“That’s it! I’m putting my foot down. I’m not putting up with this another minute!”
Did you know that this statement is Biblical?
Check out Joshua 1:3: “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised Moses.”
Read that, “Everywhere you say, ‘Enough!’ is new ground over which you now have control.”
God’s promises are as true today as they were back then, for God does not change.
Once we are about the business of taking territory that the Lord has given to us, we need to know that He has some helpful words in Isaiah 51:21-23. They are these:
Therefore hear this, you who are afflicted, who are drunk, but not with wine:
Thus says your Lord, your God who pleads the cause of His people:
“Behold, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering;
the bowl of my wrath you shall drink no more;
and I will put it into the hand of your tormentors, who have said to you,
‘Bow down that we may pass over, and
you have made your back like the ground
and like the street for them to pass over.‘ “
Are we feeling walked on? Are we being tormented because of our faith? or because our “mere existence” has made us the target of an immature bully?
If we’re being persecuted because of faith, we can rejoice, for we are sharing in the suffering of Christ.
If we’re being abused because we deal with a bully, for heaven’s sake, we must GET UP!
If we are children of God, we are no longer children of wrath. Jesus took all punishment for our sin. God is not punishing us for bad behavior, and we are not glorifying Him by being weak!
For nine years, I believed that I was being submissive like a “good Christian lady” should. I also believed that the abuse I suffered was God punishing me for my wrong choices and my sin.
Just a few days after I was at the Women’s Refuge, the verses from Isaiah were part of my daily reading. To me at that time it was God saying,
“That abuse right there – that is NOT Me. Don’t be taking that, and then telling people that I”M doing that to you. No ma’am, that is definitely NOT Me!”
Shortly after that, I read verse three from the first chapter of Joshua (given above), and God connected those two passages for me:
“Child, you need to put your foot down. You set some boundaries and I’ll help you protect them. It’s time to change some things around here.”
This boundary setting thing has been a work in progress for me. I don’t set them very well – or very firm either. This is my current course of study from the Lord.
Having an out of control life has been, for me, a matter of not knowing
“When to say yes
How to say no
To take control of my life”*
An important note on the topic of putting one’s foot down. Be wise when deciding what the “this” is to which we refer. To set limits on the kind of treatment we will tolerate (tone of voice, the way we’re handled, etc.) is healthy.
However, if the “this” is, “I’m never going to let anyone get close enough to hurt me” …that “boundary” will take you places you don’t want to go – into loneliness and isolation; while feeling abandoned or rejected! That’s an unholy agreement – we are commanded to love one another. We can’t do this through walls.
Boundaries are demonstrated by Jesus Himself. Sometimes He withdrew when the people around Him began to press in! (Mark 1:37-38; 6:31-32)
May we be wise as serpents, gentle as doves and learn to lovingly say,
“Get off my back!”
*From the cover of Boundaries. If this is a problem area for you, I recommend this book.