Are you in a toxic relationship? Is it them, you, or both of you that are making it toxic? Is it time to move on or try harder?
Over the years, I have had the opportunity for and been involved with way too many toxic relationships. Examples include cheating boyfriends, drug abusing/mooching user "friends", controlling family members, and entitled "fellow" Christians. Finally, The Lord has been able to get through to me that He doesn't want me to be involved with certain people no matter who they are.
What really got me more seriously understanding toxic relationships kinda began with a particular woman. Our daughters were in Pre-K together at a church. At the time, I didn't go to the church but she did. This lady would come up to me and say stuff like, "I don't know why but I really feel drawn to you", etc. I didn't like her at all but thought maybe I was just being judgmental and rejecting her because I could discern that she had a strong spirit of Rejection. Regularly when she would come near me for the next 3 years, my gut would get a strong knot feeling in it. I just figured it was that Rejection trying get me to not want to be around her. So, I tried my best to love her, accept her, encourage her, and befriend her. It was really hard at times. I did start attending that church and began to get sweet favor from the leaders of the church and school. I began to realize that this woman had serious issues when she thought that something was wrong with "our relationship" when she thought I had to be in perfect agreement with everything she said or else there was unholy disunity among the brethren kinda of thing. In other words, I wasn't allowed to have my own opinion and she wanted to control me. She began to try to compete strongly, against me. I didn't bite on that because I recognize that there is room for everyone to do what The Lord has for them to do. She began to follow me around the school, try to read my lips as I talked to people across the room, and tried to steal one of my friends. She also began to try to race me as we would leave the school in the afternoon after picking up our kids. If I got out first, she would race in a way that reminded "like a bat out of Hell" to get in front of me. I didn't care if she got in front of me though because, again, in my mind there was no competition. Then instead of racing past me, she began to follow behind me to see where I was going after school. One day, when I took my daughter to the chiropractor, she came in there with her daughter and stood in the doorway of the adjustment room, while my daughter was getting adjusted. She would do weird stuff like that. Then one day, my pastor started acting weird towards me. He was looking at me like "I know what you have been up to" kind of thing. I asked The Lord what his problem was and He told me that she had went to my pastor and lied about me and my pastor believed her. My conversation with him didn't go well because she had him snowed. She accusingly said I sense anger when I am around you. I said, "Yeah, I am angry with you." She said,"Why?" I said," Because you lied to my pastor about me." She said," I know." Like yeah, what of it. I was so surprised that she admitted she lied to me because liars usually don't seem to admit they lied. Anyway, blah, blah, blah. I took a stand against her and told her that I didn't want anything to do with her anymore. And The Lord told me "That dog bites" about her. He said the knot in my gut was Him telling me that I shouldn't be involved with her. Then I started the process of learning that just because I am a Christian and just because I know someone or am related to them, doesn't me that they are healthy for me and that I am healthy for them, or that I have to give them a chance for a relationship. If you are already smart enough to know that, amen!! :D
This process has taken years for me to go through and has destroyed lots of paradigms. Lots of people have had issues with me as I have listened to The Lord on moving out of relationships that were toxic. I have had people try to manipulate and control me into unholy reconciliations. I have had people try to ruin my reputation in this process. Wow! I never realized how many people think they are entitled to a relationship with certain people. And I have tried to move out of these relationships gracefully but sometimes the Controllers have gone into over-time.
My point is that if someone is treating you wrong, it's okay to forgive them and release them to The Lord for Him to deal with them as He sees fit but that doesn't mean that we have to endure their abuse and nastiness. Sometimes He does call us to press through and endure in a relationship and the results can be absolutely beautiful but other times, He says,"Free yourself from this relationship Hell hole". It's okay to move on. And you know, maybe one day things will be different but as for today, I choose peace, freedom, and healthy relationships. And just because I am a Christian doesn't mean I have to put up with people's abuse.
Also, since then there have been a couple of people who have wanted to move on from a relationship with me. Even if I feel they have been listening to deceivers, I have respected that because they have free will and I will trust The Lord to work out anything that needs to be dealt with. I have also learned that when people are determined to believe garbage about you, you can try as hard as you want but mostly you have to let The Lord deal with them. He is the heart changer.
a•buse (ə-byo͞ozˈ)The American Heritage® Dictionary
v. To use wrongly or improperly; misuse: abuse alcohol; abuse a privilege.
v. To hurt or injure by maltreatment; ill-use.
v. To force sexual activity on; rape or molest.
Lots of people have the wrong idea about abusive relationships. The Lord has been teaching me about them. There are physical, sexual, emotional, and verbal abusive relationships but there is also abuse of trust, spiritual abuse, and controlling relationships which abuse your personal will and freedom. "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."-John 15:13 This is about about a person laying down their desires/life not their desires/life being taken away from them by a Controller or Manipulator.
So, is there a relationship that you are not supposed to be in that you need to break?
Is there a relationship that you need to heal?
Is there a relationship that you need pray for and press through for?
The Lord has the answers. He can give you courage, encouragement, and strength to endure or to move on. Don't waste your time on the wrong people. And if it's the right person, is it the right time to be involved with them? Do you need to heal? Are you the abuser? I have been that, too. Do you need to get your heart right so that you can truly show the love you feel? You too can heal. I don't deserve the good people that I have in my life and they have definitely pressed through for me as I have gotten lots of counseling, healing, and deliverance over the years.
Some good resources for healing, counseling, and deliverance are:
These are all good ministries that help people get free. And they do work, if you allow them to. Also, they have resources that you can buy, too. Freedom for you, and much grace in your healthy relationships!! Today is a new day! It's time to SHINE! :D