Years ago we met a young boy that wanted to demand his own way whenever he would visit our home.
The young man went directly to his mother to complain if my son wasn’t inclined to want to play with the boy outdoors.
I think the boy kicked our front door when he was not invited inside. The boy had not been invited inside probably because my son had homework or chores to get done. Whatever the reason was for the boy not being inside we did think it was quite odd for the young boy to kick our front door. We weren’t always ready to deal with the youngster. He quickly helped me know that it was probably best for him to stay at his own home if he didn’t know how to act right at other people’s homes.
I’m not sure he understood the rights of other people.
His family didn’t live next door to us for a long time. He was near us long enough for us to discover that he was not the only one in his family that was demanding. The boy tended to be rather rough at times. He wasn’t very kind to the animals at our home either. He also was not the only member of his family that tended to forget that other people have needs, too.
The boy’s mother came to my door one day to complain. Her main complaint that day was that her boy was not being invited to play with my son and my son’s other friend. The other two boys had grown tired of dealing with a demanding young boy that expected everyone to do what he wanted. My son and his other friend were also a bit older than the young boy that had a mother who was prepared to convince me that my son was apparently doing something wrong if we didn’t cater to her son. I listened to her complain and then she said my son and his other friend had offended her because they heard her get after them and all they said was, “Whatever.”
I recall looking at her and saying something about the fact that I was relieved that the boys had not said anything awful to her. She had been getting after the boys as if it that was okay.
It took me a long time to learn to stand up for my own rights and there were times when I still had to stand up for the rights of my children, too. I do not feel it’s right to defend children when they are doing something that is wrong but I feel it is right to stand up for them if someone else is trying to take advantage of them.
That neighbor woman must have had some sort of sense of entitlement. She acted as though she and her son were entitled to force their ugly spirited behavior upon us.
As Christians we are taught to love one another. Loving one another does not mean we have to let other people walk all over us as if we are doormats. When severe persecution hits us there is not much to do about it but deal with that with God’s grace but when you can peacefully get away from abusive people it’s normally good to get away from them.
My son and the friend he was used to spending time with were both willing to share kindness with the young boy that tried to constantly demand his own ways around them. They boys had tried to be kind but the boy that was abusive did not seem to ever understand that he needed to show some kindness to other people.
His mother admitted a number of times that her son had a problem dealing with other people. I had a deep desire to mind my own business and lead a quiet life and to somehow show those demanding neighbors kindness even if they didn’t seem to have the common knowledge needed to show us kindness. I didn’t feel led to go out of my way to bother them especially since the woman was a very busy woman. I had learned a decade before I met her that some parents expect other parents to become their child’s babysitter. I was not inclined to quickly start becoming a part-time parent to her child. God had given her children to tend to and I had my own children to care for. Some people get their kudos out of babysitting everyone else’s children. People that look for those free babysitters are usually neglecting their own responsibilities and I didn’t want any part of that. I’ve known of parents that will try to become a parent to other people’s children and they don’t always take good care of their own children.
My son stood at our basketball hoop letting that demanding boy play basketball with him one day. It seemed the boy was having a good day. I think everyone was getting along just fine then the young boy announced that he had been sent home from school because he had head lice. I asked his mother if her son’s statement was true. She confirmed that her son did have head lice and she had not taken the time to use the shampoo that eliminates head lice on her son yet. We were a bit surprised that she was allowing her son to go spend time with neighbors without making sure her son’s head was cleaned properly. Their lack of concern for the welfare of other people was clear.
Our family used to recall the day the neighbor woman seemed to think she had the right to control other children in the neighborhood. She apparently thought she had the right to scold children that didn’t play with her boy when he wanted to play. She was upset when other boys said the word, “Whatever” to her when she took it upon herself to scold them.
I look back at those events today and thank the good Lord that my son and his friend both knew that they didn’t have to accept the scolding she gave them. They knew they were not intentionally harming anyone else and they had the right to make the decision that they didn’t want to play with a young boy that acted aggressive toward them.
The demanding family was not completely unbearable to live around. I had some nice talks with the woman of the household. I sincerely desired to show her kindness even though she didn’t seem to understand the rights of others. She overstepped her bounds several times and her son did the same thing.
I prayed that somehow God would allow us to have a peaceful break if either one of us were to ever move from that area. They left the area before we did. I recall that God did answer the prayer for a sweet moment of peace before they moved. I think she was washing her auto one day when we happened to have time to chat. I don’t recall the exact words we used but somehow I knew we were not going to hold unforgiveness against one another for misunderstandings. My heart was overjoyed because I felt as though the good Lord answered the prayer for peace.
