Tempted to Bail…?
As I sat in court waiting for my turn to testify as a witness last week, I prayed for the individuals whose turns came before me.
Case after case dealt with domestic abuse, drunk driving, and failures to comply with court orders.
I prayed especially long for a woman attempting to get her driver’s license returned to her while she failed to appear on the proper dates. She didn’t seem to understand that the court had a schedule, and if she didn’t adhere to it, her efforts didn’t count. Showing up when it worked for her and her friend (who drove her there) seemed to be, in her mind, what should dictate the court’s schedule.
She actually became angry at the judge when he told her he wouldn’t realign the court’s schedule to accommodate her just because she showed up today – especially since she was supposed to be there last week. And the week before.
I remembered a guy I fired early in my career as a human resources manager at a manufacturing company. One of our employee’s houses had burned to the ground because of an electrical fire. Friends had put her up in temporary housing and everyone donated to a cash fund and brought household supplies for her and her daughter.
It made me warm inside to see the generosity of the nearly 75 people on her shift, and I remember thinking, “There might be hope for mankind, after all.”
And then the guy in charge of the collection stole the money.
To buy drugs.
And lied about it when I confronted him.
Even though his name was in the newspaper for the arrest and the reason.
But the people that were with him, while they were happy to let him treat them to drugs that night, developed consciences when they discovered where the money came from. So they ratted him out. I checked the newspaper and called him in.
Long story short, he eventually confessed to the truth, and I fired him anyway. Our facility started seeing a decrease in downtime due to lateness and absenteeism because people became aware there were consequences to lousy choices. And people respected me and our managers more, because we became a company that followed our policies.
While this is a business situation, the same is true of families. As parents, when our kids mess up and we rescue them from consequences, they don’t become responsible for their behavior. They learn its always someone else’s fault, or it’s someone else’s responsibility to bail them out. As wives, when we don’t know the difference between “walking alongside” our husband as he struggles and “enabling” him by rescuing him, we get in the way of what God is trying to teach him. This is a fine line, one that requires great wisdom and deep prayer to navigate.
I have a good friend that I’d like to ask you to join me in praying for. Long story short, her husband suffers from depression, and instead of walking alongside him, she’s rescued him and her kids from the consequences of his refusal to treat his illness. She’s done it for so many years, that she’s now worn out, and considering filing for divorce.
Before some of you start railing on me for being cold-hearted about mental illness, understand I’ve had depression. Every pregnancy brought a good, solid, long-lasting, case of the crazies with it – but that’s another story. And, while suffering post-partum depression is absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever endured, no one but me was responsible for taking my medication and choosing to pursue health. And my husband walked alongside me, but held me accountable.
It saved my life and probably our marriage.
And it was really hard.
For both of us.
So if today, when you are frustrated with those in your life, actively choose to embrace the wisdom found in Proverbs 1, which implores us to pursue it. Remember that our decisions eventually always have consequences. Sometimes for those around us, too. And when WE choose to be unwise or run from God, He’s patient enough to let us hit bottom, all the while, waiting for us to turn back to Him and embrace His ways.
I don’t know about you, but it boggles my mind to be someone who NEEDS wisdom, seeks it, pursues it, and still recognizes how far away from the goal she is (and always will be! J) but is in a position to actually facilitate (with my kids) and stay out of the way of some of life’s consequences for others. It’s holy ground we walk upon in relationships. Dare you to choose to walk it wisely, with Him at the helm. J And btw, there’s a difference between “consequences” and “revenge” or “attempts at punishment.” Knowing the difference matters. Revenge is for the Lord alone, and Christ bore the punishment for our sins AND our kids and husbands…
Thankful to be on the journey with you!
Dare you to subscribe or share with a friend today!
I think the point is that she let his not feel the consequences of his not taking responsibility for his condition. She bailed him out and bailed him out and in the end it cost her too much.
There’s still hope but she will have to change her way of thinking too. You get into this mode of knowing what’s best for someone and seeing them as a Problem to Solve instead of as an adult with his own path. And eventually it wears you down and you start blaming him for your own misery, when really it was YOUR choices that created the situation. It sounds like you (JMH) haven’t fallen into this trap that so many of us have. In my case it was arrogance (to think I know which path he should be taking and trying to force him on it) and it was easier to focus on all the ways he was Doing It Wrong than on my own path and responsibilities. Worse, people actually praise you for being so meddlesome when it’s for someone’s own good (supposedly), so you get positive reinforcement for your arrogance.
Autumn – this is right on! What is hilarious, is that while I wrote it, the title was unintentionally a play on words – and I’ll give God the credit because it was pretty cool. 🙂 And I wholeheartedly agree with the comment about arrogance…you are wise, beautiful!
When I saw “Tempted to bail..?” I thought of “Bail out” like “quit” and I’m thinkin’ “Oh Yeah!, but glad I hung in there instead!” until I read your article:) Nice play on words!
Depression is a complex problem that affects many families. Here is another article with different ideas/approaches. http://www.hopetocope.com/Item.aspx?id=555
Perhaps it will be helpful to someone.
I pray for all who struggle with it.
A good solid teaching, thank you, Nina. I will be going back to this to study further.
While I certainly understand the frustration and hurt of your friend, I can’t see how the Christian response to a husband who fails to get treatment for depression would be divorce. Mind you, I have suffered depression myself (with treatment) and have dealt with a husband who suffers depression without treatment. Let me tell you, his depression has hurt our entire family, and I realize he continues in it because he is too prideful to admit his illness and seek help. However, I continue to pray for him in every way. It is not my job or responsibility to make him change, only the Holy Spirit can work in him to bring about change. And though I do desire for his happiness and health, the only thing I can effectively do is pray for him, and that is the best thing I could do. Lord, thy will be done. Not mine. I entrust my husband into Your hands. I will pray for your friend, her family, and their marriage.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends.
Comments are closed.