Relational access – conditional

By Dave Henning / April 16, 2023

“Love can be unconditional, but relational access should never be.”- Lysa TerKeurst

“Above all else, guard your heart; for everything you do flows from it.”- Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)

“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solutions, I would spend the first fifty-five minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”- attributed to Albert Einstein

In Chapter 2 (“Naming the Tension That We’ve All Been Wrestling With”) of Good Boundaries and Goodbyes, Lysa TerKeurst talks about walking in the sand on the beach.  Because she finds that experience soothing.  But she steps on a sand spur, the sting momentarily disrupts the beauty of the beach.  As a result, Lysa proceeds with caution for the next few steps.

However, if Lysa found the sand filled with spurs, she’d laser-focus on avoiding the hurt.  So even if that sand looked promising, it’s reasonable to adopt more realistic expectations.

Consequently, we must guard our hearts in relationships.  Most significantly, Lysa notes milmar, the Hebrew word for ‘guard’, communicates an active nature as to how someone should guard.  Hence, guarding is not passive, but active.  Therefore, Lysa counsels:

“We aren’t trying to protect ourselves from love.  If we love, we will risk being hurt.  But we are trying to protect ourselves for love.  We don’t want to get so consumed with the pain and chaos of unhealthy relationship patterns that we become a carrier of human hurt rather than a conduit of God’s love.”

In conclusion, the author stresses, Adam and Eve experienced separation from God when they sinned in the Garden of Eden.  Before their sin, they started out with a lot of access to God – with only one boundary.  Yet, even though access changed, God’s unconditional love remained intact.

Today’s question: Do you find it hard to limit relational access?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: the April Short Meditation, “Christ will hold me fast”

About the author

Dave Henning

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