Driving down the road one day, Michael and I were discussing a parenting issue involving our son, Ben. Every few minutes, Emily, who was 10 years old at the time, kept piping up with her opinion on the situation. We finally said, “Emily this really isn’t any of your business.” She sighed, saying, “Fine, if you don’t want me to help you make Ben a better person! Whatever.”
Isn’t that what we think we’re doing sometimes, helping to make someone a “better person?” We all have our ideas of what that might be, especially for those closest to us. We’d like them to be more thoughtful, more intuitive, more flexible, or perhaps a little more like us.
I was definitely guilty of this in the early years of my marriage. I was convinced that if Michael could just be a little more of this…a little more that…we would be so much happier. It wasn’t until I started to love him unconditionally—truly unconditionally—that I saw the flaw in my thinking.
Each one of us has the choice to submit ourselves to Jesus, and through that we experience transformation. We start seeing the fruit of a life grounded in something lasting: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This is a soul revolution.
When we love one another, that frees the other person to become who God created them to be. When I stopped trying to make Michael a “better person” he felt secure and accepted. He knew that God was working in Him and I was standing shoulder to shoulder, on his side, cheering him on.
This side of eternity we aren’t going to attain complete wholeness. Why do we create an expectation for that, in ourselves, in our relationships, in our careers? This life is about transformation; becoming like Jesus, not being perfect. Not even being comfortable. So let’s lean into our Savior for lasting change, and let’s love one another. That’s truly the better way.
By: Angela Howard
Angela Howard is an author and minister who loves empowering people with authentic encouragement and Biblical perspective for their imperfect lives. Her book: How to Love Your Crazy Family is on amazon and you can connect with her on her blog at noordinarydays.com.
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