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…and yet still love them. People who love you will probably tell you what you should do. The closer they are, the more they’ve invested in you, and the more they’re like family to you – the more they’ll boss you around. Parents, siblings, bff’s, lovers, spouses – there’s no stage of life in which you won’t have to deal with people controlling you, sometimes even trying to manipulate you. Why is it so hard?
It has to do with “sin.” Sin is a twisting of something good, into something imperfect. Love says, “I care about you as though you were me. Anything I’d do for me, I’d do for you. Your happiness makes me happy…” What sin does to that is it puts a slight twist on it, “You are therefore an extension of me.” And subtly we stop treating the people we love as individual people, but as extensions of our own will.
We expect people to like what we like, to hate what we hate, to think what we think. The more we love them, the more we demand this emotional fusion. When people we love refuse to do what we want, we immediately equate that with “you are stupid, and you don’t love me the way I love you.”
But the truth is, there’s a difference between “emotional fusion” and actual love. Because God is God, and you’re not, and neither are your parents, your siblings, your friends, or your spouse (or your church!) – they’re not always right. So it’s possible for you to love them without doing what they demand of you. You don’t have to live up to other people’s expectations and demands. Instead you can listen to them for what sensible advice they have to offer, and then make your own decision what is best for you. By the way, this is how God talks in the Bible – not “do as I say” but “come let us reason together, though your sins are like scarlett, they shall be as white as snow…”
Just let the controlling people know, “I love you too, and I know you want what’s best for me, and you might not understand – but I think THIS is what’s best for me right now.”