When is enough - really enough?

by LeeAnna
(North Carolina)

Hi Shelley! I am 27 years old and have been going through a separation and divorce for the past almost two years. I had to move back home with my folks, which was really great at first. When I first moved back home I did not have a job so they carried me financially.

Now I have a great job and I feel like my family is just interested in my paycheck. 3 days after I get my paycheck they (my mom and brother in particular) start asking me to do them favors with my next paycheck. I don't mind helping out but I lived on my own for six years and I want to get to the point where I can live on my own but I can't seem to get any money saved up because I am always bailing them out.

The reason I desperately feel the need to move out is because I don't have any privacy. Anytime I sit down to read the Bible or watch a sermon on TV my name gets called by my mom; when I feel the need to really turn up the music and worship she finds a chore for me to do or they are in bed or taking a nap or watching TV. I know the Bible says to honor and obey your parents but I feel stuck in a rut, like I'm not growing spiritually...when are you allowed to draw the line and be firm with them?

I can't lie if they ask me if I can "let them borrow" or "if I can pay" because if I have money in my savings and they need and I don't help...isn't that wrong?

I have tried talking and explaining how I feel, but mom always blows things out of proportion and tries to turn it into a fight...HELP! I'M REALLY STARTING TO REGRET I EVER MADE THE CHOICE TO MOVE IN WITH THEM INSTEAD OF STRUGGLING ON MY OWN....

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Learning to have proper boundaries
by: Shelley

Thank you for sharing! I want you to know that I prayed for you today.

I wish there was an easy answer and solution to your dilemma, but there's not. However, you are not without help. James 1:5 says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." Ultimately you will need to seek God's wisdom on this matter and what to do.

However, I do think that in any relationship there are healthy and unhealthy boundaries. Sometimes we can allow people to take advantage of us or end up enabling their poor choices when we have unhealthy boundaries. I would recommend the book, "Boundaries" by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. It may give you some more insight into yourself, your family and ideas of how to best respond to them. I bet your local library has a copy or you could get a cheap copy at Ebay.

Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend @ Ebay

Keep us posted on how things go and how we can pray for you!!

Fixing our eyes on Jesus,

Wait on the Lord and Pray
by: Sarah

Hi LeeAnna,

Thank you for your sharing! Please allow me to share with you my feelings.

Firstly, I'm sorry to hear that you had to go through a separation and a divorce. I'm sure it must have been a trying time for you and your family. I thank God that your family has been a blessing and a safe haven for you, emotionally as well as financially. I also pray that God bring healing into your heart.

I'm glad that you have a great job now! Praise God!

I can understand why you say you would like to move out on your own. And I feel it is great that you want to find time to be quiet and alone with God, whether it is reading His Word or worshipping Him in songs. Definitely living with other people (even your spouse) is not easy, it takes patience, love and mercy. And this has to be given everyday. God says His mercies are new every morning. Everyday we need to "die" to ourselves, to constantly be aware of God's presence and His love, so that His love will overflow out of us and into all the relationships we have around us.

I know it's not easy to talk to your family members, but keep trying, and keep asking God to give you more patience. Maybe you can set aside some time, say maybe an hour a day, for your personal time with God, and tell your parents that it is very important to you and you hope they would respect your needs and feelings, and say that you hope that during this time they will try not to knock on your door or call you. It is also important to tell them when this time is, or discuss with them when is a good time that they will not come knocking or asking you for help. Or leave a note on your door to remind them that from what time to what time is your personal time with God.

It's not easy to maintain relationships, but God gave them to us for a reason. Perhaps God wants to use this time and this struggle for you so that you can learn to lean more on Him for strength and wisdom, and learn how to practice love and mercy and forgiveness in our relationships. Remember that love is a choice, it is not just a good feeling.

I would like you to know that I have prayed for you. I believe God will provide a way out for you, so continue to trust in Him and His ways, even if we do not understand them sometimes.

In Christ,

P/S: Please reply if you have more to share or comment on what I said, to clarify things or point out something wrong I said.

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