Firstly, I want to start off by saying that I’m preaching to the choir here, sister! There’s nothing sweeter to me than being right; however, as I get older and mature, I’m seeing ways in my life in which that is causing more harm than good.
I’m seeing more disruptions caused by my drive to be right than anything. I’m often times finding myself at a crossroads, asking myself “is it really that important to be right about this?”
Truthfully, when I really ponder it, being right often isn’t worth what I’m sacrificing. And usually, as the mother to a stubborn toddler, what I’m sacrificing is my own mental health or sanity. And, as a wife, what I’m sacrificing for the sake of being right is sometimes my marriage.
Before we go any further...
Let's establish the fact that the concept of "right" is extremely subjective. Being "right" is a perception that people have of themselves based off of their own limited experiences, interpretations, and information. That's all that being right is! That fact alone is the beauty of life, and gives us the liberty to decide what is right for each of us.
To be perfectly honest, when it comes to being right, there's isn't much I'm willing to fall on a sword for. As a Christian, I would die for the truth that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and that he descended from Heaven to die on the cross for my sins. I would do the same for the Bible being the inerrant Word of God (however, man's interpretation is a different story...). Other than that, I'm willing to leave room in my life for the fact that I could be wrong about literally anything else.
This has benefitted my life greatly because it has relieved so much pressure off of me. When someone disagrees with me, I now get to listen instead of being concerned with how I will convince them of my idea of "right". When my husband does something differently than I would, I get to learn new ways to do stuff. When moms make other choices than I would, I am released of the burden of her "wrong doing" because she - just like me - has chosen the best for her own family.
Being right and knowing it all is no longer a burden I have to shoulder.
So let's get into ways you can experience this freedom as well.
1. Always being right in your marriage
Always being "right" in your marriage is a heavy burden to carry that may have some very negative side effects. For me personally, I found that my husband and I were always fighting about the dumbest things - simply because we had to be right.
Honestly, who cares how the dishes are being loaded into the dishwasher? Who cares if your clothes are all facing the same direction in your closet? Who cares whether or not he parked in a different spot than you would have?
The solution: At this point, you might be jumping up and down screaming "ME! ME! I CARE!". Fair enough. But are those things (and other seemingly inconsequential things) worth causing disruptions in your marriage? You have to seriously consider this.
And if you decide things like that are worth speaking up about, then you have to speak up. Have a heart to heart with your spouse, communicate openly, and even be willing to acknowledge that this is just one of those things. Be frank - "honey, this is just one of those things I can't let go of right now, and I'd really appreciate your understanding".
2. Always being right as a mom
Let's get one thing very clear: there are many instances where a mom needs to be right. Mainly when it comes to a child's safety. Ya know, crossing the street, playing with age appropriate toys/equipment, etc. Buuuuuttt there are many instances where I find moms arguing with their kids over insignificant things.
For example, like what the toddler will wear. Who cares if she wants to wear the princess dress to Target? Who cares that his shoes don't match his outfit? I know, I know - you do! But are those things really worth causing disruptions in your life? Maybe during Easter Sunday (or other holidays where lots of pictures will be taken), but arguing with my child everyday of the week about what she's wearing would mentally exhaust me.
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Another way that always being right as a mom can disrupt your life is when you think you know the best way for others to raise their children. I know that we as mamas can have some pretty strong convictions about how to raise kids, but that doesn't mean our decisions are right for everyone. And yes, I am including even the hot button topics such as vaccines and circumcision. I can't tell you how many mom groups on Facebook I've left because I've seen one too many posts that go like this:
My friend just had her first baby and she's thinking of doing x, y, z. How crazy is that?! How can I message her and let her know she should do a, b, c instead?!
The Solution: I think we should all take a moment to realize that one of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. Moms, we do have the ability to keep our opinions to ourselves and we should be practicing that ability more and more.
Two more things to consider when it comes to being right
- One thing that helps me confront my need to be right is to ponder the worst possible consequences and how realistic those consequences are. The latter is a very important part! I fully acknowledge that some moms believe there to be very negative, sometimes dangerous consequences to certain choices other moms may make, but how common are those occurrences? I'm not saying they don't happen - I'm asking how often they happen. This tactic is especially helpful for other, less-consequential situations with my husband. "What's the worst that could happen if he gets Clementine's breakfast ready differently than I do? She'll eat 5 minutes later. Not a big deal and not worth berating my husband for it."
- God has called us to be so much more than "right". He has called us to be gracious, loving, kind, gentle, self-controlled, merciful, generous, humble, righteous, meek, etc. I can only speak for myself, but I've found that when my need to be right has taken over I'm usually sacrificing many of these attributes.
How about you? Has your need to be right caused any disruptions? Are you willing to confront that need in order to live a more peaceful life? Are there some things you could let go of?
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