When our high school girls’ basketball team went to the state finals several years ago, we bought tickets from some fans of the losing team so we could sit closer to the floor for the evening game. When we arrived, someone else was sitting in our seats. We showed them our ticket stubs, proving the seats were ours and they moved to higher seating.
We allow people who are close to us to take a front row seat into our lives. We discuss personal things with them because they have earned that privilege. Occasionally, we will have individuals who expect front row seating in our lives. Yet, we see the need to put up some boundaries and quickly send them to the balcony of our lives.
For instance, I know a lady who feels the need to frequently tell me that I need to have more children. This woman has a proven reputation of being a busybody, so I quickly move her to balcony seating. The Word speaks against the behavior of being a busybody. (Second Thessalonians 3:11) I choose to stay away from her so that her bad company does not have a chance of corrupting my character. (First Corinthians 15:33)
I had a close friend who began to make foolish choices. After investing a lot of my time and energy on her, I saw she was choosing to continue in her foolish choices. After confronting her on the issues, I chose to move her to the balcony, for a companion of fools suffers harm. (Proverbs 13:20)
If you are trying to watch your words, you may find it necessary to move some people to the balcony in your own life. If we continue to hang out with those who are given to obscene language, foolish talking, and coarse joking, we will have a much harder time breaking that cycle in our own lives. (Proverbs 4:24; Ephesians 5:4)
Perhaps you have a friend who is constantly speaking negatively about her husband. It is so easy fall into the trap of adding your own negative thoughts. Yet, by doing so, you will find it difficult to respect your husband. (Ephesians 5:32) Rather than doing him good, you will likely resort to nagging. (Proverbs 19:13; 21:9, 19) It is time to move this person to the balcony so you can focus on developing the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. (First Peter 3:4)
Because I know several women who struggle with setting boundaries, I want to give one more example that may hit very close to home for many of you. Sometimes we need to move extended family members to the balcony. If we have extended family members who cannot respect the way we choose to raise our children, and they continually belittle us in front of our children, perhaps it’s time to move them to higher seating. I recently had to do this with a family member. It has been very hard because I thought I had a very close relationship with this person, and often shared very intimate details of my life with her. However, she made it quite clear several months ago how little she thinks of me. I was devastated by her behavior. I have had to do much praying to be able to handle this situation in a godly fashion, especially knowing that my young daughter is closely watching because she was there when all of this transpired. The result has been that I no longer make the weekly phone calls to her, nor will I visit her. However, when there is a need to inform her of something, such as an upcoming clogging performance for my daughter, I will tell her, but I choose to keep the conversation very short. When there are family get-togethers, I attend, and I will speak to her, but refrain from engaging in any in-depth conversation. I still treat her with respect, yet at the same time, I have moved her to balcony seating.
Do you need to move some people to the balcony in your own life?
© Stacy R. Miller