i like to think that the older i get, the wiser i get. i've learned from a lot of past mistakes and each day i continue to walk with the Lord He gives me wisdom—especially when it comes to relationships. i'm not referring to a specific kind of relationship because i think this applies to all of them including family and marital.
There are two things that will send a relationship spiraling downward fast:
Every relationship is unique, so when we compare them to other relationships we are setting ourselves up for constant disappointment. Embracing and loving the way God created each individual person is key to finding peace and joy in the relationship that God as put us in. When we do these two things (embrace and love), we typically discover that God puts us in relationships where strengths and weaknesses are balanced.
When we get in the habit of comparing, it's easy to be ungrateful for the relationships we do have and we create a world of unrealistic expectations. We think, i wish he/she was more like ..., i wish he/she made more money ... i wish he/she looked like ... i wish he/she was more romantic ... and the list could go on and on and on. We compare our friends, spouse, and family to others, then set up unrealistic expectations for that person because we want them to change to be like someone else. Ultimately it all fails because we can't change people. We can only change our attitude and drop our expectations—love people for who they are and be grateful for their presence in our life.
Relationships are a beautiful blessing. Some relationships are short—God brings people in and out of our lives to fulfill His will. Some relationships last until the day that God calls us home. No matter which one we find ourselves in, it's critical for the health of the relationship to avoid comparison and expectations. If change needs to happen in any relationship, the best way for that to happen is through persistent prayer to our Heavenly Father.
Father, God, i compare people in my relationships to my idea of perfection and i often set up unrealistic expectations that are not within reach. i'm sorry. i truly want to cherish all the relationships you have blessed me with. i want to be full of gratitude, love and complete acceptance. Help me to see people the way you do and remind me that you put people in my life (just the way they are) for a reason. In Jesus name!