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Life requires us to operate in many different spheres throughout our day. And we rightly honor the natural boundaries of influence that exist between them. At the same time, there should remain an internal consistency within ourselves and core identity as we show up and engage in each sphere.

For instance, generally speaking, marriage doesn’t require us to give up our individual friendships. She’s free to have her friends, as we are ours. And typically, this also calls for respecting the autonomy of these relationships – we don’t get to tell each other who we can be friends with or how to engage in our friendships.

But marriage also changes part of our core identity. Life is no longer just “his” and “hers,” but now “ours.” And now who we are as a husband shapes all our other relationships as well. As such, while we’re still free to have our own friends, we must now consider if maintaining these friendships is consistent with our role as a husband. For better or worse, what impact do these friends have on our identity as a married man? Even when our friendships have nothing directly to do with our marriage, we must still maintain our inner consistency as we enter this sphere of life.

To be sure, whatever it looks like, who we are in one area of life needs to harmonize with who we are in every area of life, even if these separate worlds never meet.

On the one hand, this is just basic integrity. But it’s also a call to remember our relational identities, and our deeper self that connects them all. It’s a type of relational integrity that demands consistency in who we are across the different spheres of life and not just in what we do.

In the end, freely enjoy and show up in each sphere of life as you see fit. And remember who you are should remain consistent throughout – harmonizing with all the other important parts of your life.

Photo by Kino VN on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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