This Morning’s Thoughts

I know a family who is broken (aren’t we all), with 2 now grown children. They’ve been through a ton, but one child was enabled their whole life at the cost of the other. I’ve watched them since I was very young, wondering why the parent couldn’t see what they were doing and why they could never say ‘no’. I’ve wondered so many times why the forgotten child, who is absolutely wonderful, get the short end of the stick every single time.

The enabled one is now in his mid 30’s, is a complete complete mess, and has made their whole family’s lives a nightmare. They’re on so many drugs, they’ve drained the parent’s bank account for their habits, abused and stressed out the parent to the point of death, and left the other child (also mid 30’s) to pick up the pieces.

The parent’s funeral was yesterday. The enabled child and their friends were drunk, high and disruptive. The 7 very small children in the back didn’t make even close to as much noise as them.

I don’t know what the theme of this story is, other than I should probably work on my compassion. I know they’ve grown up feeling rejected and unloved. I know Jesus loves them and wants them to be saved. I know the child needs prayer (and a lot of help).

But also realize that enabling my own children won’t do them any favours in the long run. I’ve realized that saying ‘no’ is okay, and will not only benefit them in the near and far future, but also myself. I’ve realized that playing the victim will only get a person so far in life because there comes a point where no one buys it anymore.

Now that this grown, enabled child’s parent is dead, they are blocked from all other family members. It’s sad, but necessary. There will be no one to bail them out. The child called the parent many times a day, demanding money, and the parent lost everything, giving it to them. They don’t have anyone to call now.

It’s not only okay to set boundaries, it’s absolutely vital. Jesus calls us to serve in love, give grace, and forgive endlessly, but at what point does all of that become actually unhealthy for people? Jesus did have boundaries too, but I’m still trying to figure out how he navigated the differences.

So now that the parent, who was one of my most favourite people in the whole world, is gone, I’ve decided I will learn from their mistakes, and do what they couldn’t. Yes, I will still forgive, serve in love and grace, but I will also say no. I will also put boundaries in place that I’ve never had before. And I, myself, will stop playing the victim, as much as I know how to.

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