We all have our unique quirks and ways of being in the world. And while we understand we must make some adjustments to maintain our relationships with others, we still want to be accepted for who we are. We want the freedom to be our true selves and not lose ourselves simply for the sake of the other.

To be sure, relationships are designed to challenge us and expose our undone and immature qualities. And we must learn to polish off our rough edges and overcome many selfish tendencies in order to love others well.

At the same time, there’s still a deep desire to be freely who we are as well – fully accepted with all the good, the bad, and the ugly that we bring.

This is what draws us to each other and makes some relationships more attractive than others.

We naturally gravitate toward those who readily accept us. And we tend to distance ourselves from those who are consistently critical or outright contemptuous of us.  

Acceptance doesn’t mean anything goes. We still have the responsibility to grow into the fullness of all that God has called us to be.

But acceptance doesn’t demand perfection along the way.

We’re free to be undone and messy, or just simply different. For instance, we each have our own personalities and temperaments, interests and curiosities.

But whatever it looks like, we don’t have to hide who we are in order to keep the peace in our relationships.

Bitterness and resentment start to take root when we feel we’re not accepted. And eventually, we’re more likely to lead a double life when we feel the need to hide significant parts of who we are.

In the end, don’t underestimate your desire for acceptance. Learn to courageously accept the unique ways God has crafted you and show the way for others to do the same.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

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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