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Wisdom in personal relationships and knowing when clear, consistent boundaries need to be in play can mean the difference between soaring for Christ and being reduced to being an ineffective witness to God’s grace, mercy and love. Paul wrote in Ephesians 5 . . .
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them . . . Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise.”
Unsafe personal relationships requiring careful evaluation can include these “off-key” tendencies:
Terrified of feeling alone, smothering personalities emotionally engulf others with an overbearing presence that discourages independence and cultivates a tyranny of repetition in other’s identities, thoughts and feelings.
Convinced they will never get enough of what they need, depriving personalities withhold attention and encouragement from others. They love conditionally, giving affection when others please them, withdrawing it when displeased.
Paranoid about flaws, perfectionist personalities excessively drive others to always be better and fixate on order, prestige, power and perfect appearances.
Caught up in an internal cyclone of instability and confusion, chaotic personalities tend toward mercurial moods, radically inconsistent discipline, and bewildering communication.
Perched atop a volcano of resentment, abusing personalities emotionally bully and physically abuse. When they’re enraged, abusing spouses/parents view their partner/children as threats and treat them accordingly.
Childlike spouses/parents/friends, woefully uncomfortable with themselves, encourage anyone and everyone to take care of them, thereby controlling through passive manipulation.
This is David “JB” Miller reminding you that forgiveness is worthy to a point . . . but there comes those moments when you realize you are no longer spiritually, emotionally . . . sometimes even physically safe in some relationships. I take comfort in knowing our Master Conductor does not ask us to live in abusive relationships. You are both free to forgive, but also free to take refuge in Him and re-create safe boundaries that allow you to be free to serve Him and join in a healthy love-song with others . . .