Have you ever had someone assume something about you and then treat you accordingly, even if it's wrong? For example, you walk into a store and notice the manager eyeing you suspiciously like you're a skeevy little thief about to steal something. And you immediately feel uncomfortable and don't know how to act. Because suddenly, every move you make is a cover up for something mischievous. (Or that's how the managers glare's make you feel, anyway.)
I HATE THAT!!! Almost more than anything, I hate that.
Matt and I had an experience like that recently. Not where a shop owner thought we were going to steal from them. But where someone said something to us that really stopped us in our tracks. By the end of the conversation it was clear exactly how poorly this person really knew and understood us. I would have been offended by the things said except for the fact that, well, none of them were true. This person is someone who was close to us, we loved and we had respected very much. So instead of taking offense I was saddened. We didn't even know how to respond. I just felt uncomfortable, suddenly unaware of how to act. Reading into every move I made and word I said, over analyzing everything as to not reinforce the allegations this person made about Matt and I. It was awful...
It wasn't until the morning after that I was thinking and praying about the situation that I realized what felt so wrong. One of the most common causes of contention is due to misunderstandings. I realized the critiques this person made about my husbands behavior were the very things I LOVED about him. They were some of the very reasons I married him and look up to him, not only as a man and my husband, but as a righteous member and priesthood holder. And if they twist our words and actions, misunderstanding us, than that's their choice. And to try and correct them would only make them more persistent and angry.
So we said nothing. Only a simple prayer. And guess what? We felt way better.
This life is a constant battle. Every day is a new fight and every day new and different limits are reached. Some might seem smaller than others but none unimportant. Matt and I live our lives so that we're constantly learning and growing. Educating our minds and spirits with "food" that is good and uplifting. Because of this, I see very clearly that we're not perfect. We have a long ways to go, I know. But we are on our way. Taking new steps every day to one day reach our final goal.
So it doesn't matter if one person disagrees. They're not the first, and they won't be the last. Matthew and I are accountable for our own lives. So we'll live the way we believe, and it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. At the end of the day, the only approval that matters to us, is our Father in Heaven's.