Are you on the fuzzy line of consent? Not sure how to say no, afraid to speak up, wanting to please everyone? This indecisive moment doesn’t have to be so hard.
Recently I wrote about the Wheel of Consent, and it’s importance in each marriage. If you have not read that article or watched the video I posted last week. CLICK HERE
Today, I want to address a question that arises about the “Wheel of Consent”.
The fuzzy line of consent? What in the world? I’m not referring to a fuzzy blanket that your children might have, or a piece of fuzz stuck on your clothes.
I’m referring to that area that a lot of women I have known stuck. Should I say yes? Or should I say no? And the irritation begins, continues, bubbles, nags you all hours of the day and night…till you are completely frozen.
The scripture also has something to say about this from James 1:8. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. And while this penguin is kinda cute, the truth is remarkable. I can hardly tell whether he is coming or going.
Often the next (of many) thoughts are, “But they really need me!” “If I don’t help out, then no one else will, and nothing will get done”. “If everybody said no…then what?” (Sound familiar?). Ok, how about this one. “What if I say no, and this person won’t be my friend anymore?” *gulp*
Yeah. I just went THERE.
While this is harsh, it’s the truth. If you are only saying yes to a person to keep their friendship…then you are acting like a doormat. A victim. And it’s time to re-evaluate the friendship levels you have established.
www.Friends.com explains it like this: “Friendship for most people is a combination of affection, loyalty, love, respect, and trust. The general traits of a friendship include similar interests, mutual respect and an attachment to each other….True friendship is when someone knows you better than yourself and takes a position in your best interests in a crisis. Friendship goes beyond just sharing time together, and it is long lasting”
I love that definition. It really helps to encapsulate a sort-of nebulous idea. But notice, nothing in this definition has to do with forced servitude. It keeps going back to interest and respect. Mutual interest. Mutual respect. A 50:50 relationship. While I have no issues about helping out a friend in need, being there during hard times and joyful times…it is never demanded. Never insisted upon.
But it really boils down to my heart’s attitude. Am I so afraid of what my “friend” is thinking that I refuse to be who I really am? Do I believe that I am worthy of their love? ***really big gulp***
Stop. Right now. Pause. Reflect on that last statement. Take a huge deep breath, and let it out slowly. Maybe do it again.
Pray about it. Ask God to search your heart. And quietly…listen for that answer.
Yeah, I know. I’m sure that wasn’t fun, was it? But let me tell you a much-needed truth in your life. Whenever you are presented with a hard question like that. Don’t stop with what your feelings are telling you. Keep going.
My dear reader, let me tell you! Christ has the answer for this! If you are a child of God, remind yourself (you might want to kinda yell it, to really hear over the chatter of your head) that He loves you with an everlasting love. Jere 31:3 Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
Isa 41:9b-10 says, You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
You are worthy of Christ’s love. So worthy in fact, that as 1 John 3:1 states “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” Did you catch that? Yes, as believers in Christ we are His children!
While it is so easy to remember that God loves me (yes, I have been to Sunday school my entire life), but please, please get this. You are still worthy to be loved by others. (Of course, this is not a carte blanche permission to be mean, hateful, and cruel to others (duh!).). But it is a reminder that you too are able to be loved. If you do not have friends in your current circle who love you for who you are, then it is time to move on. Go find new friends. Befriend others who are wanting that closeness, that mutual respect, that kindness. Is there someone in your church, mom’s group, kids’ softball team that is left out as well? It probably isn’t someone in a popular clique. But go to them and start a new friendship. Show yourself friendly, be genuine, be honest. And start out this friendship on the right level.
So next time, when you’re asked to bake that extra dozen brownies for the event, no more will you be on the fuzzy line of consent. Nor will you be on the shadow end. You’ll be happily tucked INSIDE the wheel of consent.