The Peril of Pretending

If you haven't seen my podcast about dealing with difficult families, go to my Media page on my web-site now. The following post addresses the issue of "pretending" that I speak about briefly on the podcast.

Growing up in my family was the same. We went to church Sunday after Sunday looking like the "normal" Christian family while the foundations at home were being destroyed. My parents didn't set out to hurt or abuse us--they just did what they'd done most of their lives. They lived with secrets and shame that were never exposed to the light and the underground web of denial and pretense bore fruit in our family life.

I remember a specific incident as a teenager. When I was 16, I came home from school one day to find out from my mother that my stepfather was having an affair. I was beside myself. Not because I was shocked by his behavior, but because my mother was incapable or unwilling to address this. She confided in me, but forbade me to say anything to anyone. Now I was ensnared by the peril of pretending. I've found that once we become entangled in the perilous web of pretending, it is difficult to break free. There are usually lies upon lies or as presented "shades of the truth" that have existed for decades and no one dare try to break free because each member has in some way been complicit in the facade that exists.

The peril of pretending is that once you start, it's hard to stop. Do you find yourself caught in a similar web? Is it easier to "go with the flow" rather than deal with what is true? Did you know that you can break through this pattern today by choosing to deal with what is true in your own life? I'm not urging you to "blow the whistle" on anyone in your family or circle of friends. I'm saying that you are responsible for yourself. Is there something you've been pretending about for the sake of your image? your family? your Christian witness?

It's time to come clean. Jesus is waiting. He always dealt harshly with the "posers" of His day, but He had an abundance of grace for those who humbly came before Him, admitting who they really are.