When I first heard of the Wheel of Consent, I almost laughed. What in the world does a married, monogamous, faithful Christian woman need to know about consent???? I quickly learned, a lot. A whole lot.
While the Wheel of Consent is often used in regards to touch from others, in all reality it can be used in every decision in life that we make.
Are you a person who is asked to help out? Are you asked to bake another batch of brownies for the school’s bake sale? Substitute nursery worker, last minute friend who gets to babysit, Sunday school teacher, Vacation Bible School worker, custodian, Late-stay mom at school, Concession worker at your child’s baseball game?
If any of these titles apply to you…then yep. You need the wheel of consent.
***Note: I recommend starting at the one minute mark to avoid certain pictures.
So often it is so easy to say yes to our friends. Why not? It’s scriptural and we are commanded to love our neighbors. Christ washed the feet of the disciples, so surely (you may be thinking), I can help out here. It’s just a pan of brownies. What does it matter???
It actually matters a lot. Now before you jump on the bandwagon of saying that I’m against serving other people…I’m not. What matters is “why” I am saying yes. And will this yes, hurt me, or force me to say No to something even better.
I love how the presenter showed the wheel of consent and the 4 quadrants. Once you view the video the inside & outside are very explanatory. But I want to focus on the outside of the wheel of consent. What is called the “shadow of Consent”.
Obviously, the people who only receive and take, we can easily see that these are bad. I doubt any of my readers would disagree with me. However, how easily can you put your life right now into the excessive Giver or Allowed category?
While not many people would outrightly admit they would call themselves a martyr or do-gooder, a doormat or victim…their life and actions would completely show a different response.
So I ask you. Pause for a moment. Think about the last time you consented to do a task. Was it something you should have taken on. Was this the right task for you. Or did you consent because you weren’t brave enough to say no? Then while you were doing it, was it enjoyable? Did it seem right? Or was the task you did a wretched chore and you hated it. But it was not just the task you hated, you probably felt miserable the entire time you did the task.
What can be done? How can you stay within the “Wheel of Consent”? My best advice is this. Realize that “No” is an acceptable response. No, thank you works just as well.
That’s it. Notice I did not give an explanation, 5 million reasons, 17 apologies, and a promise to help out next time. It simply is a “No”. I do realize, humorously, that it is so easy to write this…but to put it into action takes guts.
And that is my challenge to you, my dear reader. Look at your recent choices. Where are you on the wheel of consent? Are you INSIDE the wheel, happily giving and receiving? Are you sensing the Lord’s direction as you make choices to give to others? Or are you OUTSIDE the wheel and slowly turning yourself into a miserable martyr?
Or are you on the fuzzy line? Not sure how to say no, afraid to speak up, wanting to please?
Sound off in the comments, and let me know what is happening in your life! And if you’re ready for the final part of this series, click here