Equipping Christian Men for Richer Relationships

Role vs. Identity

What is the difference between your role and your identity? Our identity comes from our creator. He describes himself as the greatest lover. We are made in His image. The father designed our hearts and minds for love. We are made for relationships, love, and a love story. A role, on the other hand, is a way of interacting with others. We set up a pattern of interacting when we were young. That became our role. It’s not who we are, but what we do. We design our roles to help us feel useful. It’s also a pattern of interacting that helps us earn love and feel valued.

The Fixer

I brought up the topic of spiritual growth with a new friend over breakfast. I could not help myself—I have two favorite topics: I love talking about emotional and spiritual growth. So, I asked him to tell me about himself, and this is what he said.

“God made me a certain way. He made me to fix problems. Everywhere I go people tell me their problems and I offer solutions. I love it.” He continued, “This is how I was made and this is what I’m good at.”

My mind started racing. I wondered if I should tell him God did not create him to merely play a role. God created him for relationships. God made him for love and to be a reflection of the Heavenly Father’s love.

We continued to talk. He opened up and revealed that, as a young man, not sure of his value or worth, he constructed his role as a “fixer.” Love and emotions often confuse fixers. They run on the approval of those they have fixed instead being sustained by the love of God.

The Challenge

I challenge you to make sure you run on your God-defined-love identity. Then you can be free to fix or not to fix. For the fixer, this may be new to you. What else is there besides fixing? If you don’t fix, then maybe you can just listen and offer love and comfort. In doing this, you are living out your identity rather than your role.