0:00:00 – Speaker 1
nextTalk contains content of a mature nature. Parental guidance is advised. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
0:00:34 – Speaker 2
Today’s show is about boundaries versus bitterness. I love this title.
0:00:39 – Speaker 3
Oh, you know, boundaries are healthy, bitterness is just not.
0:00:44 – Speaker 2
Well, and in the title too, it kind of is one of those things like boundaries Yeah, i can do bitter, oh, i’ve been there, been there. So it kind of stings a little bit.
0:00:52 – Speaker 3
Well, and both of these are separate topics that can be addressed independently, but when you bring them together, i think there’s a lot of connections and things that we need to talk about here. One can certainly affect the other. Yes, and you know, I, when we’re talking, when we we’re gonna start off talking about kind of boundaries, and I think that boundaries are so healthy and they’re needed. But I also think sometimes in this world of like block and mute, unfollow if we don’t agree.
I think sometimes we use like, oh, this person’s toxic to not love them well, and I know that that’s not in every situation And I think we have to be really careful about how we handle this, because this is definitely non abusive situations.
0:01:34 – Speaker 2
Yes, this is like your normal. Every day. We all have problems, situations, not abuse, not a beer about that. That’s a disclaimer.
0:01:42 – Speaker 3
Um, but also just like Identifying and labeling people as toxic, because I mean, if you think about it, we’re all kind of toxic, like we all have stuff.
0:01:53 – Speaker 2
You definitely are, so I I feel like we just need to be real here. You’re perfect, i’m talk.
0:02:00 – Speaker 3
0:02:01 – Speaker 2
Let’s just get it all out on the table So people know the truth. So don’t block and mute me, Yeah.
I have unblocked you for the show. You know one thing you have said before and I love it, and you got it from Bob Goff. He says love difficult people. You’re one of them which, when you told me that, i immediately texted it to my husband. I don’t know if that’s a sign or what, but yes, it’s just one of those things. Like we, it’s easier to run away, to block, to distance, than to say, okay, this is one of God’s people there in my life, for a reason perhaps, and how can I have a healthy boundary with them?
0:02:38 – Speaker 3
Well, and it doesn’t mean that you don’t create boundaries. You know, if you have somebody that’s constantly pushing your buttons, that is sending you into an emotional spiral, yeah, we have to create boundaries on that. But what does that look like? What is a healthy boundary look like? and how do we not allow ourselves to be bitter with that person where we just block them? Yeah, and I think that is kind of what this show is about, and each situation is so different, so it’s really hard to speak To everything, but we want to just give some Generalities and maybe share a couple stories with you about what this looks like.
0:03:11 – Speaker 2
Yeah, let’s start with friendship, because I think a lot of times, that’s one that comes to mind first. It’s a pool of people in our life that we may call friends and They may be impacting us negatively. Maybe someone in our life that we call friend. We’re just like man. This is a hard one. They’re constantly draining me, or it’s just too difficult to be around them, or I want to avoid them. I think we’ve all been in that situation or they’re pulling you into sin. I mean, you know, we’ve been in those friendships before.
0:03:37 – Speaker 3
Where I think a lot of people can relate to this is, you know, are they making your marriage stronger or less stronger? Are they pulling you like? are they creating more terminal in your marriage? Are they constantly bashing your spouse? You know, all those things that are That can pull us in and away from God’s plan for our life, or what God wants for our life.
0:03:57 – Speaker 2
Well, i’d say in the same regard. There’s the people that you know. Every time that you’re with them, you find yourself slipping. You know what I’m saying, like cussing a little more, drinking a little more instead of being refined or being Called out on things, which is really what a true friend does. So we’ve all felt those things. You know it immediately and you know what kind of friend we’re talking about.
0:04:18 – Speaker 3
Yeah, well, and this is such a great conversation to have with your kids, especially as they get older, into these teenage years, where peer pressure is everywhere And it starts out little when they’re little talking about peer pressure, but you know the cussing and the drinking and all that. I’m thinking about teenagers here and how to talk to them. It’s a really fine line to say, okay, you need to create a boundary here. This is a friendship. That’s not healthy for you, but I need you to still love that person.
I need you to still be kind to that person. I need you to not bully that person or contribute to their spiral. Yes, and that is like I said. every situation is so different, but it’s a balance of doing that.
