How we respond to failure depends greatly on how we define it. Is it a lack of success (thank you Webster), or is it an opportunity to learn and grow? Does it label us as “the worst” or does it give us the opportunity to be better?
Love Your Failures
I don’t generally love my failures, because truth be told I have the bar set too high for myself. I’m guessing most of us do. I expect to do it well the first time, and then I usually disappoint myself (and no one else, I might add). I don’t expect other people to do things well the first time though, and thankfully I’ve noticed this discrepancy, so I am working on it!
At a recent Hearts at Home conference, there was much talk about comparing our insides to others’ outsides. But what if our outsides better matched out insides? What if we were real and honest about our failures and struggles, and were able to connect with others on a deeper level because of them? Maybe, just maybe, we wouldn’t feel the need to be perfect because we’d realize no one is. And we can be imperfect together.
Love Your Husband’s Failures
My husband is amazing and wonderful, and not perfect. Because, again, no one is. I want to be his biggest fan in the whole world, not the one pushing him down when he fails, or doesn’t meet an expectation. Sure there are conversations to be had to continue to grow and strengthen our marriage, but that’s far different from pointing out his failures. I want to love him in spite of them, unconditionally.
Love Your Children’s Failures
This one is not so easy for me, depending on the failure. If they’re struggling with school or friends, I’m totally fine. But if they fail at something I’ve shown them what feels like hundreds of times, I get impatient. Oh Lord, fill me with grace and patience! I need to treat their failures like I do my husband’s…loving my kids in spite of their failures, lifting them up instead of pushing them down, being their biggest fan in the whole world. Why is it easier with my husband? I don’t have an answer, but I need to work on this. For real, I need to work on this. I think I let their failures, in some occasions, be a reflection on me. I should be doing better, I have taught them this already… Then it becomes a pride issue, and is about me rather than about loving and guiding them. Now we’ve got a bigger problem. I want to see THEM – how I can love them, encourage them, and help them.