At any given time in my life, I have relationships that aren’t what I want them to be. I have relationships that aren’t what I thought they would be. I have relationships that are disappointing, dysfunctional and strained.
I long to have God improve a friendship or transform my marriage, or repair my relationship with a family member, or deepen my relationship with one of my sons, and my prayer most often is “God, please change them. God please change this relationship, help them to see their attitude, their choices, their behavior, their….”
God has taught me, often the hard way, that most of the relationships in my life are multi-angle mirrors that He uses to reveal the parts of my heart He wants to transform.
It is easy for me to project the changes I know I need to make in onto those that are closest to me. I begin to believe that the improvements in that relationship are solely dependent on their ability to change.
If they would be more loving; more forgiving; more consistent; more patient; would call me more often; more invested; more attentive; more anything then the relationship would be what I think it should be.
The gut level truth is that no relationship in my life will have lasting change until I am willing to change.
The same is true for every relationship in your life.
If you want God to change your relationship(s), you must be willing to allow God to change you first.
Maybe God is using the marriage you are in or the friendship you are struggling to deepen or the friction you are feeling with your parents, to change you, not them. Am I saying that they don’t have baggage or junk or wrongs that they are bringing into your relationship? No, I am not saying that.
I am saying you can’t change them. I am saying you will not be held accountable to God or anyone else for their choices, their behavior, their decisions. But so often we have our eyes so focused on what the other person could do to improve, we lose sight of our blind spots, our dysfunctions, our baggage and our attitudes.
Here is what I know today: if you make a decision to begin praying “God use this marriage or use this relationship to change me into the person you want me to be”, God will answer that prayer. Even if the person you are struggling with NEVER changes, your relationship with them will be better…because you will be better. You will be different. You will be more capable of loving them in the way God desires.
It is so difficult to lay aside your rights, what you are owed, what you deserve, what they need to give you and simply say “God, change me first.” But the long term, soul level change you are looking for and desiring in that relationship is only found as you find soul level change for your life, first, then the relationship will follow.