Help! My Partner is Always Correcting Me!
Do you feel like your partner is always correcting you? Here's a story on how we discovered how to best respond to correction.
Last night, Natz and I had a pretty rough disagreement over the phone. We were talking about the vlog we were supposed to upload on our Youtube channel. I was getting impatient because it has nearly been a week and I was already itching to edit it myself. I volunteered to do so, though in a not so humble manner as it was sprinkled with a bit--fine, a lot--of sarcasm.
The supposedly small discussion blew up into a fight of bigger proportions. We weren't shouting at each other but there was exasperation and noticeable annoyance in our tones. Frustrations were being voiced out here and there, especially by Natz as he felt like he couldn't get things right as I had a comment & reaction (made worse by sarcastic and passive-aggressive remarks) to every little thing that he said.
When things were starting to taper down, Natz lovingly rebuked me for some observations he had regarding my attitude during the quarrel. He pointed out three things:
My being easily irritable.
My sarcastic comments.
My wrong decision to continue discussing instead of pausing to pray when we were already on the brink of the fight.
Deep inside, I was feeling like my partner was always correcting me (even if it was just one time)--because it hurt! It was painful to hear the corrections especially since I am one pretty proud human being and a perfectionist at that. Natz even called out that my irritability was something of an issue not just in our relationship but even in my reaction with everything else. (I can only imagine the joy of my mother and my sisters because this is an attitude flaw that they have also been trying to make me aware.) I felt hurt, not because Natz said hurtful things, but because it's really just uncomfortable and painful for my sins to be brought to light.
Instead of just receiving the correction, I was at first resistant and defensive. I fired my own bullets and pointed out stuff about Natz's character that I didn't like. I even exaggerated my annoyance with his small quirks so that I won't look like the person with the worse character. I wanted to highlight his mistakes so that we could stop looking at mine! To my terrible comments, he just continued to react with more humility and more love. He graciously accepted my feedback and continued to assure me of his love regardless of our quarrels.
Doesn't it just remind you of how God loves? Regardless of our tantrums and rebellion and even the times when we blame Him for all the things that go wrong and question His character, He patiently responds with even more love and mercy. He just can't help but love us! He just can't help but love you!
I was floored and amazed with the love that this guy had which I knew was flowing from the real Source. I didn't have to think that my partner is always correcting me and criticizine me--because I knew that he had good motive. I eventually accepted the correction and recognized my mistakes. We ended the call with a prayer--which was pretty awkward (in a funny way) for me 'cause it was my schedule to pray and it meant I HAD to be the one to verbally apologize to God for my bad attitude. Hehehe!
During my prayer time last night and this morning, I brought it up to God to correct my character as I knew that Natz was right with his observations. I just had to be willing to admit my 'rough edges' and allow God to change me instead of being defensive and offended whenever someone would point out that I wasn't perfect & that I had my own flaws. That's really is how to best respond to correction.
Proverbs 12:1 says, "To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction." Indeed, if I want to grow for good as a person or as a couple with Natz, I need to find joy in discipline and rebuke from my partner and even from other people (that will be a topic for a separate blog post). This doesn't mean that we just barrage the other person when we are annoyed and call out tactlessly his/her mistakes. We do it with love (just like Natz did with me, yehey!) and with words seasoned with grace. This we are able to do because Jesus did it for us first as He always lovingly and patiently corrects us when we go astray. And yes, we need to do it even if there's a risk of the other person getting mad and defensive and being bummed out.
I am actually reminded of the passage in Ephesians 5:25-27: "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless."
Jesus died on the Cross for our salvation and also for our sanctification. He loves us so much that He changes us as the body of Christ from glory to glory to be presentable to God. He graciously and patiently works through our cracks and bloopers & picks us back up each time we fall. He cheers us on, longing to see us grow and mature and fulfill what He really intended us to be.
As we (especially men!) are called to love like Him, let us choose to lovingly correct our partners, helping them to be more like Christ. And let us (especially women!) be willing to accept if we are called out when we're wrong. (No need to get mad that our partner is always correcting us--especially if it's for us good!) We should be glad that someone loves us enough to accept us as we are, but also want us to change for the better--just like Jesus does.