Something that keeps popping up in my life and especially in my quiet times with God, is that people can't change people. I think this is very very hard for me to grasp because of my pride and overwillingness to help people at times.
It all started when I was venting to my mother about how upset it makes me when I see Christians deliberately walking in the wrong path after I lovingly shared the truth of the bible with them. I get so angry because I see these wonderful Christian girls and guys who come to me humbled for advice, then turn away and walk right back into the trouble they came out of. Why?! I just want them to be close to God.
But after talking with my discipler about this issue, God quickly pointed out that the problem was not the other people, but my own motives. Why was this making me so angry? Because they weren't doing what I advised them to do! Advised. Not commanded. That's the thing about other people...you can pray for 'em, you can preach to em, you can share biblical insight with 'em, but you will never change a person.
Lots of times you hear people say at sentimental events, "This woman made me into the woman I am today." This may be half true, in that she encouraged you to be the woman you are today, but no person can actually change another person. That's where God's sovereignty steps in. I grew up my whole life getting preached too and taught the right morals, but it didn't mean anything to me until God hit me on the head with a skillet and pointed out that my life was worth way more than I was living it.
A lot of times as women, (controlling nature being our downfall) we try to change people. We try to change our boyfriend's decision to wait for marriage. We try to change our husband's heart towards having date night. We try to change all sorts of things in our male counterparts, our friends, and our family. But the truth is, no matter how much screaming, yelling, pleading, and praying we do...it's still all left up to God to change the heart. A quote that clarifies this point for me is this:
Our responsibility is to pray, share, love, and serve others.
God's responsibility is to draw, convict, and change.
Perhaps if we would step back and let God be God (like we are always failing at,) then God would give us everything we need in this life. (Psalm 37:7 and Psalm 46:10 reiterate this.) Remember, only God can change the heart.