"Don’t be bossy to those people who are in your care, but set an example for them." (1 Peter 5:3)
Thoughts for Today
Care-fronting your loved one about their life-controlling problem is an act of love, not anger. Because of that, a door of communication can open.
The natural tendency is to want to fix things. To say, "If you just do this . . ." "If you'd only . . ." "This is what you need to do . . ." However, you cannot fix the problem. And telling them what to do will only strengthen barriers between you.
Instead of giving advice or answers, focus on ideas, information, and alternatives.
Consider this …
Be careful not to use scare tactics, give pat answers, or even offer specific advice. They will probably respond in resentment or anger.
But be prepared. Pray for guidance. You may want to seek counseling yourself. Get familiar with the problem your loved one is struggling with and answers others have found. Then . . . if your loved one asks for help, point out some options. Those choices may include things like these: continue the problem behavior, get professional help, join a support group.
Ideas? Yes. Answers? No. When you provide information and alternatives, rather than giving advice, they will more likely feel free to choose a personal course of action and follow through on it.
Lord, I so often find myself wanting to fix my loved one. But when I start telling them what to do, I only stir up trouble. Help me to trust you more. Help me to be prepared to offer alternatives when asked. In Jesus' name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from …Concerned Persons: Because We Need Each Other by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. This group is designed for the many people who have a current or past relationship with a person who has a life-controlling problem.
- It emphasizes the need we all have for each other.
- It helps people focus on Christ rather than on the problem.
- It serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by providing a way to minister to people's felt needs and then pointing them to Christ.
Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a study for individuals or couples.
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