I had to ask the Lord if there is a reason I am to recall that story from long ago. Could there be a set of things for me to ponder on and write about those events?
My favorite part of the whole story used to be the joy I felt when I realized that my son and his friend didn’t say anything ugly to the woman that scolded them. We used to laugh a bit because it seemed so silly for her to complain that young boys said “whatever” to her when she had overstepped her bounds trying to get after them during her frustration. I truly was relieved that my son and his friend didn’t curse at her. The boys were respectful enough to refrain from cursing even though they were both old enough to have probably heard a few curse words at some time during their young lives. In my opinion they did the right thing. Sure they could have said nothing and walked away but then I wouldn’t have known that the woman had overstepped her bounds. I don’t know what she thought I was going to do about her complaints.
Tonight I’m thinking about some things I would like other people to do or to stop doing.
- I would like it if other people would stop operating with a sense of entitlement acting as if everyone else has to cater to their whims and wishes.
- I would like it if other people would stop demanding their own way.
- I would like it if some parents would stop expecting other people to take on the responsibility of training their children.
- I would like it if other parents would stop taking on another parent’s responsibilities.
- I would like it if other people would stop scolding children when they don’t have the right to do that & especially if they are selfishly just wanting the children to do exactly what they want done.
- I would like it if people would mind their own business more often.
- I would like it if people didn’t overstep their bounds.
Yeah, That’s just a few of the I would like it ifs I can think of when I think about what happened a couple of decades ago with those old neighbors. I could come up with some different I would like it ifs if I were to think of other neighbors I met before or after those people. I could also write some I sure did like its about a lot of other sweet kind neighbors I had.
The things I would like other people to do would be for them to do the exact opposite of what some of them have been doing.
I think we’ve had more happy experiences with neighbors than we have had bad times with some of them but some of the ones that were nasty were extra nasty. We knew of one entire family that wanted to rule the neighborhood. No matter how many people complained to the local police about the unruly neighbors and their children those really nasty neighbors kept doing their ugly things. The police would not stop them from trespassing on other people’s property. For some reason the local police favored the bad spirited neighbors and those destructive neighbors ruled everyone around them. The children were old enough to know better but since their parents were unruly the children just followed the example they had been given. While we lived in the neighborhood we found out that their adult child and their grandchildren all had the same bad behavior we were seeing.
What are Christian people supposed to do when they purchase a lovely home and discover their neighbors are not very kind? What if you sign a lease to live in a home for a year and you discover the neighbors are the absolute worst neighbors to have nearby?
There is one answer to those type of questions that always comes to my mind.
Jesus tells us that we are to pray for those that have harmed us and we are to bless them.
I don’t think that means we are always supposed to let people walk on us if we have a way to escape the harmful situations but I do believe it means we are to keep on praying for those people that do mean things.
I even think it’s perfectly fine to pray for a way of escape from the most trying situations. God tells us that he will not give us more than we can bear without providing a way of escape.
When my youngest son heard a young married woman talking about her abusive husband he said something to her that surprised the rest of the people in our little group.
The woman talked about how she hoped the abusive husband would just leave. She may have based that idea on the fact that some abusive spouses do leave their mates and because of the Scripture that says to let the unbeliever leave. I understood why she felt that way but I also felt my son had been given wisdom when he told her, “Some times you have to take the trash out.”
He had heard about people going through divorce before. He knew that God doesn’t like divorce but he also knew that there are laws that are made to help protect people that are involved in abusive marriages. For some people getting a divorce is a way of them taking the trash out.
I started off writing about a boy and his mother who had abusive tendencies. People that are abusive expect everyone else to cater to their wishes. They don’t care about other people’s needs. They only know what they want and they’ll try to force everyone else to give them what they want.
Some people that have those abusive tendencies gravitate toward people that will give them what they want. They may also be like that other abusive family that passed on their bad behavior from parent to child and to grandchild.
I have moments when I love to tell a friend about the need for us to have a proper balance in our lives.
In order to live a balanced life we may need to be prepared to pray asking God what he wants us to do when we are around destructive and abusive people. To try to live as if we always know exactly what to do in any given situation is not conducive with following the leading of God.
