I was having a conversation with my daughter Elena this week. She was sharing some of her thoughts about the relationship she’s in right now. It was one of those moments that every dad hopes for as their child moves into young adulthood. Against what I normally do I listened before speaking. I asked questions and listened some more. Whether or not she ends up staying with this relationship for life remains to be seen. I hope so because I really like this guy a lot. He treats her well and is just an all around nice person.
After she was finished and I told her that I really like her guy a lot and that I hope it works out for them, I gave her two pieces of advice:
1) Don’t be with someone who thinks you “hung the moon.” Be with someone who knows you didn’t and loves you anyway. Be with someone who doesn’t think you’re on the same level as God because you’re sure to disappoint them somewhere along the way because…well…you aren’t God. You’re human, with all of the flaws and shortcoming that being human brings with it. Be sure that whoever you end up with knows that about you and will embrace the fact that in spite of your imperfections you’re still worth it. Oh and be sure that you don’t think the other person “hung the moon” because they didn’t either and, while just as imperfect, they are equally worth the same measure of grace they give you.
2) Refuse to be with someone who won’t call you on your crap. Remember, you didn’t “hang the moon” (see #1 above). You are going to have bad days. Hell, you may even have bad weeks…or, heaven forbid, bad months. Just make sure that whoever you’re with isn’t going to – as they give you space to be a jerk – let you get away with damaging their soul. Give them permission, in fact insist, that they do the difficult relational work of confronting you when it matters. A wise person once wrote, “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.” Talk it out. No matter how much it hurts, it will be worth it to not let junk build up between you and your guy.
Thus endeth the lesson.