I am baffled by the idea that we treat those closest to us the worst. Why would anyone choose to treat his/her family members and closest friends worse than others? Yet it is our assumption that our family and closest friends will always be around that allows for this irresponsible phenomenon.
We are often on our best behavior when meeting someone new or while at our places of employment and in other social settings. We don’t want outsiders to know how rude we can be, how careless we are with our words, or how much we take those we love for granted. We would be utterly ashamed if our neighbors, coworkers, church members, or our children’s friend’s parents heard how flippant we are with the feelings of those we live for.
My family will not stop being related to me and I am confident that I have lifelong friendships. Even still, I am not given a free pass to treat any of them as if their feelings are trivial. We treat people we’re closest to the worst because we believe in their unconditional love. We trust that they will judge us by the sum total of our actions and not isolated incidents. We hope that love is enough to lift us above our faults and thoughtlessness. We rely on our comprehensive intentions and character to cover our harsh tones and words. Yet how different would our homes and relationships be if we regarded our loved ones with the same level of reverence we reserve for those outside of our inner circle? What if we cared as much about how our parents, siblings, children, and long-established friends feel as we fear being judged by those who evaluate us solely by our actions? What if we treated our loved ones better?
Try being more cognizant of how you speak with and treat those you love. If it’s not fitting for your neighbor, church member, or coworker ask yourself why it’s appropriate for your spouse, sibling, parent, and/or children. It may be extremely difficult, but the testing of your patience will not compare to making your loved ones feel more loved.