Recap:Pastor Shelby’s daughter has her first date. Elsewhere, cracks surface in Corletta’s marriage when it’s disclosed her husband lives 500 miles away, and Clarence attempts to reconcile his past.
Bishop Corletta and Dr. Gilbert Vaughan faced a struggle of long distance love. In order for their marriage to work they have to set boundaries. In fact, controlling spouses hear that they are hurting someone they love. They hear that things need to change, and change is difficult and often painful. These changes may involve several things:
• Allowing your spouse to say “no” to you.
• Submitting to God’s process of learning boundaries and self-control.
• Respecting the freedom of your spouse.
• Restraining the tendency to withdraw from your spouse, attack her, or make her feel guilty.
• Becoming aware of your helplessness to truly control anyone.
• Asking for your spouse’s feedback when you cross her boundaries.
These tasks are not pleasant, and they are a lot of work. So it is understandable that any spouse would experience receiving boundaries in marriage as unpleasant. Phil was just stating a fact: accepting boundaries hurts sometimes. It is realistic to identify pain as pain, even if it is growth-producing pain.
The painful discipline of boundaries will eventually bear good results in our lives. As God says inHebrews 12:11, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
And we believe that boundaries are the only way to keep love alive.
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