Friday, April 16, 2010

Do You Love Too Well?

Do You Love Too Well?
The other morning, when I sing-songed, "Time to get dressed," my able-bodied son groaned.

"Mom, can't you help me?"

"Your pants are right there, John."

"Help me put them on."

"You're 10 years old. Ten-year-old boys dress themselves."

I left the room. Within a few minutes, he bounded down the steps and into the kitchen. Pants on. Shirt on. Socks on. And, I presume, boxers on too.
Had I helped him dress, my unspoken message would have shouted, "You incompetent, kid! You can't even do something as simple as pull on pants."
When you comfort a friend -- or she comforts you -- do you cross a boundary and help her do what she can (or vice versa)?
Respect her self-worth and yours: Help her only with what she cannot do. This is an expression of real love.
You see this concept of boundary-setting in the Bible. In Luke 10 Jesus shares the parable of Good Samaritan.
Robbers jump a man (very likely a Jew) on the way from Jerusalem to Jericho, leaving him half-dead at the side of the road. A priest passed by, then a Levite. Finally, a Samaritan, considered scum by Jews, saw him and stopped.

Here's a list of what the Samaritan did:

bandaged his wounds
treated his wounds with the "medicine" of the day
lifted him onto him donkey and brought him to an inn
nursed him for a day
paid for the man's extended stay at the inn
paid the innkeeper to watch over him
promised to pay extra expenses when he returned

Here is the one thing we know he chose not to do: Halt his own travel plans. He didn't think, "Poor guy, I better stay with him or else he may never get better, so I must stop everything for him. . .even if that means neglecting my family and my work."
The Good Samaritan had good boundaries.
Question: Do you agree?

Copied: Lucy Ann Moll's Cup o Joy~

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