Smoothing our rough edges

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“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

Several years ago when someone said, "Single people are more selfish than married people," I was offended. As an "older" single, I did not consider myself any more selfish than the next person. Years later I think I understand the comment better, although I would word it differently. Living by yourself can make being selfish more likely because you don't have someone living with you 24/7 that helps refine your personality and smooth the jagged edges.

Before getting married, I lived on my own with no roommates for 12 years. When you live by yourself you don't always see the rough edges that need to be evened out. Or you know about them, but working on those rough edges isn’t a priority since they don't bother anyone. I’ve been married for three months now, and I am reminded of the need to smooth these rough edges whether or not anyone even says anything about them. I have learned more about myself over these past months than I probably have for several years. Unfortunately, I am not proud of everything I have learned.

It isn't a new concept, but it is one that I now face: When you are married you don't always get your way. Deep, isn't it! It doesn't mean the “other” ways are wrong—they just aren't yours. I have learned that I like control and my way more than I thought. Psalm 51:10 says, "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." When one is married, thinking of the other person and what pleases him or her is a good and necessary trait. Coming up with an "our way” instead of “my way” makes for less frustration on both sides of the relationship.

I pray God will continue to purify my heart so it's less about me and how I've always done things and more about my God and my husband and how we can do things better together. If I am willing for God to purify me and make me into the person he needs me to be, the rough edges will be smoothed and the selfishness will vanish. God's traits will be left and his qualities will be consistent throughout all areas and aspects of my life.

To some degree I was probably offended years ago by this person’s comment about selfishness because deep down I knew I should work on my own selfishness, whether other people saw it or not. Whatever stage of life you are in, I challenge you to surround yourself with people who will help refine you into the person God wants you to be. He wishes for you to be a person with a pure heart and steadfast spirit. I am willing; are you?

Michelle Hamilton has been the youth pastor at Bible M.B. Church, Cordell, Okla., for 12 years and was married to Matthew Hamilton on Sept. 28, 2013.

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This article is part of the CL Archives. Articles published between August 2017 and July 2008 were posted on a previous website and are archived here for your convenience. We have also posted occasional articles published prior to 2008 as part of the archive. To report a problem with the archived article, please contact the CL editor at editor@usmb.org.

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