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Like a Kiss on the Lips
An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips
Of all the little expressions of love---a box of chocolates, a handwritten poem, or a bouquet of handpicked wildflowers---I think my favorite is a good old-fashioned kiss on the lips. Whether it be the gratuitous kind that comes with greeting my husband after a day at work or his surprising ambush kiss while standing in line at the grocery, I always feel especially loved when Les gives me a simple kiss.
Did you know the word kiss comes from a prehistoric syllable that is believed to be the sound of kissing? However the word originated and whoever named it really -doesn't matter to me. I just know I like kisses. And why -shouldn't I? Kisses, according to a Danish saying, are the messengers of love.
No wonder then that Solomon, in all his wisdom, equaled a kiss on the lips to an honest answer. Love cannot last without honesty. Our honest answers create trust, the very bedrock of a relationship.
Every -couple tells little white lies to one another in an attempt to be more loving. If we -don't like our partner's cooking, for example, we might say, 'Oh, it's wonderful.' A little lie -won't hurt our relationship, will it? Wrong.
Consider Ron and Cindy who had been married only a few weeks when he cooked his famous barbecue ribs on their brand new grill. As they were eating, Ron asked Cindy if she liked the ribs. Cindy knew Ron had worked hard to make them and was afraid that she would offend him if she was honest. 'Oh, yes,' she told Ron, 'they're great!'
Believing that Cindy really liked his famous dish, Ron began barbecuing quite regularly, and there were always leftovers which had to be eaten. After a while, Cindy could bear it no longer, and in a moment of anger about something else she confessed that his barbecued ribs made her gag and she never wanted to see them on her table again! Ron was shocked and hurt. She had lied to him. 'How can I ever believe you again?' he asked.
Should Cindy have told Ron right from the beginning that the ribs made her gag? Not if she cared about her marriage. Honesty does not require brutality. Truth is brutal only when it is a partial truth or when it is meant to cause pain. To be both honest and loving, she could say something like, 'Not really, -I've never liked barbecue on the grill---but I love seeing you cook.'
The tragedy of most small deceptions is that they mushroom, ultimately creating a cloud of distrust that hovers over a relationship. Surely that's what was on King Solomon's mind when he wrote this proverb. So take his advice and whenever possible kiss your spouse on the lips with honesty.
* Consider a time when you told a white lie to avoid hurting your spouse's feelings. What was the result? Could you have handled the situation better by being honest?
* Oliver Wendell Holmes said, 'The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer.' In what ways is an honest answer the same way?