Create Financial Boundaries
There may be times when our family members ask us for money. Naturally, there is a desire in us to help a family member in need, but it may not be the wise thing to do. We might even make the situation worse if we are always ready to bail someone out of a problem every time it arises.
If an individual has a substance abuse problem, or difficulty managing their finances, jumping in to give them money might prevent them from experiencing the repercussions of their actions. This might be the very thing that helps them improve in the area of money management. This too, is something discovered over time, and it requires tremendous prayer and wise counsel. We must determine in advance what we do and do not feel comfortable giving financially.
We can do this by examining the track record of the person. What have they done with previous resources given to them? Did they use the resources wisely or did they waste them? If they wasted the previous resources, this might mean we need to implement a boundary in what we will be able to give them in the future.
Creating healthy boundaries with hurtful family members is not an easy task but it is a necessary one. Rely on God, asking for his direction as you create boundaries. Although we may have hurtful family members, they are still family and creating any type of boundary may be difficult. A boundary however is not an ended relationship. It is simply a predetermined limit that says what we will and will not accept from other people.
Boundaries may appear to be selfish or unloving, but Jesus modeled the practice of creating healthy boundaries throughout his life. Often after times of ministering to the crowd he pulled away to be alone with God. This is illustrated in the account of the miracle of the five loaves of bread and two fish.
After Jesus fed 5,000 men, and an unknown number of women and children, he retreated alone. In Matthew 14:22-23 it says, “Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.”
Jesus recognized his limitations as a human and he pulled away to prioritize his physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs by spending time with his Father. It is very probable that had Jesus elected to stay with the people, they would have requested more from Him. Knowing this, he sent the disciples away and he retreated to a mountainside alone.
Jesus knew his boundaries and that did not make Him unkind or selfish. He wasn’t pressured to give beyond his physical limitations, and neither should we. When we struggle to create healthy boundaries, we can reflect on the gift of Christ’s example for all of us.
Kia Stephens is a wife and homeschooling mom of two who is passionate about helping women know God as Father. For this reason, she created The Father Swap Blog to help women exchange their father wounds for the love of God the Father. Kia is also the founder of Entrusted Women, which she created to equip Christian women communicators of color. In addition to these ministries, Kia faithfully serves in Bible Study Fellowship and her local church. When she is not writing or serving women, she enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends.
Photo Credit: Getty/ J Nemchinova