The “Me” That You See
When I (Daniel) was a little boy, my brothers and I would throw the baseball or football in our side yard. As we got older, we stretched into our neighbor’s yard. I don’t guess it bothered them, and we never thought anything about it. Now that I’m a Dad of a little baseball player, I spend quite a bit of time throwing and hitting the ball with my son in our front yard. As he’s gotten older, he’s able to hit further, even across the street into our neighbor’s yard. Because I did it when I was young, it never crossed my mind to ask my current neighbor if it was okay with them. I came to find out, in the very nicest way possible, that it did bother him.
That conversation brought clarity and resulted in an even better relationship with my neighbor. But it also sent me down a road of introspection. Am I really not that self-aware? In what other areas of my life might I have a blindspot? It made me ask a question that everyone should evaluate from time to time. “What’s it like to be on the other side of me?”
I’ve heard Jeff Henderson, Lead Pastor of Gwinnett Church, say that we all carry around a personal climate that affects everyone around us. When I walk into the room, am I sunshine or a rainy day? It takes a lot of courage to ask that question, especially of our spouse. They see us at our best and at our very worst. They live with the reality of who we really are. What could it do for me and my marriage if I’m vulnerable enough to ask what it’s like to live with me?
First, it could offer a new level of self-awareness. Once we get in the practice of evaluating ourselves through someone else’s lens, we gain the ability to self-correct. Another benefit is it gives us a window into our spouse’s vantage point of who we are. Knowing what it’s like to live with me allows me to better understand how my spouse relates and reacts to me. As painful as a conversation like this might be to process, if it’s done in the right way, it can lead to greater intimacy between you and your spouse.
Looking into the mirror and seeing flaws is not easy. In fact, it requires a great deal of humility. And humility is exactly what is necessary to prepare your heart to receive a truthful answer. Thankfully, James 4:6 tells us that God makes His grace available to us and shows his favor when we are willing to humble ourselves. We can take the answer to “what’s it like to be on the other side of me” and allow the Lord’s guidance to transform us.
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” -James 4:6
Enjoying the Adventure,
Daniel & Bonnie