Sunday, March 9, 2014

Living a Childless Life - Dealing with Insults

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"That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong."  2 Corinthians 12:10
I have lived a "Childless" life not because that is what I desired, rather because it just happened that way.  I was married in my mid 20's and then every time we thought we were getting settled in - a crisis would arise: health issues including cancer and cardiac disorders, parents-in-law getting ill at the same time (one with cancer and the other with Alzheimer's), etc....and now I'm in my 40's.  I did NOT plan for all of this to happen - it just did. 

You see, God has been in control of my life all along! God knew that I would not have been able to handle taking care of children when my husband was going through chemo therapy.  And - God also knew that we would not have been able to move into my in-law's house to take care of them if we had had children.  God is in control and has a purpose for everything - even a "Childless Life."

This post is part 2 in a Series on "Living a Childless Life" and today we focus on "dealing with insults."  I don't know how long this series will be, but on the second Sunday of every month we will focus on another issue of "Living a Childless Life."


The following are just a few statements that others have said to me in the past:
- "Tic Toc Tic Toc - Your biological clock is ticking!"
- "Women belong in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant"
- (fingers snapping) "You better get a move-on if you want to keep up with my 'Mary';  she just found out that she's pregnant with her eighth child!!"
- "The highest position a woman can get to in heaven is to be eternally pregnant"
- "You don't understand what it's like to get up in the middle of the night with a sick child.  Our lives have gone in different directions and I don't think we can be friends anymore."


Five guidelines that will help when "dealing with insults":



1.  Interpretation vs Motivation - Give others the benefit of the doubt
"Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult"  Proverbs 9:7

There have been so many times in my life when what I say either comes out wrong or is interpreted wrongly.  Our interpretation of what others say can be just as damaging as a mean intentioned statement.  Don't just assume that what was said was meant to hurt you - give others the benefit of the doubt and believe that they meant you no harm.  Let the words of others roll off of you like water off of a duck's back.


2.  Respond don't React - Love your enemies
"A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult" Proverbs 12:16

Responding requires thought first whereas a reaction is immediate and can be harsh and nasty.  Jesus said that we are to love our enemies:  
"But I tell you:  Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,"  Matthew 5:44
Try inhaling and exhaling slowly before a "reaction" - this will give you time to think and hopefully change your reaction into a well thought out response.  Remember that we are only responsible for our own actions - what someone else says or does is their fault and is on their shoulders.

3.  Get rid of Gender & Religious Assumptions
These "assumptions" are really some of the most insulting.  Things like: "Women need to know their place and belong in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant."  OR  "God's only purpose for women is for them to bear children and populate the earth."  Nothing good can come from these types of beliefs - these statements are rude, arrogant, offensive and even abusive.  If your statement or your action doesn't glorify God then don't say it or don't do it.

4.  Judging Others + Getting Even =  Lost Relationships
"Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing."  1 Peter 3:9
I have never been "quick on my feet" with a witty response - hours later I always end up thinking "why didn't I say this or that."  However, when it comes to situations where I might "repay an insult with an insult" I am thankful that I'm not quick enough to "get even" with another insult.  At the beginning of this post I shared with you some of the insulting statements that have been said to me.  In the case of my "friend" who said that I didn't understand and that our lives had gone in different directions  - well, she is correct I didn't understand.  However, she also didn't understand what it was like to watch your spouse go through chemotherapy but I still wanted our friendship to continue and I still believe that we could have been there for each other, even with our differences.  Just like it says in Proverbs 17:17 "A friend loves at all times."
Relationships will be lost if you pass judgment and if you try to get even with that person.

5.  Always Forgive
"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you."  Colossians 3:13
Even if you find out that what someone did or said was intentionally insulting -  you still need to forgive them.  If they have not repented - forgive them.  If they continue to say or do horrible things - forgive them.  Now, I need to clarify - don't keep trying to make them like you - just forgive and be on your way.

I pray that you may receive freedom from any insulting word or action through the loving grace of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.


Other "Living a Childless Life" Posts:
Dealing with Jealousy
Dealing with Loneliness
Dealing with Regret
Dealing with Imagination
Dealing with Guilt










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10 comments:

  1. Wise words! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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  2. I guess people feel they have the right to invade your private life. I feel especially bad for a couple who really wants children and haven't been blessed with them. I faced plenty of rude comments for having six children. They are all loved, fed, clean, clothed and well cared for.

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    Replies
    1. I never thought of the other side of the issue - that one might receive insults about have many children. Thanks so much & God bless!

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  3. I too live a "childless" life, however I have never referred to it as that. It was not my plan, it is and always has been God's plan. I have children of the heart ~ nieces and nephews and friends children who I have seen grown and love very much. I also teach, having children to care for and nurture 5 days a week. Giving me the gift of time for just my husband and myself during the evenings and weekends.

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  4. This subject is pertinent for my family at this time. Daughter, married 12 years, has so far been unable to become a Mum - a lifelong ambition. So, she and her husband are well into the adoption process - and I'm praying hard that they will be successful in their application. As one who was adopted myself (albeit within the family), I am all in favour of this means of family membership. Ask for everyone's prayer for a successful outcome, please - as one is never sure, until the children are actually in the home.

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    Replies
    1. I will be praying for your daughter, your son-in-law & you!

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  5. I'm extremely confused by people and what they say. I just don't understand how they can let certain things come out of their mouths. So sorry that you've had to endure these types of comments :(. If you desire children, I hope you will someday be able to have them even if they aren't biological. Thanks for sharing this with us at Countdown in Style! Don't forget to stop by Friday to see if you are featured :)

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  6. Wow! Those are some extremely mean statements. I can't imagine being assaulted with that. I know I have a smart mouth and likely respond with a sassy response. I believe that motherhood is a blessing, but motherhood doesn't need to come from the children born from our body. I believe adoption, surrogacy, and even mothering the neighborhood children can bring you the same fulfillment, if that's what you wish. But by no means is motherhood necessary to be a woman or a woman of God. I have to deal with a difficult question when people ask me about my children, where one is in heaven. I hope you stay strong and I will be praying that only love and peace come upon you. Thank you for sharing with Countdown in Style.

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  7. Sometimes like happens like that there's nothing you can do...
    I went through five years of infertility and had my share of unsolicited advice and insults. I have a little boy now but there are no guarantees in life that I can have another, but we will see ...

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