Friday, July 22, 2011

Waiting for Change

Yesterday during a therapy session, I sat with a family who were fighting like cats and dogs. When I was able to get their attention, I pointed out that it seemed like they were all waiting for the next person to change before they decided to treat that person kindly. I suggested that they treat each other kindly first - which would lead to the changes in behavior their seeking. That didn't resonate too deeply with them but it was a Eureka moment for me.

We all have people in our lives- friends, spouses, siblings etc that tick us off. It's almost as if they know us so well for the sole purpose of getting under our skin. And we hold them to a higher level of accountability because we expect more from them. But what I've come to realize over time is that we only have the power to change our own behaviors, and waiting for the other party to change when they have no motivation to do so will have you waiting 'til kingdom come.

I once read in "The Power of a Praying Wife" by Stormie Omartian that we should treat our spouse as the person we want them to be, not the person they are at this point in time. The idea is that this will give them the motivation, confidence, and feeling of respect they need to grow into that person. And as we treat them kindly, we pray. We. Pray.

Pray for the ability to trust God in that situation. Pray for the removal of our unforgiveness. Pray for the other party to accept our kindness and open their heart. Pray for the relationship to be healed. And through this kindness, through this respect, through this hope, comes the rebirth of a relationship better than before.

So let us not wait for someone else to change. Let us become an active role in the change process by being kind, forgiving, and supportive. Before you know it, the other person will see the err of their ways and thank you for not giving up on them.