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We’ve done our work and we have grown and continue to grow. And naturally we expect others to do the same. But pride creeps in when we expect everyone to be at the same stage we are. We must offer grace to others as they continue their journey of growth as well.

It’s clear, not everyone is at the same stage of growth. Children, for example, are obviously not at the same stage of development as their parents.

But mismatch growth can play out in our marriage, friendships, and other adult relationships as well. And often in different directions.

For instance, one might be savvier with money, while another has developed keen spiritual insights. Or perhaps one is more emotionally mature, but has not yet done the work to be at home in their bodies sexually.

Whatever it looks like, we’re often at different stages of development with each other.

And, to be sure, this can be a point of grief as we have to come to terms with who the other is not in this season. The mutuality we desire is not currently available.

And this is where we must practice grace.

It’s tempting to criticize and look down on the other for not being at our same level.

And this likely brings unnecessary pressure and guilt into the relationship – shutting down the opportunities of growth that are available.

Of course, grace doesn’t mean we remain silent when change and growth are called for. We gently guide and directly confront as needed.

But grace does remind us to give the other the space and patience needed to grow.

In the end, this creates an atmosphere for our relationships to thrive.

We need this grace to grow ourselves. And it’s the least we can do to offer to others as well.

Continue growing toward God’s best by offering others the grace to do the same.

Photo by kumar chandugade 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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