Great question. Just because we forgive someone does not mean that we always continue in the relationship. Remember, forgiveness is for you. Forgiveness enables you to heal and be emotionally healthy. Reconciliation and forgiveness are two different things. Reconciliation takes two people that are willing to face the disagreement and talk about where they both want the relationship to go from here. In many situations a boundary needs to be in place. A boundary is saying, “I love myself and respect myself enough to not allow you to abuse me.” If I am in an unhealthy relationship where I am being disrespected or demeaned; I can also put up a boundary. A boundary is saying,” I want to have a relationship with you and I care about you but I will not continue in a relationship if these things continue to happen.”
Tim and I found ourselves needing to place boundaries in our family relationships more than once. It’s not easy but sometimes necessary. Many time when a person begins to get healthy, the people around them try to squeeze them back into the role they have always played in the relationship. Placing a boundary in a relationship takes guts and stamina. BUT MOST OF ALL IT TAKES RELYING ON JESUS TO STRENGTHEN YOU AND GIVE YOU WISDOM.
For us, we also had to surrender our right to be understood. Not only by the person but by those on the outside looking in. Many times we felt judged because we “looked” disrespectful to a family member. However, we had a complete peace from Father that said, “Stand firm, this is for their good.” It’s really hard when you know you are in the center of God’s will but it looks like you are not. I think this had to happen more than once for me because I was in bondage to caring too much what other’s thought. All that matters is what my Heavenly Father thinks. Placing boundaries in a relationship is not easy. I have found that it is absolutely essential that a person know their value and their worth if they are going to have healthy boundaries in their life with others. When we see our worth we can then say “no” when we need to say “no.” This is one of the reasons why we have a passion for teaching people their identity in Christ. While we live on this earth we want to live out of our true identity and have healthy relationships.
I always want to check my motives when placing a boundary in a relationship. If I am trying to punish them, I have not forgiven. Remember, forgiveness is saying you no longer have to pay for what you did to me. I’m allowing Jesus blood on the cross to pay for your sin against me.