0:05:04 – Speaker 2
One of the things that I’ve told my kids is to kind of think of it like a target, the middle, and then there’s the outer rings, and that middle is your person, or your very, very inner circle, which is usually like just one or two people. And then you have the people outside of that that you’re friends with and you spend time with but you maybe wouldn’t share or confide everything in. And then you have people outside of that ring that are acquaintances, But the common denominator that cuts through all of those rings is love. You love and respect all of those people, just like you said, whether they’re in that outer ring, which is a lot of times where people you need to have a lot of boundaries with, or that inner ring that’s your inner person.
0:05:44 – Speaker 3
You can love people from afar. You don’t have to necessarily say, okay, I hate this person, I disagree with this person, You know label and push push.
But you can say, okay, this person’s not healthy for me, it’s causing me to sink, it’s causing me to know God less. One of the things that jumped out the other day in one of my conversations with my kids was does this person draw you closer to Jesus or farther away from Jesus? And when I said it I was like, oh, that’s really good for me to apply to my friendships, and that doesn’t mean I can’t be friends with somebody who pulls me away from Jesus. But it’s a different type of friendship And I think identifying that has helped me greatly create the boundaries.
So, for example, one thing that I’ve been doing recently is thinking about my friends in a way, like you said, those inner circle friends, those really close friends outside of just Matt, who is my best friend, but outside of that, my inner circle friends. They feed my soul, they’re the ones when I’m crying I can reach out to them and they’ll show me biblical truth and they’ll meet me where I am and they’ll pour into my life. They’ll check on me even when I’m not reaching out to them, right? But then also I have another group of friends in different types of personalities where they need me to love them, but they’re not. I’m not gonna get a whole lot in return And before I would get really irritated with those friends like why does this have to be so? one way, like why can’t I but what? And the world feeds that.
The world feeds that like you have to have.
But the more I look at those friends who need me, they need my love, they need me pouring into them, and I just have to change my expectations because if I don’t, i get super bitter at them And I’m like how can you, like I give and give and give? why can’t you just ask me how my day has been in this four hour conversation? right, i don’t know what you mean. I mean, i know that sounds selfish, but we’re human, right, like we want to be seen also, and so I think that has really helped me, just like that mind shift of the and we did a whole, we did a series on expectations, yeah, and I think this kind of plays Pretty spous for kids. Yeah, i think this kind of plays into it when we don’t have the expectations, like this friend is just going to be the one where I love. I’m not going to expect this friend to pour into me. We can love them more and better and not be as bitter when they don’t ask us How are things.
0:08:17 – Speaker 2
Girl. I think this is kind of a Jesus principle If you really think about it. He modeled this beautifully for us. He had his inner circle with whom he poured into Disciples, disciples. But he also, i mean, think about us Like we’re not, like, hey, jesus has your day going, like he is pouring into us constantly and we, he calls us to be Jesus to the world, you know, and so the world a lot of times are people who don’t know him and who don’t understand what a true and healthy friendship and relationship looks like. And so that’s our space as believers, as we get to be Jesus to those people. And if we can shift our mindset, like you’re saying, then it gets to be this beautiful gift that we give someone who doesn’t understand what it means to be loved selflessly and to be shown such grace. And so I think that’s kind of a neat space to be, and if we can shift our mind that way, Yeah, well, and I.
0:09:08 – Speaker 3
it’s easier for me, when I shift my mind and think about it like that, to create the healthy boundary so that I do not spiral. So you know what that looks like Yes, and so or get pulled into drama.
That’s not mine to carry. Yes, you know what I mean. I totally get it, and so I think that that has really helped me. And you know, just like you said, this is a Jesus principle. It’s, you know love God, love others. We see that in scripture, in Matthew 22, 37 to 39. It says love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, and the second is this love your neighbor as yourself.
One thing that always jumps out at me when I read the scripture is we are not supposed to love people more than we love God. Yeah, and I know that in this world we’re always like love people, love people, love people, and we are, we are. That’s the second greatest commandment. We are called to do that, but above all, we are supposed to love God, and when we have that lined out, then it will easily flow to love people, because we’re going to be like you said, we’re going to be that model of Jesus in the world, and I think about this so much with our family. You know, when I think about that, i think about like um, it’s so funny. I was reading my marriage chapter in my book yesterday because my editor, i’m writing another book. Yeah, let’s just put that out, i’m writing another book.
