We all get templates in childhood that we spend the next two decades refining, and we all end up pretty much in a game of cops and robbers. Opposites attract because you are looking for balance (unconsciously), so there is usually one of each in every relationship.
I’m a cop. I admit it. I think everyone ought to live according to the laws of their beings. My husband, on the other hand, is more of a robber–seeing what he can get away with–it started young in a rousing game of stealing grandpa’s hidden candy, who would then chase him swearing in Arabic. (One way to make diabetics–Grandpa was and Richard is now.) They were close, so getting away with something is accompanied by warm, fun feelings.
Good and evil all twisted up together is one of the things that makes living on this planet so difficult. When I was growing up things were very black and white, good and bad, or so I thought. Then everything began to gray out.
My cop affinity came from not enough boundaries, which leaves a child insecure, and not feeling truly loved. My father had been the favored of nine kids in his family and had never been wrong, so he was lenient and insecure. My mother was a lenient parent because she’d had a rough, angry, non-involved father, so she was going to be different. But she was the cop for their marriage, and my dad kept thinking he could do whatever he wanted.
It takes years to see and admit which one you are, but once you do, it is easier to modify, with God helping you choose. However, the clearer you see things the more discouraging it can be. You often want to fall in a heap and weep, because the more clearly you see God, the more clearly you realize you aren’t even close to being like Him.
Nevertheless, redemption is possible. I can say that from experience. Thinking where we were this time last year (him wanting a divorce), and where we are today–there is no comparison. We are more in love with each other than ever.
Yes, there was work involved, but it was mostly just being willing to look at yourself and admit how you are. God did the work. We only had to give permission and cooperate.
My book on Exodus will come out next month; and writing that, as well as the last year of my own life, have helped me see what a great advantage it is to be aware of and admit your own weakness! I’m thinking of making the subtitle, The Advantage of Weakness. What do you think?