Over the years I have noticed our culture thinks seeking approval from others is nothing but a terrible thing. This mentality has always left me completely perplexed. Don’t get me wrong, seeking approval for the wrong reasons is never a good thing especially if you are dealing with an emotionally unhealthy person. I’m talking about relationships with the people in your life who care about you and truly have your best interests in mind. This isn’t about needing to be the Everything Mom, Pinterest Perfect or a slave to everyone else’s expectations without consideration to your own conviction.
It’s a different mentality I’m talking about here. These are usually the same people who have the, “what I do is my business” mentality and want everyone to keep quiet about anything done that could hurt another as long as it doesn’t hurt themselves. After all we live in a culture of doing what makes us feel good. The considerations of others is a pretty huge interruption to the “feel good” life.
This has been on my heart for a while because I start thinking about my own children. I actually do want them to seek approval from others when the relationship is healthy and whole. Those are often the words of encouragement that will help my Arrows Soar! So what does that mean? How do we know who the right people are we want to approve of us?
Who Should We Seek Approval From?
- God. I cannot think of One I want more approval from than Jesus! I could sit here all day and make excuses for my bad behavior. At the end of the day I am thankful for accountability to a God, who loves and cares enough to call me to obey. His Word is a guideline for me to follow each and every day. God extends grace when we fail but if we fail to look to His Word than we are missing out on the freedom that comes when we are held accountable to His commands. The Bible has more advice than any book out there on how to be the best you God created you to be each day. If my head falls on the pillow to fall asleep at night and I have not sought the approval of God that day, well frankly it was a wasted day. When I fail, I want to feel that need to close my eyes and ask God to forgive me and start over the next day.
- Our Spouse. After all my husband has now lived with me for 1/3 of my life and nearly all of my adult life! I am a completely different person here in my thirties than I was in my twenties, praise Jesus. Nobody on earth knows me better inside and out than him. When you love and care for a person, you seek their approval and that is truly a praiseworthy thing! He is typically the first person I go to when I feel in my spirit unsure about a problem or situation because I know he knows me well enough to hold me accountable to the right action. Wives, aren’t we all grateful when our husbands seek our approval?
- Your Tribe. If you are like me you have an entire tribe of people who have your back, both friends and family. They will stick with you through some of your best & worst moments, but they hold you accountable through the tough spots as well. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, contrary to what many are being brought up to believe. These people are the ones who walk with me through the fire but have high expectations for me as well. They will bring me a home-baked lasagna but they will also call me out. And I can either see that as a terrible thing and isolate myself from my tribe, or I can accept that it is part of having people in my life who care about me. I never did like isolation!
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” Ephesians 4:9
One thing has become clear to me as I carry on through life, often the isolated people are in fact the ones who do not want to be held accountable for their actions. In the process of hurting people, they have forsaken accountability and pushed people who love them as far away as possible. It is heartbreaking! I do not want to go through life alone and isolated from those who care about me. I’m so glad for my God, my Husband and my Tribe along with all the accountability that comes with it