Can I just be transparent with you for just a second? I feel like we are close friends, as I’ve shared some very real and personal struggles with you lately.
Some time has elapsed, and if you have read my previous two posts, you know where I stand right now with what I’m going through.
Let me just say that in the midst of the hurt and pain and struggles that my family has faced lately, God has blessed my husband and me with a tiny and unexpected miracle.
God’s timing is perfect, and we weren’t even planning a baby at this time in our life. It was such a sweet surprise (after the shock wore off), but now we are faced with a choice and a difficult conversation we must have with my father. One that tells him that because of his current lifestyle decisions, we are choosing NOT to allow him to have a relationship with his future grandchild.
This is not to punish him for his choices. This is for my unborn child’s protection (and mine also).
Let me back up for a second. I don’t know what your familiarity or understanding with addiction is, but it is a terrible, gripping disease that grabs the person the neck and doesn’t let go. It chokes the life out of him or her until they are zombies living and breathing only for their substance of choice.
After escaping the jaws of life briefly that held him bound for most of his life, my father willing jumped back in the pit that satan dug for him.That is where he sits now, in the “hole” he dug himself.
The definition of a boundary is simply “a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.”
I do want to draw your attention to “the limits of an area”
How much are you willing to give? How much are you willing to take?
Am I drawing the line to punish the person or Am I drawing the line to protect myself?
Let’s take a look at the story of Abigail to see what she does when faced with a situation surrounding standing up on behalf of others.
Abigail is know for having an drunkard and fool of a husband Nabal. but her husband was surly and mean in his dealings—he was a Calebite. -Samuel 25:3
She is also know for cleaning up her husband’s mess when he is insults David and his men.
“One of the servants told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, David sent messengers from the wilderness to give our master his greetings, but he hurled insults at them. Yet these men were very good to us. They did not mistreat us, and the whole time we were out in the fields near them nothing was missing. Now think it over and see what you can do, because disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household. He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him.” Abigail acted quickly. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys. Then she told her servants, “Go on ahead; I’ll follow you.” – Samuel 25: 14-18.
She is ready to clear the air and seemingly crossed a line in order to protect herself and her people. But she did not tell her husband Nabal what she was doing.
“When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground. She fell at his feet and said: “Pardon your servant, my lord, and let me speak to you; hear what your servant has to say. Please pay no attention, my lord, to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name—his name means Fool, and folly goes with him. And as for me, your servant, I did not see the men my lord sent.” -Samuel 25:23-25
Here is what I noticed about Abigail:
- She explained the rationale (or lack of) behind Nabals behavior (didn’t just come with a request or demand/ but provided a back story)
- She didn’t wait for it to happen, she made it happen by approaching David at the right time, speaking purposefully and faithfully.
- She stepped up and had a difficult conservation and chose her words carefully, speaking in love.
Her motive behind speaking to David was not one of seeking revenge on Nabal, but instead of humility and focusing on others.
“Please forgive your servant’s presumption. The Lord your God will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my lord, because you fight the Lord’s battles, and no wrongdoing will be found in you as long as you live.Even though someone is pursuing you to take your life, the life of my lord will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the Lord your God, but the lives of your enemies he will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling. When the Lord has fulfilled for my lord every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him ruler over Israel,my lord will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself. And when the Lord your God has brought my lord success, remember your servant.” -Samuel 25:28-31
So per Abigail’s story, when having difficult conversations that lead us to establish some tough boundaries for our protection, we need to remember to say the truth in love, find the right time and the right words to communicate your point. Remember also to come with a mindset of for the greater good not for selfish reasons.
Of course if you have to handle loved ones with addictions, please remember they sometimes like to play victim, and will try to manipulate you and make you feel sorry for them. It isn’t about punishing anyone, God will serve swift justice, it is about choosing to protect yourself and what God has put you in charge of!
If you’ve ever had to have a difficult conversation with someone, putting in place or reinforcing boundaries, please comment below, we all benefit from one another’s support! Blessings sweet friends!