In our culture today we are often encouraged to not offend others. There are many trigger warnings and infographics on the internet to inform you what to say or what not to say to people. But as believers, we have to be gracious in our communications with others even if what they say is triggering or hard for us to hear.
I have personally experienced this when people ask me hard questions like, “When are you having more kids?” I’m often told by the internet and communication experts that I simply don’t need to answer questions like this because they are offensive.
But I’m learning that, as a Christian, we do need to answer offensive questions and we need to not be offended. Granted, yes, other people could always be more thoughtful when asking us questions and in how they communicate, but we, and I mean you, do not have to be offended by what other people say.
The encouragement to believers from the Bible is to live peaceably with others (Romans 12:18) and to love one another (John 15:13). And couldn’t that love cover a multitude of sins? Even a question asked that hurts our feelings or makes us sad? I think so.
We are called to love others even in that difficult moment of an awkward question by being gracious instead of being offended.
And to be more specific, Ephesians 4:32 says to be tender-hearted and forgiving to others, that means even when they ask us hard or awkward questions.
Especially if the person asking is a believer, when we answer the questions graciously we open up the door to share struggles and experiences with them so that we can “bear each other’s burdens as Galatians 6:2 commands. People would never know your struggle if you told them not to ask certain questions or if you refused to answer.
And, to add in another angle, the questions that specifically regard having children are actually good questions that people will most likely keep asking regardless of what they are told to do online. The truth from the Bible is that children are a blessing; Psalm 127 says that they are gifts from the Lord. So it only makes sense then that another person (especially if they are a believer) would want you to have more blessings from the Lord.
So, no matter the subject, the next time someone approaches you with a question and has obviously missed the infographic online, treat them with love and grace, don’t be offended. Only you can decide how you react to their comment or question. So decide to have a gracious response and love that person even if it is hard. Answer them forgivingly and truthfully. And who knows, you may find that they have a similar experience and you can encourage each other. You wouldn’t know that if you got offended and didn’t answer what they asked.
But what about you? Have you experienced awkward or hard questions and not been sure what to say or how much to share? I would love to know how you would answer them in grace.
An Infographic to Help
Because everyone’s experience is different, I can’t make an infographic that will have all of the correct responses to all the awkward and hard questions. But I did make one to remind us to have grace and candor when we we are asked about having more children.
What about you? Have you been asked hard or awkward questions? I would love to know how you would answer them with grace in the comments below.