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"For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." I lived on the banks of a river . . . and it captured my attention. These are my observations about the parallels between my life...and the river.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Please don't try to change me.

People in relationships are interesting.  Especially relationships of a romantic nature.  When we're younger, with perhaps less maturity, or more innocence, we approach relationships with abandon -- willing to do anything, lay aside self, for the sake of the other -- or at the very least, each other.  What we want to do gets lost in the desire to do what the object of our affection wants to do.

In plain English, girls end up watching football when they'd rather be doing their nails, and guys end up at the mall holding purses while their girls are shoe shopping.

Not that this is bad, there certainly needs to be some give and take in relationships, some shared experiences, even if the hobbies themselves aren't shared.  It's about putting the other first.  But something happens as people mature in relationships.  I've seen it in myself.

In the beginning we're willing to do all the stuff the other person likes because we want them to like us.  We want desperately to make a connection.  Women do this especially.  But after a while who you really are starts begging to come out again.

When you see more mature people in relationship, you see more honest dialogue happening -- rather than feigning an interest in football or shopping, or whatever else, someone who has been through a few relationships will most likely be quite up front about what they like and don't like!  By this time you'll probably see women shopping together and men golfing together!  Not because their relationships are in trouble, but because they know who to do what with!  He likes to golf, she doesn't, and that's OK!!  Of course, some couples BOTH like to golf, (or some other hobby) and they do that together!  That's OK too.

Why, oh WHY is all of this on my mind tonight, you ask?  Because, of course, someone tried to "change" me today.  Tried to tell me what I should like, what I should want.  And I had to, most assertively, yet, graciously, tell him "no."

It's hard to be assertive and gracious at the same time.  Especially when you're annoyed and offended!  So the entire evening, as I was making dinner and then doing dishes, I had a tirade going on in my head about men who think they can come into my life and just take over -- there have been a couple of them!!  They have these detailed plans of how my life is supposed to be and what I'm supposed to do and how I'm supposed to change -- and better yet, apparently God "told" them all of this!  Funny thing is, He hasn't told me yet.  Anyone who approaches me because of what I can do for them, or be for them -- especially "after a few improvements" -- is clearly not pursuing me with the right motivation and perspective.

So, imperfect as I know I am, God is the only one I trust to completely remodel my life.  He is the only one that I will ever allow to say "OK, so here's the plan I have for you and the areas I want to change..."  Anyone else that can't accept me with my imperfections will be graciously, yet humbly, refused.  I am not a good enough or strong enough person to be all that someone else needs or wants me to be.  So if they have an agenda, I'm probably not the one.

Please.  Don't try to change me.   Also?  When I say "No."  I mean "NO."

Thank you.

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