Life became a lot less stressful for me when I began to realize what things are my responsibility and what things are not my responsibility.
Greg’s eating habits, his thoughts, his emotions, his personality, his mistakes, his walk with the Lord, his reactions, his clothing choices, his leadership, his work ethic, his relationships, his convictions, his health decisions, and his priorities are not my responsibilities.
Those things are his personal responsibilities. They are part of the free-will God has given to him and to every adult.
- I am responsible for these decisions in my life.
- Greg is responsible for these decisions in his life.
When I try to be responsible for things that don’t belong to me, I am acting in dysfunctional ways that hurt Greg and our relationship. I end up being controlling and offensive. I repel him.
I used to think I did these things because I loved him. And I genuinely believed I was responsible for other people to make them do what I thought God wanted them to do.
It’s like I was driving on the wrong side of the road. It was a recipe for a wreck.
Each person is responsible and accountable to God for his/her personal decisions. God, Himself, doesn’t force us to do His will. He invites us to do it. But He gives us the choice. Can I do any less?
I don’t have more authority or power than God does. Who am I to demand that people do what I want or to try to control other people?
This desire to control others comes from fear, skewed thinking, and pain. Not from faith in Jesus.
It is not loving to try to make people do what I want them to do.
I can influence others. I can set a godly example—or a terrible example. But I don’t get to make people’s decisions for them or force my will on other people. If I do this, I will destroy my relationships.
In a codependent relationship, I try to be responsible for another person’s life and I expect him to be responsible for mine. That is unhealthy for everyone.
What actually works is for me to take responsibility for my spiritual well-being, my emotions, my decisions, my obedience to God, my words, and my actions. And I allow Greg to be responsible for himself.
It is REALLY tough to love someone who is trying to force an agenda down your throat and force you to do what they want. It feels extremely smothering.
Love needs trust and freedom to thrive. It’s not that other people won’t make mistakes. They will, even if they know and love Jesus. We all need grace at times. And it may be painful when we are hurt.
But when I have Jesus with me, He will give me the love, power, wisdom, and strength I need to handle whatever may come my way. And I can pray for Him to work in my husband’s life and trust the Holy Spirit to do any changing in him that may be needed.
I am not God. I am not the Holy Spirit. I can’t convict people or change people. I can’t wake them up spiritually.
But I can be a helpmeet, a friend, a fellow traveler, a companion, an encourager, and a blessing to my man. As I trust God in my life, God can pour His love and blessings through me into my Greg’s life.
It is only when I put God first and understand the difference between God’s responsibilities, other people’s responsibilities, and my own that I can have a healthy, vibrant relationship with anyone.
Is this new to you? Let’s talk about it if it seems strange. <3
Or is this something you have learned? You’re welcome to share your insights.