0:10:32 – Speaker 2
Now we need to hold you accountable because we love you.
0:10:35 – Speaker 3
Fun, fun times right now. Um, i’m stressed and there’s lots of tears and lots of potato chips and chocolate setting on my desk. Um, but she said I want you to go back and read your marriage chapter. Like, i need you to read that because we were editing a certain portion and I needed to anyway, went back read the marriage chapter And I read that, that blurb about submission Yeah, and how I struggled so much with submission as a young kid, an independent girl that didn’t need a man for anything you know, and how I struggled with that concept of submission.
But when I started really diving into the Bible, i saw that, you know, god actually calls the man to love the lady, the wife, like like Christ loved the church. Yeah, like more like his own body. Yeah, you know, it’s a higher calling. And it’s the same thing, i think, with this, when we in a marriage, when our husbands are submitting to God and we see that it’s so much easier to submit to the husband, you know, in our family and let that logical flow happen. And it’s the same thing with our friendships. If we are loving God first, if we are loving him above all else, then we see with clearer eyes the friendships and the boundaries that need to happen to love from a distance or to love in a way that God would, would please God, but not so much just cut these people out of their lives because they’re difficult.
0:11:58 – Speaker 2
Well, i think he makes that clear for us when we are submitting to him. Like you said, i know for me the Holy Spirit will say this person needs a word today. He’ll show us how to love, because sometimes we’re like, okay, lord, i get it And I’ve created this boundary and I’ve committed to love this person as you have. But I don’t know what that looks like. Yeah, but he’ll show us. He is so gracious and loving that when he sees our commitment to him, he’s like I’ll show you when to speak up, where to step in so that you are protected, but you’re still loving them like I love you, and I think that’s so cool. It’s not ours to figure out We don’t have to know all the answers, but if we have that submission correct and that love for him first, he’ll make the way.
0:12:41 – Speaker 3
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0:13:12 – Speaker 1
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0:13:39 – Speaker 3
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0:13:45 – Speaker 2
Today we’re talking about boundaries versus bitterness. We’ve started out talking a little bit about boundaries and friendship, which are so important and sometimes so hard to know when to set them and how to do it. But aligning ourselves with God first, loving Him first. that He lays out what that looks like, and that’s such a beautiful gift. But boundaries need to be a part of all of our relationships really. And how do we determine that? What does that look like? And there’s some really great scripture that helps us do that.
0:14:16 – Speaker 3
Well, yeah, matthew 18, 15, 17. I mean, we have conflict resolution in the Bible to tell us how to do this.
Now a disclaimer here this is among believers. So this is like. This is different than loving people who may not be a believer But say you have conflict within your family, you and your spouse or your two kids And what does scripture say about that? Matthew 18, 15, and 17 says you know, step one go to that person privately and try and talk with them. Two is, if that doesn’t work, bring one or two friends and kind of like, have an intervention, kind of thing. You know, like hey, we’re seeing this in you, we love you. Are you okay? Like how can we help you? kind of thing.
Number three is get an authority figure involved. So you know, if this is like between two siblings or between two kids, okay, it’s time to get parents involved, it’s time to get teachers involved. If it’s a workplace setting, it’s time to get the boss involved. You know, because you’ve gone to that person privately, you’ve tried to address the issue, You’ve brought one or two friends along, tried to address it that way, and still there’s been no reconciliation. So number three get an authority figure involved. And number four, i mean the scripture says move on. Like if you cannot rationalize with this person, you’ve got to move. That’s a boundary right there. God is telling us there. There’s a time when you have to be like, okay, i’ve tried, i’m going to go on. And that doesn’t mean that we don’t love that person and be willing to be with open arms like the prodigal son. When he came home you know the father of a son like, okay, yeah, take the inheritance and go, but when he came home he ran to him with open arms. So that doesn’t mean we write this person off and we’re never there for them if they don’t come back and want help or if they’re, you know, feeling sorry or they want to talk through some things that you tried to point out in step one or two.
