Have you ever known someone who seemed to have the perfect marriage, or to be the perfect parent, and then you find out down the road that things were not as they seemed? Situations like this bring so many thoughts to mind. First, we should make sure not to put people on pedestals. People are people. Nobody has the perfect marriage or is the perfect parent (be wary of people who claim either). Second, were these people given an opportunity to have faults? A safe place to go to get help with their problems? What made this person feel the need to put on such a facade?
One of the more damaging things we can model for our children is being one person outside of the home and another at home. This is not only deceptive and will cause resentment later, but it teaches our kids that who we are at the root is not good enough, and therefore we need to be someone else for others.
Sometimes my candor makes people uncomfortable. I definitely don't want to make people feel that way, but I also do not feel the need to act as though I have it all together all the time. My faults don't go away by pretending they don't exist. I often joke about areas of mine that need improvement. And I probably won't stop because I do not believe that ignoring something makes it any less THERE. When I feel the inability to address these things, it causes insecurity and isolation. For me, sharing is very freeing and is comfortable for me to do. For others, not sharing is their authentic self and to overshare would be pretense and cause discomfort. The danger comes, I think, when we feel the need to present everything as perfect.
I know in my own childhood experience, the more chaotic and dysfunctional my home life was, the more I was pressured to make things look amazing on the outside.
Children's pastors and teachers often joke that there are no family secrets and this is SO true. Kids have a lot of things to share that can be really embarrassing for parents. But I have found this to be a source of comfort rather than shame or worry. It has been reassuring to me that kids have a safe place to share what is on their hearts and minds, and more often than not, when it has been my own kids doing the talking, they needed to get things out. There have been occasions though when I have needed to clarify a statement or two. ;)
I am on a mission to be authentic, genuine and consistent. I hope I succeed and my children learn to embrace this lifestyle also.