Just now I received a text from a close friend. She is carrying her second one and is in her first trimester. She works full time and was just waiting for a break. Her parents and sister had come to see her this week and take her one year old back to their place to give her a break for a week or so..! I was like.. Wow..!! Never heard of something like this and I told her.. You are blessed!! Oh no.. I am not jealous of her.. She is too sweet to be jealous with 😉 yet not many could comprehend this struggle that a few face as their relationships with relatives and friends have been extraordinary beautiful and sacrificial like is so for my dear friend.
I believe the beginning of a manipulative relationship is selfishness. Seeking for something for yourself from someone in a subtle manner. Mostly sugar coated words yet with a completely different intention. Very often my husband and I sit and discuss matters aloud to find our motives behind an action. Just for instance, as we once even heard in the church that we should not be a benefactor to anyone, else the other person gets obliged to say ‘Yes’ to us for everything!! Sometimes in our zeal to do good to others especially those who have a smaller financial boundary than we do, we tend to do something great like a gift or a favour… Etc. It is good to sit back and judge ourselves and check our motives behind that. Like in our case – It was the Christmas season and we had a very little spare fund to do something for the season. Immediately I suggested we will get this and that for our helpers children and then my husband reminded me of something that I mentioned to him long ago.. Have we done this for our children first? Doing any good to others make us a benefactor especially when we do it openly.. If we are able to be a secret Santa Claus and hide behind the scene, It’s perfectly OK. Yet that’s not the case, we often like to buy things for others yet never think about our own kids….. Why? Because what profit or honour do we get when we do anything good within the four corners or our home!!! I remember Mercy my elder sister mention this to me once… Charity begins at home first! Calling others for a rich and tasty meal is excellent yet have we ever done that for our spouse and children. Going for a group trip to a park and zoo is excellent especially with many families.. It does build memories yet have we sought to do that for our little family first. If we haven’t been able to preach love to the littlest of little – our children, our family first… How can we do it for others? We are only seeking honour here. Do we get excited when children gather around us and ask us Aunty tell us story or Uncle testify yet we never had the time to read one story to our little one at home.. We are hypocrites!!! It was after the Lord confronted us on numerous occasions that we decided – we will not do anything for others or their children what we haven’t done for our children first. We visit people very often and never wish to go bare hand to their houses yet while we get some thing for them we first draw the boundary line and say..we will do it only if our children have experienced it from us.
It’s nice to be utterly ruthless when we are judging ourselves and our motives in trying to seek honour for ourselves. Rip open every layer of pride and self seeking and if and only if we see Christ in there in our action may we can go ahead.
Another criteria of a manipulative relationship is subtly being the decision maker for another family rather than making each man decide for himself. Why family..? Because each man is the head for his own family. My husband is the head of my family and he alone can make decisions for my home likewise he cannot make decision for anyone’s home! I have been very rude and straight forward to even my parents when they try to decide or push things too further for me. No… I am not saying this to disrespect them, the Truth is they hardly do or say anything interfering my family. I believe advice is something asked for.. If I have confidence in a person, I will come running and ask him/her for an advice and if I haven’t asked him/her – it’s best to understand the message that I do not have confidence in you. I truly respect my Mummy for all the hardship she had gone through in our childhood days. Without any helper, not even a washing machine.. No sink to wash the vessels (we had to bend our knees and wash the utensils in a small area near the tap at the ground level) Mummy successfully educated herself in finishing her degree and educated us all. She worked full time as a teacher and would rush back home to make fresh food for us daily. She would wake up by 3 to first study and then prepare breakfast and lunch boxes for us daily. She never atleast I never remember seeing Mummy going to the neighborhood house and sitting and gossiping.. Oh she didn’t have time for that..! She gave her all for her family! And today she is reaping great benefits from it. Having said all of this I still do not agree with many things she says and I do not implement it in my life because her boundary was for her family. Today I belong to another family. Likewise when it comes to decisions for the children, their schooling, their food and as insignificant as their clothes – we (husband and wife) decide, our parents already had their turn and opportunity.
When a husband and wife are in agreement with each other and they make decisions together, even if they slip, God is faithful and will bless them and turn it out for their good. We have witnessed that a numerous times in our lives. We just need to be sure that we are the one seeking to do God’s will in our lives.
Love doesn’t seek of it’s own. If someone tells us that they love us and yet their actions are all very self seeking, that love is not love at all and we needn’t fall for it. As I have mentioned again and again.. It’s safest and safest to fall into the hands of God as David also testifies than to fall into the hands of the enemies. Let’s walk by the light that the Lord has granted us and be faithful in that. Let us be cautious of all the manipulative relationships that comes in many forms and deprives us of walking one with our spouse.
I have experienced quite a few of manipulative relationships were words seem to be quite right yet motives utterly selfish. I had fallen for it thinking that was the way of brokenness and taking up my cross. It took me a while to realise that such relationships leave us scarred mentally and emotionally in a longer run and torment us and brings fear in our heart instead of faith and hope. We are not called to fight our battles ourselves yet we are called to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. We need not harm anyone by words in bringing down their honour or in action, yet we definitely need to be as wise as the serpent and be on our guard against such relationships..!