I am not who I was 10 years ago and I am not who I will be 10 years from now. Neither are you. I am not the man my wife married 24 years ago and I am not the man she will grow old with. This is one of the fundamental lessons for everyone in a relationship of any kind to learn – people change. Now, to be sure there are some basic personality traits that we are born with that serve as building blocks, (I have a stubborn nature, I don’t talk much but think a lot, a bit moody and creative), but who I am and who you are is far more than whatever traits we may have been born with. We are a representation of our experiences and our reactions and responses to those experiences within the framework of our personalities.
I learned long ago that I cannot change people and it is futile to try. I’ve had friends that I wanted to be a certain way and act accordingly…only to end up pushing them away. People were not made for boxes we design and our prefab boxes do not give others the freedom to become who they were created to be. They confine and restrict and stunt the growth that the Good Lord intends. People put in boxes become distant and angry and resentful. Eventually these negative emotions will burst the box open wide, splattering you with all the pain and frustration from years of control. I’ve put people in boxes and I’ve been the one trapped in a box. You will be lucky indeed if your relationship survives. There is only one who is qualified enough to bring deep and lasting changes to a person’s soul and make them a new creation.
We must allow people the freedom to be who they are with the understanding that they will change over time, and we must be willing to accept that change – even embrace it. Who are we to stand in the way of what the Good Lord is changing in someone else’s life. Honestly, if you are a part of their life, as He changes them He is changing you as well. My stubbornness and resistance to change paired with my wife’s ‘type A’ need to achieve and be more has provided a balance in our relationship that we would not have if either one of us tried to stifle the other. We literally have been made, and are being remade, for each other.
God knows what He’s doing in and through each of our lives…we should stay out of the way and let the Master work.