Don’t Touch Me!
Years ago, we used to travel cross country for various speaking engagements. We would be on the road for weeks on end, so our little rat trap of a car with shag carpeting (what were we thinking?) would become home for our little family. Bethany and Jessica were both little and would spend hours in a very small back seat. There was no such thing as an Ipad or DVD player, so keeping little ones entertained for endless hours was always a challenge. While I did my best, it was inevitable that before long there would be a rumble in the backseat and my sweet little princesses would be shouting at each other, “Don’t touch me!” Someone had invaded someone’s space, and had crossed an invisible boundary line that had been set. That’s when my less than perfect parenting skills that had been tried time and time again in that rusty old car would rise to the fever pitch of “NOBODY TOUCH ANYBODY!” I have learned through the years there are so many better ways to handle conflict with your kids…but this story got me thinking.
Perhaps this is how we are living our lives? We are walking around with a “Don’t touch me” sign on our hearts. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe in healthy boundaries that we need to protect ourselves from needy people and I believe in being careful, but honestly, could we have gone too far? Have we been so good at protecting ourselves and fortifying our “space” that we have missed out on some sweet relationships God has set in our path? Could it be that we are making people that are in our world now pay for what someone else did in our past by keeping them at arms length?
A couple of weeks ago Lora, Taryn, Jill, Heather and I did a road trip to NYC. It was an incredible 3 days, a sweet little slice of heaven for all of us. We laughed, ate, shopped and talked for hours non-stop. To be honest, the depth of relationship that we all have now has taken time, intentionality and vulnerability. A risky willingness to let go of our fear, insecurities and to let someone else into our “space” has resulted in a rich gift that all of us treasure.
Jesus asks us to “love one another” but that means we have to be willing to let someone else into our space every day and as risky as it sounds, take off the safe“Don’t touch me” sign, the reward is so much greater.
That’s what I mean: Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag – Jesus (Luke 19:26)
Here’s the deal Beautiful: YOU have so much to add to the relationship. It’s really more about what you can give, than what you get out of it and in the process your world becomes larger. Our safety net is the unlimited love of God…trust in him and his love for you, and take the risks to be the love to the people in your world.
“…If God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. ” I John 4:11
All my love,
Have you been playing it too safe in your relationships? What are some risks you’ve taken in relationships that would be helpful for the rest of us?