Do not be fooled. You cannot fool God. A man will get back whatever he plants! If a man does things to please his sinful old self, his soul will be lost. If a man does things to please the Holy Spirit, he will have life that lasts forever.
Galatians 6:7-8 (NLV)
If you’re being mistreated by your ex or soon-to-be ex you may read this scripture and think, well at least he (or she) will get what he deserves in the end. But, this really isn’t a scripture about revenge.
Galatians 6:7-8 tells us that we will reap what we sow. That’s a part of how God arranged the world. Our choices have consequences by design. It’s how we learn right from wrong.
But, sometimes, we as humans tend to want to interrupt God’s natural flow of choices and consequences. We rescue people from their own choices. We also can fail to use the concept of consequences when dealing with other people.
What does this have to do with your ex treating you poorly?
Well, if you let a person continue to violate your rights or act in inappropriate ways toward you without consequences, you are teaching that person that you will accept mistreatment. And, I don’t think being a Christian means we have to tolerate mistreatment. We devalue ourselves when we allow ourselves to be treated without respect.
What’s more, if we tolerate bad behavior without allowing consequences we violate God’s principle of natural consequences.
If you feel like your ex is taking advantage of you in some way it can make you crazy. So, my question to you is this…what consequences can you allow to help communicate to your ex that this behavior isn’t going to be tolerated?
Words aren’t enough. If words haven’t worked by now, they likely won’t because it would seem that your words don’t create any consequences for the person who is treating you poorly.
Setting boundaries for how you will allow yourself to be treated isn’t mean if handled appropriately. You don’t need to be aggressive to communicate that you will no longer allow yourself to be mistreated. You do need to know what behaviors you will and won’t accept.
Here is one example:
If your ex tends to get nasty with you on the phone, set a boundary. It might sound something like this, “I will talk with you on the phone about the business we need to handle, but I will no longer stay on the phone when you start verbally attacking me.” The next time the conversation turns nasty, the natural consequence is for you to say, “You are attacking me now. Either stick to the topic or I’m going to hang up and we can talk later when you are ready to focus on the topic we need to discuss.”
Consequences have no meaning unless they are implemented.
Learn to set healthy boundaries. Cloud and Townsend have an excellent book called, Boundaries that is written from a Christian perspective. You’ll find it in most online bookstores.
In setting healthy boundaries you show respect not only for yourself but also for God’s natural order of things as illustrated in Galatians. You’ll gain more respect and reduce the mistreatment you experience. You’re worth that!
Note: If you are dealing with someone who has a mental health issue, or is potentially dangerous, seek professional help regarding how to deal with that person and the specifics of the situation.
God thank you for creating consequences to help us learn how to act. Help me to respect myself enough to set boundaries and allow appropriate consequences when dealing with others.
How do You Heal from Divorce? Help is available.
Learn about the Peace after Divorce book; how to start a Peace after Divorce workshop at your church; and the online Peace after Divorce Workshop for individuals by clicking the images below. Or, you can look for a group in your area now.