Recently, my husband Peter was talking to a friend, and the
friend mentioned that his wife had brought up some “character issues” he needed
to deal with. And Peter asked me, “When’s the last time we challenged each
other on “character issues”? Good question. When’s the last time someone
challenged you about your character? The last time someone said–lovingly–that
you needed to work on how you behaved or how you treated someone else? For us,
it’s been a while.
We challenge each other in implicit ways, of course. Just
living in a household with a husband and three children forces me to think
about my character and how I respond. I know I’m often impatient… I know my
need for order can overcome my care for people… I know I care too much about
getting rid of this baby weight…
I want these things to change. I want to be more loving. I
want to become less vain while still taking care of myself. And I know that if
I asked Peter to help me–hold me accountable–in these areas, change would come
more easily. So why don’t I ask him (or others) to challenge me more often?