When I was 15, my uncle gave me a piece of advice that I can honestly still hear echoing in my head to this day.
If you’ve been following my blog at all (or if you know me well), you may know that I have a pretty black and white view of romantic relationships. In my opinion, there’s no reason why a romantic relationship needs to be “complicated”. The way I see it, if you want to be with someone, it’s not complicated; you make it work. Well, I don’t speak about that without experience. The whole reason this particular conversation with my uncle came up when I was 15 was because I was in the midst of a “complicated” relationship with some boy from school. We weren’t sure we wanted to put the title on the relationship because there were all these other factors at play. It just seemed so “complicated”.
After explaining the situation to my uncle, he reminded me of something that just sort of made everything I was stressing over fall into place. Drawing from Ephesians, he just said 4 simple words:
“…You are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth…Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; rather expose them, for it is shameful even to mention the things done by them in secret; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light.”
-Ephesians 5:8-9, 11-14
If the relationship I wanted to have with this boy from school wasn’t “shameful” or somehow outside of God’s will for our lives, then there was no reason why we shouldn’t call it what it was. And if it was one of the two descriptors above, then it shouldn’t have even been a question at all.
It seems like the most simplistic lesson ever. To be honest, it was. I just needed someone to point it out to me.
But I didn’t write this post to talk about the unnecessary “complications” we throw into romantic relationships. As I quickly realized, this advice applied to a lot more aspects in my life than just 15-year-old puppy love. On the most basic level, it dealt with who we are called to be in the day to day.
To “live in the light” has since become a sort of motto I try to live by. I won’t claim I never fall into the shadows, but I will say that ever since my uncle said that to me, I find myself hearing his voice in my head often when I am tempted to.
I think we all can relate to the temptation to sometimes hide in the shadows. Think about the instances throughout the week when we censor ourselves around certain “types” of people. The justifications we give for not being totally honest with someone we maybe would feel “judged” by if we were completely honest (“they just wouldn’t understand..”). Think about those times we feel God calling us to say something, to stand up for Him, and we are afraid.
The light can be a scary place. It may reveal things about ourselves that we’re not ready to come to terms with. Being in the light means we have to wake up and face the obstacles of the day; so we prefer it in the darkness where we can rest easily in our ignorance.
But being in the light also means being a complete person. Being in the light means you know who you are and you are unashamed of it. Isn’t that the kind of person we should all want to be? The kind of person that doesn’t have to hide any part of who they are from anyone at any time? If we are finding ourselves wanting to settle back in the shadows, maybe it’s time to start asking why.