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We know we’re not perfect, but we feel we’re pretty good. And it may surprise us how much our shortcomings are exposed in relationship. Relationships forge us – allowing the best version of ourselves to take shape.

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

While we tend to think of ourselves as good, we are often blind to our own shortcomings.

It is in relationship with others that our undone and underdeveloped parts are exposed.

Whether in marriage or friendship, with coworkers or even the people ahead of us in line – relationships test us.

And certainly the more committed the relationship the more intense the testing. A different level of patience is needed, for instance, in marriage than in dealing with a less than competent sales person.

In any case, it is the structure of relationships to test and refine us.

We see the world from our limited perspective. But being in relationship forces us to deal with the reality of others as well. This brings us to our edge.

For example, the depth of our generosity is tested in marriage, and even more so in parenting.

No longer are we able to set our own agenda. The needs and interest of others are now a daily consideration.

What we eat, how we spend our time and money, and even our very thoughts are all called to serve others in love.

In big and small ways, we are called to give of ourselves in the service of love.

In this way, relationships force us to confront ourselves. Who are we? And who do we want to be?

There’s a lot we can get away with on our own that we can’t in relationship.

Relationships expose our growth areas. This is frustrating, but good.

Let your relationships test and refine you – allowing the best version of yourself to emerge.

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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