Hope you all have had a wonderful week so far! I thank you for joining me for another edition of "Michell's Weekly Pearl"! If this is your first time visiting, let me tell you a little about this series. This is where you can ask me anything on marriage, women's issues, family matters, relationships, parenting, homemaking, or life in general. If you want an honest, biblically based, to the point answer; email me your questions via firstname.lastname@example.org (please put "MWP" in the subject area). I'll post your question, along with my answer, anonymously. Easy as that! I'll also delete your email once I've transferred your question. To read all the questions and answers in this series, you can do so (HERE).
Hi Michele! Thanks for taking my question. My sister and her husband are constantly asking my husband and I for help. I’m not talking about any kind of help, but financial help. My brother-in-law doesn't work a job and is constantly trying out new ventures, I feel at our expense, while my sister is supporting him. Not that I don’t want her to support him, but she’s supporting him emotionally, while we’re supporting
them him financially. Not that we're in the poor house, but we do have children of our own and we just don't want to keep supporting grown-ups! We never ask for it back and they never offer to pay it back either. My sister is a sweet
person and I don’t want to hurt her feelings, but we can’t continue to be their
bank. How do I sweetly and gently tell my sister that we can’t do it anymore,
without hurting her feelings?
"I can only imagine what an awkward position you must be in. I’m not sure if your sister is being super sweet to you and your husband because she knows that what her and her husband are doing is wrong. I say that, because sometimes the people who are closest to us know how to pull on our heart strings. You didn’t mention how your husband feels about it, but I’m pretty sure he’s not a happy camper. I’ve got a feeling that’s why you’re asking the question! :-) But, if he hasn’t voiced his opinion one way or the other, I can assure you he doesn’t like being put in that position one bit. My husband taught me and I always pass this bit of wisdom on...to always confront a situation before it gets out of hand. You never want to get to the point where your heart is hardened towards someone(especially loved ones), because anger, disdain and bitterness have set in. I suggest you and your husband sit down and have your game plan together, because with most family members and friends for that matter(when confronted), put up a BIG wall of defense and lay on the guilt trip! Be prepared, but don’t back down!! I’m pretty sure they already know that what they’re doing is not right, like most people, they’re gonna milk that cow for as long as they can! When you confront a situation before it gets out of hand, you’re more likely to do it in LOVE. Remember, there’s never a need to attack anyone when you’re trying to make a point either, that way they’re more apt to receive what you’re saying and to be quite honest, they won’t be able to accuse you of anything, but telling them the truth. You leave the situation knowing that you’ve done what you were suppose to and you’ll more likely stick to your guns. To be quite frankly all you and your husband are doing is enabling your brother-in-law. If he knows you're always going to be there, then why should he get a job? Don't get me wrong, there will be times when we help out those we love, BUT there is a fine line between being a blessing and being used. Guess what, the Holy Spirit will ALWAYS let us know which one we're dealing with! If your sister and brother-in-law really look at the situation rationally, they already know what they’re doing is wrong. If they have any ounce of integrity, they’ll come back to you and thank you for telling them the truth in love. Hope that helps…will be praying for you and all involved. Have a wonderful weekend!" James 1:5, 1 Corinthians 16:14
Readers...have you ever found yourself enabling a family member or friend? If so, what did you do to stop it?
I’ve been married for over 24 years to my husband, a pastor. I’ve worked alongside him in ministry full-time for over 17 years. During that time, we've pioneered two ministries and I've established a women’s ministry(Women of Excellence). We have three adult children and a son-in-law. My areas of specialty are family, marriage and women’s issues. Hopefully the (Godly)wisdom I’ve learned through my years of experience will lead you to and keep you on the road to doing you well! As my husband always says...why spend your life going down a road you don't have to travel, when someone else has already learned the lesson and can show you how to avoid that path.
*Disclaimer*: I don't profess to be an expert, but what I have learned...I'm willing to share. With that being said...what I write on my blog is my opinion and advice. It is not my counsel. This also applies to anyone writing on this blog. If someone uses any advice, opinion or recommendation from this blog and is upset, angered, or harmed in any way, I am not to be held responsible or be held liable in any way. What I write on this blog is not to be taken as fact or absolute. My intention is to do no harm. The content in this blog is the opinion of this blogger and is not intended to disparage or malign anyone or anything that has the ability to be offended. I am not responsible, nor will I be held liable, for anything anyone says on this blog in the blog comments.
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