What’s the Most Loving Thing You Can Do For Others? Be Honest With Yourself

There we sat, each frustrated over how the evening had turned out and neither of us understood why. In retrospect, it had started with a simple question.

Or rather, the answer to a simple question.

“Where do you want to go for dinner?”

We had each thrown out some ideas. He preferred the local brew pub; I was in the mood for a more peaceful environment. But he enjoys the pub (and their cajun tots sounded yummy!) so I did the loving thing and agreed to his choice.

At least, at the time I thought I was doing the loving thing.

By the time we got to the bustling restaurant at the end of the hectic week, I was already hungry and tired. My head throbbed to the beat of the music as college students at the next table hooted and hollered birthday greetings to their newly-legal companion.

If you’ve ever seen a romantic comedy, you might be able to imagine how this scene played out. By the end of the evening, I was grouchy as can be. And unfortunately, he received the brunt of my grouchiness.

Unlike in the movies, I didn’t side with his choice because I was trying to be coy, hoping he’d play the chivalrous hero. In the real world, adults who love each other do their best to avoid lies and mind games.

The bad feelings that emerged that evening were the result of a lie, but not one I’d told him. Instead, I’d lied to myself—without even realizing it.

I knew I would have preferred a calmer environment, but I hadn’t asked myself why—after staying late at work to catch up, my tight neck muscles signaled a headache in the making—and I hadn’t factored in the Friday night crowd (which was very different from the lunches we usually ate there).

Galatians 5:13-14 tells us to “…serve one another in love. The entire law is fulfilled in a single decree: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

It’s easy to assume that serving one another in love means going along with your loved one’s preferences. But the most loving thing we can do is to be thoroughly honest with ourselves. That way, we can be more honest with each other.

How might this have turned out better?

Instead of asking one question (“Where do you want to go for dinner?”), get into the habit of asking two:

  • Where do you want to go to dinner?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how much does it matter that we go there specifically?

It turns out, we each had a crummy evening over a choice my husband didn’t actually care that much about— he would’ve given it a 2/10. (Incidentally, letting someone else decide when the outcome doesn’t matter is a great way to reduce decision fatigue.)

As we approach February 14th and consider decisions of love and chocolate, keep in mind that one of the most loving things you can do for the important people in your life is to be honest with yourself. That way, you can be lovingly genuine with the people you care about most.

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For more information about being truthful with yourself, check out my e-book 7 Ways You Lie to Yourself— Without Even Realizing It.



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Hi, I’m Kendra

I help bright, successful over-thinkers change their negative thoughts using Scripture and the science of how God made you.

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