But I love these verses in you know, you said something before the break, kim. That kind of ties into this And I think it’s really important. You said you know if you’re, if you’re submitting to Jesus, you you have the Holy Spirit helping you and discern each situation, because sometimes there are moments where you just cry with someone, you weep with someone. There’s no, there’s no words. Right, there’s no words.
I mean, think about Job when his friends first got there. For seven days They just cried with him and and sat with him and they didn’t try and fix anything at first, you know. Then they moved into the rationalization, but they but they knew when to just be with him. But sometimes we do need to speak up and we do need to hold people accountable, and you know, loving people is telling them the truth, yeah. So sometimes we have to say, oh, what you’re doing is not healthy, sister, and I love you and I’m not judging you, this is not coming from a place of judgment but what you’re doing could ruin your marriage, or what you’re doing could really spiral out of control And I’m concerned about you.
0:17:17 – Speaker 2
Like that’s love It is And if, again, if you are aligned with the Holy Spirit, if you’re loving God first, he shows you those things. He gives you special insight I really believe that and gives you words that are refining but also, in the same moment, feel loving. You know what I’m saying, because you’ve heard things from people before that just feel painful. But when someone really loves you, it may sting, but at the heart of it you feel like they’re doing this because they care about me, and I believe that’s Jesus. He stands in that gap for us, and so our relationship with him is so important.
0:17:49 – Speaker 3
First, Yeah, and so what does this look like? We talked a lot about friendships and we talked a lot about setting up boundaries there, and we talked about maybe a sibling rivalry, like when to get parents involved, but what does this look like in a marriage? I mean, kim, tell me what you got to say.
0:18:06 – Speaker 2
Well, i think it sounds weird to people sometimes when you say there needs to be boundaries in marriage, because we say, ok, well, this is like my best friend, we’re having open communication.
0:18:15 – Speaker 1
We’re talking about all the things to become one.
0:18:17 – Speaker 2
You know there should be no boundaries. It’s like you know everything 100 percent. You are together.
0:18:22 – Speaker 3
Give me some examples of what boundaries look like in a marriage.
0:18:25 – Speaker 2
Well, you know when you are joining your life with someone, they’re coming into the picture with baggage. You know, sometimes lots of really pretty baggage, sometimes some real natchy beat up dirty, smelly baggage with holes in it. Run the other way. Kind of baggage. Yes you wish they had thrown away.
0:18:42 – Speaker 3
That was me coming into my stage You had like the ghetto suitcase with no wheels That had all the wheels, the fancy stuff You can put it with one hand. I’ve got a wheel hanging off That was me too.
0:18:56 – Speaker 2
I’m the bad baggage. I came with an old, like AGB bag, Plastic grocery bag. I was like here I am, Take me as I am and love it.
0:19:07 – Speaker 3
Yeah, that’s true, Our sweet husbands were like we didn’t even know each other then, right. But, it’s so cool how our lives are very, very similar.
0:19:16 – Speaker 2
Only God knew all of that. But you know I mean you know what it’s like to join two lives together and each of you bring in your AGB bags. I will tell you. There have been times when I have said or done things that I thought were completely fine and normal in a loving relationship And my husband was getting upset or angry because we had not had a conversation about. These are some hurts in my life, or these are some tender points that God is working through with me, and so I was crossing the line And instead of having healthy boundaries and saying I need you to not say this because I’m still working through it, Because it’s a trigger for me I know you don’t mean it a certain way We’re talking now about kind of like our dads leaving and growing up in single households.
For example, my dad left when I was two, and so lovely, lovely baggage I brought was like if you’re upset about something, you’re going to leave me. And so every time we had an argument, i was like that’s it, you’re walking out the door. My husband came from a family where they didn’t talk about anything, so when there was an anger they left the house Not that they were leaving forever, but they left the house. And so when we first were married and we would argue over something.
0:20:28 – Speaker 3
He’s gone. He’s not coming home.
0:20:29 – Speaker 2
Yes, he was just going for a walk and I was like I better start packing because it’s over, get the dishes into the boxes, like it was over for us. And so I didn’t explain that to him and he didn’t explain it to me how that felt. And so we didn’t have a healthy boundary there, like being able to say to him when we got to that point, when you walk out the door, this is what’s going on in my heart and mind, and him being able to say I just need a minute to cool off, and that’s finding a healthy compromise in between. And so having healthy boundaries that protect the heart and mind of your spouse is a wonderful gift. But if we’re not talking about it, then we just become bitter in the relationship because we think we’re hurting each other. So in marriage it’s very important to talk through those things.
