My husband and I were raised in different homes, by different parents and frankly, in very different times. (Age joke!) So, despite our remarkable compatibility it’s not surprising that we don’t agree on everything. Sure, we both ate Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup growing up, but my parents barely let me out of their sight while his parents allowed him to ride his bike to the local movie theater. Neither way is right or wrong. It’s just a difference in perspective that contributes to the way we manage our lives and parent the children.
That same idea extends to our stepfamilies as well. We are different people with different parents and different histories. We will not always agree. We may not do things the same way. We will not necessarily share the same values. However, it’s important to keep things in perspective. God has given each of us a different perspective so that we may lead the life to which we are meant. He doesn’t need copycat versions of me out there! He needs me to share who I am with the people around me, including my family, so that they may understand my take on the world. That said, my family needs to share themselves with me for that same reason. We are all a work in progress and we have the capacity to learn from one another. Keeping an open mind while sharing our thoughts and ideas is what gives us our perspective, helps shape us and contributes to our ability to raise the next generation.
Next time you feel frustrated because little Johnny is not folding his clothes the way you would like, little Susie is not a fan of your meatloaf, or Doubting Thomas thinks he needs a raise in his allowance, remember that they all may have something to teach you. Often there is no right or wrong–just opposing viewpoints, or multiple ones for that matter. By listening to your family’s angle on an issue you may be able to improve, or maybe you’ll just gain a new perspective.