grace and love.
As Christians, representing Christ defines our character. What an incredible opportunity to be Him to your loved ones, especially when it is not easy. Look at this holiday season as a time to be the hands and feet of Christ to your loved ones by being quick to love and overflowing with grace.