Tuesday, November 22, 2011

On the Issue of Loyalty

Loyalty is a sensitive topic for me, and I've been told by many that my expectations are far too high for many. The older I get, the more I realize that the reason that my expectations of loyalty are so hard for many are simply due to their own struggles, not mine. That might sound like an arrogant statement to some people but in reality, it comes down to this: If you struggle with the expectations of something so simple as loyalty that one has required of you then perhaps it's because you expect so little of yourself and of them in return.

I know there is much to be said about expecting little from others, but there comes a point where each of us who have any sense of self respect must say, "Here's what I require of you in order to carry this relationship any further. And in return, here is what I'll offer you." Relationships ALL hinge on that unwritten contract, by which one or both parties have offered up their expectations. That being said, most of us will not lay any expectations out there that we won't agree to do ourselves because any other way will only lead to a failed relationship.

No marriage, no parent-child relationship, no sibling relationship or friendship can be functional without those boundaries or expectations. I'm on my second marriage and if I've learned anything in life, and in my dysfunction relationships, I've learned that we all have to lay our expectations out there fair and square. Hiding them and pretending we don't have them only leads to broken hearts, resentment and confusion on all fronts. There are many broken families in today's world because people refuse to be loyal to one another.

I know many of you will disagree with me and say we're supposed to put others first or hide our own feelings. The truth of the matter is yes, we are supposed to work towards putting others needs ahead of our own but we are also human and we'll never fully accomplish that in this life. In order to have functional relationships and keep our hearts clean from bitterness, anger, strife, and all the other things that dirty us up we must learn to communicate our needs and expectations in a reasonable manner. At the same time we must learn that people will fail us and give them some room. We can only be responsible for ourselves.

Recently I've faced a lot of criticism for speaking out against something offensive. I wasn't rude. I simply said that it was wrong. People who weren't even involved came out of the woods to defend the guilty party for this one. I was taken by surprise by the lack of loyalty people had to Christ, a value system many of them SAID they held dearly but when the rubber met the road, most of them made a jerk out of me for speaking up for my values and ignored the fact that my speaking out was the least offensive thing done here.

I felt strongly that it was time to speak up and I stand by that choice. Sometimes we must make choices to honor Him even when no one else believes it's right. Besides honoring Him, it also honors my family by showing my willingness to protect them. Not one person in this world is worth befriending if that friend compromises the belief system that I or my family hold.

The truth of the matter is, you're either a guilty party or you're not. In being guilty, you might very well be merely a conspirator by means of silence (or your laughter of support). As a mother of three, a wife and a Christian woman it comes down to one thing for me---loyalty. Who are you loyal to? Who do you seek to please?

I can tell you this, I had no support from family, at least none that was spoken outright. As a matter of fact, those who claim to love and support me and knew about this never lifted a voice while I was taking the heat. There are many reasons that family doesn't support you, especially in things of God, but in this situation there are unnamed players who only work on the back end to label me and cause strife among those kin to me all because I spoke up for what I believe. Satan must really have a problem with me doing so.

The fact that I had been told I was wrong for doing what I felt in the pit of my heart was right hurt. It was, to me a form of disloyalty. It shouldn't surprise me that people, including family will stand against me because the Bible says it will happen. My situation is all too common, family members refusing to back other family members for one reason or the other. Most of the time, it's because some other party got involved and twisted things. But we just have to keep doing what we know is right even when we feel we've been served a bit of injustice. In the end, it's not about us but about Him.

If you seek to please yourself, you're guilty along with the rest of them. That's just the way it is. You either stand with Him or against Him. Don't stand and say you believe in Christ and then support man in evil ways. Those evil ways that many people label as "innocent" destroy children and marriages-- whole families. There is NOTHING more important on this Earth than marriage and the family structure in His eyes. If you're not willing to stand and fight for things that are important to Him, you might as well be against Him.

We are each known by the company that we keep because that bleeds over into our priorities, thoughts, beliefs and in turn it affects who we serve. With all that being said, I ask you this: Whose rules do you follow as you live out your life, raise your families and build your marriages / relationships? Is it a multitude of rules from different places or do they all stem from one reliable source, HIM? Who do you seek to please the most? And are you willing to stand up and fight for it?

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