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Mommy and the Joyful Three

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Erin James is the author of a mom blog on whattoexpect.com. She is a mother of three whose passion is helping other moms and dads with positive parenting.

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Dealing with Bullies, Young and Old


“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Even though Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is over, we must remember, each day of the year, how our actions and words may hurt others. We also must acknowledge how they hurt us.

More and more, I am recognizing the horrors of bullying, not only amongst children but between adults as well.

I have some friends who are my constant strength, good people who do the right thing and are there for the ones they love constantly. Contrarily, I have many times gotten wrapped up in unhealthy relationships.

Last week, my eight-year-old daughter broke down after school because a friend hurt her feelings. She was devastated and told me that she would give this girl everything of hers to make her like her. One of my good friends was with us when my we had this conversation, and she pointed out that my daughter is much like me.

Owning the pain of bad friendships has been my trouble for many years. When trying to explain why I give to people who hurt me, I always say we are blessed when we give to others. Though this is true, it’s important to guard your heart, family and continually work on relationships.

The reality is that giving should make you happy; true friends will not constantly hurt you. When you give to people who see your kindness as a weakness, you are bound to get hurt. I want to set a good example for my children and not show them that being hurt and walked all over is OK.

God does love a giving heart. It is something that we as Christians should have within us, but He also can be our counselor when we need guidance regarding a troubled friendship.

Sadly, some people who see a giving heart use that opportunity to their advantage. This manipulation is not of God; it’s destructive and brings disunity.

Freedom comes from God and allowing Him to guide through difficult situations.

It’s a mistake to open your heart to those you cannot trust. Devote your friendship to those who truly love you and to those God asks you to befriend. Don’t get caught befriending everyone just to be liked by all, like I’ve done. Be wise.

This year, I am claiming freedom from this. I pray that I will no longer waste my time being used by people who are not good for me. In turn, I hope my children see where their kindhearted efforts need to be focused.

Another wonderful quote mentioned to me by my friends’ was, “When you are between a rock and a hard place choose the rock.”

All of us know who the “rocks” are in our lives. These are ones who are always there even when we are down, the ones who expect nothing from you beside your friendship and love, the ones you can count on through tough times.

It really is a choice. God gives us ownership over our actions. If something does not feel right, that might be a check in your spirit. Evaluate your feelings when it comes to situations like this.

When it comes down to it, choose your children. Many times we are so focused on being Christ-like to others that we forget to nurture and impart wisdom to our kids.

Above all, choose God! He never forsakes you and He is the true rock. Every bit of good in your life comes from God.

Print      Email to a Friend    posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 2:00 PM

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