I have to be honest. I really don’t feel like posting today. But, I know that I must. Hubby and I are so strained and stressed by our current financial situation that I feel physically ill. And hubby? Well, he is not sleeping at night. He was awake until about 02:00 this morning. We have no money – and no money to cover the expenses that we need to cover now. And I keep coming back to our word for the year – abundance. And now it seems all like a little joke. Forgive me. We all have our bad days, but there never seems to be an end in sight.
But, I digress…
In today’s post at 31 Days to a Better Marriage series, Nan gives some wonderful insights into keeping your marriage safe when you are ministering to others. And let’s be honest – people can take up so much of your time, that you barely feel your own existence and space, never mind still having the energy to give to your own family. And you know that there are some that the more you give, the more they take, and then you give some more, and they take some more. And so, somewhere along the line, you need to make a decision – who is your number one priority? And how can you exercise that and still give to others and minister to others? It is a fine line, and it can be very difficult sometimes, especially when people need you.
We have to learn how to care for others without becoming overwhelmed by their needs or problems. We do this by setting boundaries and priorities and leaning heavily on the Lord:
- Share their burden but don’t carry it FOR them. You can love them, encourage them, empathize and pray with them, but you must not carry that burden as if it were your own. Point them to the Lord. You want them to be leaning on Him, not on you.
- Don’t bring it home. When you are home, be HOME! When we care about someone it can be so easy to let our minds get discouraged and overwhelmed by their needs.
- Set boundaries. There are some lines that must not be crossed. You don’t have to be available 24 hours a day. It’s o.k., and healthy even, to set boundaries that protect you and your family.
- Guard your relationships. Make your loved ones a priority and view your time with them as something to be protected. You can’t do everything, and you can’t BE everything to everybody. Remember your priorities. You are a wife and mother FIRST. Be prayerful about anything or anyone who tries to monopolize your time or doesn’t respect your boundaries.
- Know how and when to say no. It’s o.k. to say no, you can’t do everything.
- Go to the Lord daily for your strength. You have to continually go to the Well and fill up or you’ll be running on empty. Reference here.
Remember, God comes first. Then your marriage. Then your family. And then everything else. Protect what is yours to protect – help those who need it, and then give it to God. Let Him deal with their problems. And although you may be the vessel that God uses, always remember your priorities…