We are relational to our core and it’s only natural to value the opinions of others. But if we’re not careful this can lead us to overvaluing these opinions – causing us to be either overly accommodating or otherwise demanding that others constantly agree with us. Maturity calls for us to think for ourselves and to allow others to do the same.
Of course, there’s no expectation for us to figure out life on our own. There is much to learn from our trusted others throughout life.
At the same time, leaning on the strength of others is not to give up our own. We still have an individual responsibility for the choices we make and we cannot hide behind others to do life for us.
And this plays out in big and small ways.
For instance, as much as we might value our wife’s opinion on any number of things, this doesn’t mean she’s always right or that we should adopt her position on these matters. While we certainly should give a serious consideration of her perspectives, in the end, we must still think for ourselves and figure out where we land on the issues. We plant seeds of resentment in our own hearts whenever we just go along with what she says, not to mention this causes her to lose respect for us as well.
But in embracing our freedom to think for ourselves, this means we must also extend this same consideration to others.
As such, we allow our wife to have her own thoughts and opinions on things, for example. We don’t presume to know what she’s thinking or how she should feel about the issues at hand.
Very often we will have differences of opinion and this is okay. Our respect, love, and passion increase when we allow each other to think for himself.
In the end, welcome the insights of others every chance you get. But learn also to think for yourself and allow others to do the same.