0:21:11 – Speaker 3
I think that’s such a good example And you know, with I’m thinking about your husband leaving and how you interpreted that And I think what he was trying to do was just not respond in the moment and say hurtful words. Absolutely, and that’s a boundary for him. Like I don’t want to say hurtful words to her, but I’m really mad right now, so I need to. I need 10 minutes walking around the block or whatever.
0:21:33 – Speaker 2
But if we don’t voice those things it just turns into bitterness.
0:21:36 – Speaker 3
It does It turns into? doesn’t he realize that I feel like he’s leaving me forever?
0:21:42 – Speaker 2
I said, hey, i mean I was never wrong, but that’s how it was perceived.
0:21:51 – Speaker 3
So I love that example of a boundary in marriage and how we can operate from a place of that.
0:21:58 – Speaker 1
0:21:59 – Speaker 3
Yeah, Yeah. I think another one is too. Like you know, you can, don’t manipulate in your love. you know what I mean. Like don’t use the things from the past to manipulate your spouse. Yeah, absolutely.
Because that is like a big red flag. Absolutely, And I think we need to be careful with that. A marriage is a safe place, a vulnerable place, where we’re able to say the baggage very openly and honestly, And so we don’t use that in arguments against each other. That’s a very unhealthy place And if you’re doing that, apologize and create that boundary right now And say you know what, in our relationship going forward, we’ve messed this up. We both are guilty. From now on, I’m not going to hold your baggage over your head when we’re fighting. Don’t use it as ammunition Yes, Ever.
I think that is a super healthy boundary to have in a marriage. But as we’re talking about this, I just can’t get past the thought of the bitterness You know when we’re not communicating in healthy ways. Because I look at this and I think, OK, Matthew 18, 15, and 17, this conflict resolution. He’s telling us how to handle this And to me I read this and I’m like he’s telling us to have open communication, Like that’s what he’s telling us. He’s telling us don’t sweep it under the rug, All the things that we’re about at.
nextTalk. This is what he’s saying, like bring it into the light and hold each other accountable. It doesn’t mean that you can’t have healthy boundaries, but I think what we cannot do and often we do is go to a place of bitterness. Why can’t this person just understand? Why can’t this person just get it together and meet my needs? Don’t they know I’m right? Don’t they know I need this or that? And we get so almost condescending, like how can they be so stupid? How could they have missed this? How could they not interpret that my dad left when I was three And so this is a trigger for me. How can they not get that? And we go into this really unhealthy place of bitterness and a spiral, an out of control spiral.
0:23:59 – Speaker 2
Well, god doesn’t call us to bitterness, he calls us to love. And so, as we’re processing how to have healthy boundaries, if we detect or feel or we just straight up know I’ve got bitterness in this relationship, god calls us to work through that and lay that down at His feet. Bitterness does not allow us to love people the way that He loves us.
0:24:20 – Speaker 3
I love Hebrews 12, 15. It says watch out and let no poisonous root of bitterness grow up to trouble you. Corrupting many. It will spiral into all your relationships. Ephesians 4.31 says get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. And I love how it follows up in the very next verse, in verse 32, where in Ephesians 4, it says instead of all that bitterness and rage, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God, through Christ, has forgiven you.
0:24:57 – Speaker 2
When we’re able to replace bitterness with forgiveness, it really is a release of us from those feelings. It allows us to love better. One of the best ways I’ve learned to let go of bitterness is to pray. God, give me eyes to see this person the way that you do. God, let me love this person through you And God give me special insight into their pain or experience that will help me to see them with compassion.
0:25:20 – Speaker 3
So, to summarize the show today, boundaries are healthy. Bitterness is not. God teaches us how to love others and deal with conflict, and bitterness is not biblical. Replace bitterness with forgiveness.
0:25:33 – Speaker 1
Thanks for joining us on nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim on AM630, the Word. You are not alone trying to figure out how to parent in this digital world. We are here with practical solutions to help you. Follow us on Facebook, instagram and Twitter. Find our video series and podcast at nexttalkorg. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
Transcribed by https://podium.page