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Even as an adult, I’ve comfortably maintained a deep respect for authority. While others may break the rules and ask for forgiveness later, I generally prefer to review the rulebook and stay within the boundaries.
However, this only works when you have a fair and reasonable rulebook, and as adults, we have the right to say no more than we may realize.
Early in my marriage, we moved to a new town far from family. I found myself the recipient of a good amount of unsolicited advice on everything from whether my interracial marriage was biblical to what my role as a football coach’s wife should entail.
Rather than consider whether something was a reasonable expectation, I just wanted to feel safe in my new setting, so if that meant taking a job I disliked and working around people who minimized my abilities rather than finding a job that was affirming, well, I was going to figure out a way to convince myself it was all part of God’s plan for me to attempt to keep others happy and avoid further criticism.
I wasted years trying to convince myself I needed to settle for other people’s ideas of how I should serve God rather than asking God how he wanted me to partner with him. Once I finally silenced everyone else’s voices and focused on serving only God, I began to thrive in the sweet spot of my calling.
When you thrive in your sweet spot, you will live out your calling without stifling your gifts and strengths in an attempt to please people over God. That said, we all face roadblocks and stumble over society’s definitions of value at times when we would be better employed in seeking to understand God’s design for our lives.
Many times it’s the instinct to compare that hinders our ability to see the flaws in another’s expectations. We assume that because someone is assigned a certain title, they must know what they are talking about, and we forget we don’t need them to interpret our relationship with God for us. Rather, all we need to do is pray directly to our Creator.
Here are five lessons I’ve learned about comparison:
As the wife of a football coach, Beth Walker encourages women whose families are in the public eye to pursue their own callings even as they support their husbands’ careers and ministries. Through her own personal stories as well as interviews with other women who are also living just outside their husbands’ limelight, Beth shows it’s possible to do both.