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Buzzwords always intrigue me. I may know the literal meaning of the word, but the cultural meaning is often quite different. If you are the parent of an adult child, you have likely heard the call for transparency. The dictionary says that transparent means to “see through,” but the buzzword transparent means to “see into; to be authentic or real.”  As a Baby Boomer, I am working to understand how to live transparently for these who are being as honest with their request as they want me to be in return.

I hope folks will chime in if I have this wrong, but I think this transparency requires that I be honest about my struggles, that I not put on airs that I have everything figured out, that I not act as though all sin is under control or that near perfection is on the horizon. It doesn’t matter your age; you may be in the Traditionalist Generation, a Baby Boomer, Generation X, or a Millennial, but each believer who understands Scripture knows that every human will struggle with sin, with temptation, with pride, and more until our final day is lived. So you may think, “Why do I have to tell anyone what we already know? This isn’t very comfortable for me.”

Why? Because James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored” (AMP). This confession is not the repentance that leads to salvation, but rather is the humble acknowledgement of sin and the personal need for accountability and prayer. Ideally, when I am honest about my struggles, my example will grant freedom to others to be equally transparent with me.

What can I confess?

  • That my flesh easily caves to temptation
  • That I have trouble discerning the wise path to take in a particular circumstance
  • That I want to help, but sometimes I don’t know how
  • That my needs could be met by someone younger and stronger, but I’m too proud to ask
  • That I can be frustrated over unfulfilled dreams and fail to be grateful for what I experience instead

As is the case in so much of life, balance is required to know what and how to share with our children, but the promise of healing and answered prayer makes me want to become a transparent mother and grandmother.

Wouldn’t this be a good year to get a fresh start on living transparently? We will all benefit from honest relationships.

By: Nancy Lohr

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