I’ve met some Christians who felt led to minister to people that were extremely mean. You can usually tell when someone is led to minister to people like that because the mean people end up turning their lives over to Jesus. Their entire lives change and they ask the people they have harmed to please forgive them.
I do believe there are times when we are to practice doing what we know is right even when those around us are not doing the right thing. That means not cursing at those who curse at you. It also means praying for those people that are very unkind. It does not mean you are meant to stay somewhere if things get out of control.
This is why learning about having balance in your life and learning to be led by God is so very important.
God can and does provide ways of escape for people who need an escape from bad people.
In the first situation with neighbors I wrote about how the Lord helped the neighbors move away from us. In the second situation I specifically asked the Lord to bless those mean neighbors with a lovely home with a larger piece of property and bonuses they may like but guess what happened? We found out that we were not going to quickly get any relief from those super mean spirited people as long as we lived in that home. We are the ones that moved. We are the ones that ended up getting a larger piece of property and a few bonuses that we like. Our goal had been to live in a small home in a quiet neighborhood but that neighborhood was not quiet with those nasty neighbors next door. We had been given a choice to stay where we were and live next to those mean people or we could move.
It really didn’t seem fair what happened but we moved and we have accepted it all. We will always hope and pray that we never end up with neighbors like that ever again.
The next thing we had to do was to start forgetting what lies behind us. Those evil acting people are no longer our neighbors. We have been able to enjoy walking on our own property and talking to new neighbors that treat us with great kindness ever since we left that other place.
We can’t control other people. We shouldn’t even try. We can tell people how we’d like them to act but most people aren’t looking for our idea of how we want them to live.
Some very evil people are so evil there is no sense in trying to confront them.
We are supposed to speak the truth in love. We are even supposed to try to work things out with people when it’s at all possible but some people are not peaceful people.
If you meet some very stubborn people you will usually find that they are not willing to change for anyone especially because they stubbornly refuse to admit that they have done something wrong.
There are some times when you may know greater joy and peace if you remain separated from certain people.
I have talked with several women that had to be separated from an abusive spouse, abusive friends, abusive parents, or even abusive siblings. It’s sad when you have to separate from people that you once thought you could trust but there are times when you must separate in order to have peace and joy in your life.
Some separations can become a form of deliverance.
I had some dreams that reminded me of some bad things a couple of people had done to me in my past. I called the dream a mini nightmare.
I wasn’t physically harmed in the most recent dream but I was angry at the person that harmed me. In that dream I spoke up and angrily told the person that what they did was very wrong.
Minutes later I saw a car I had owned in the past having it’s wheels taken off of it and I saw the auto having the driver’s door dismantled before my eyes. I was in the enemy’s territory. I recall stating a fact that I knew it wasn’t wise to visit areas where there is a high crime rate. I also realized that the enemy had enough control in his own territory that when he got angry he could call on his minions to dismantle my auto. I also think that old car being pulled apart represented what the enemy likes to do to people. The enemy wants to keep people from getting out of his control. The enemy wants to take the wheels off of your car so you can’t move forward. Yes, the enemy wants us to live in our past so we are trapped by the old memories and pain.
Thankfully everything in that mini nightmare was something from my past. I woke up and began to remember that I don’t need to confront the evil person who had harmed me. That person can’t hurt me any more.
The car from my past represented what my life was like when I was in the enemy’s territory. In reality I am not trapped there any longer. Spiritually I don’t have to return to that place either.
I have been delivered from the hand of the enemy. I’m free to learn lessons from the past but I can continue to put all of that behind me now.
The memory of what was done to me in my past sort of haunted me for a few days after I had that mini nightmare. I talked to a couple of Christian friends about the nightmare and kept it all in prayer.
I continued to ask the Lord what I could learn from that dream. I also asked him why he allowed me to remember something that upset me so much. I forgave anyone I knew of that had harmed me. I am asking God to forgive anyone responsible for sending trauma my way again even while I am typing this.
I’m asking God to reach those who have done wrong if they will receive his deliverance then I pray that God will help me keep moving forward putting all those past memories behind me once again.
That’s another form of being delivered or set free from the past. I don’t want in the camp of the enemy. I may have visited the enemy’s camp in my nightmare but it served to remind me that I am free now.
The enemy had me bound but Jesus set me free!
God set me free from people who wanted to harm me or my family. God helped me and he set my feet on good soil.
God provided a way of escape even though there were times when I wondered how I’d ever be free of it all.
What God has done for me he can do for you, too.