It is both scary and jaw-dropping to see how many Catholics today are completely oblivious to their own faith.
This is exactly what happens when you allow yourself to become a lukewarm and mentally lazy Catholic, who barely reads the Bible, has incredibly poor discernment, is spiritually deficient due to no reading and allow yourself and your morals to be corrupted and manipulated by others.
Many Catholics today will wilfully sin by justifying, arguing, defending and explaining away toxic, dysfunctional, heretical and sinful behaviour in themselves and in others.
One example is how many preach and buy into the JUDGE NOT fallacy in order to justify sin against God and their own destruction.
Another example is how some Catholics justify remaining in contact with toxic, dysfunctional or abusive people in their lives or families under the “Love everyone” fallacy.
I’m not entirely sure if they are simply ignorant or have been gaslighted so much by abusers who use this same line to justify their abuse that they fail to recognise what is Biblical and what is not.
Yes, the Bible does call us to love, but nowhere does it say we are to love others to the detriment of ourselves, our safety or sanity.
And when you remain involved with a person, family or not, who is toxic, dysfunctional or abusive, the result is always inevitable harm to you, your children and loved ones.
Some Catholics are so egotistical that they actually believe that their love will fix or save someone.
That blinding degree of grandiose thinking and Saviour complex is a mark of PRIDE – the Devil’s favourite sin.
You cannot love someone out of their dysfunction. Your love cannot and will not fix an addict or abuser.
Only God can do that.
Abusers and toxic people do not, I repeat DO NOT, respond to love, charity, or compassion.
However, they do respond to Boundaries and Consequences.
Yes, the Bible does call us to love, but nowhere does it say we are to love others to the detriment of ourselves, our safety or our sanity.
It is clearly stated in the Bible: THOU SHALT NOT TEMPT THE LORD, THY GOD.
Deliberately entering a lion’s den is foolish and is tempting the Lord, thy God.
Wilfully standing in the middle of a busy motorway is foolish and is tempting the Lord, thy God.
Choosing to have a sleepover alone with your boyfriend, under the guise of “love”, is foolish and is tempting the Lord, thy God.
Hitchhiking a ride from a known psychopath, serial killer or serial rapist is foolish and is tempting the Lord, thy God.
In short, deliberately putting yourself in harms’ way, including spending time with toxic, dysfunctional or abusive people is foolish and IS tempting the Lord, thy God.
Severing ties with toxic, abusive people or estrangement from a dysfunctional family is never an easy decision to make, but you have the right to do whatever you need to do to keep yourself safe and sane.
Yes, you can still love them and pray for them, but from afar and from behind a closed door that you nail shut.
Another part of Scripture that pathological, toxic, abusive and dysfunctional people just love to throw out is “HONOUR THY FATHER AND MOTHER.”, used to gaslight their victims into remaining “loyal” to abusive, pathological parents.
Seriously?? Like, seriously??!!
You SERIOUSLY think honouring thy father and mother takes precedence over obeying God?!!
The first commandment “Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me.” clearly states that God takes precedence…..over everything…..over EVERYONE.
So if honouring your father and mother entails anything that violates God’s teaching on life and your personhood, who takes priority: God? Or your parents?
As a TCF reader said: “Loving others as you love yourself DOES actually mean not enabling others to abuse you.” and she is right.
Maintaining strong and healthy boundaries, and refusing to be abused is indeed a Work of Charity because it not only lets people know what is acceptable and non-acceptable behaviour, it also lets them know that you value yourself as the child of God that you are.
In addition, it teaches them to treat others as valuable creations of God.
You see, when you allow toxic or dysfunctional people to abuse you, disrespect you, invalidate you and trample over your boundaries, you teach them that they can do these things with no consequences and then they will not only go on and do the same to other innocent people, but they will increase the intensity of their abuse…..even up to and including murder.
Now, you have the blood of others on your hands because you chose to allow the perp to abuse you in the name of being loving and charitable.
Toxic and abusive parents use the line “Honour thy father and mother” to justify their abuse of you, but they very conveniently leave out the very next line that says “Parents, do not provoke thy children to anger.”
See what I mean?
We cannot be lukewarm Christians. A lukewarm person is spat out of God’s mouth – He said so Himself.
Being ignorant of Scripture and having poor discernment will leave you open to predators, abusers and toxic people who will twist Scripture against you to make you sin.
Satan did the same thing to Christ in the desert, but Christ was discerning and He knew Scripture to counteract Satan’s ploy to make Him sin against the Father.
Toxic, dysfunctional and pathological people do not change.
They only get worse with age and with time, and abuse always escalates over time.
They are a bottomless pit. The more you enable and give in to them, the more abusive and pathological they become. In essence, you are helping them to sin more.
The best thing you can do for them is to go No Contact, but continue to love and pray for them, from afar.
Boundaries exist for a reason and they are essential.
It is okay for you to do whatever you need to do to stay SAFE and SANE – physically, mentally, psychologically and emotionally.
STRESS DOES KILL.
It raises the cortisol levels in the body, resulting in reduced immune function, increased inflammation and increased susceptibility to heart attacks, stroke, depression, fibromyalgia, PTSD and even cancer.
During the holidays, toxic and abusive people or exes tend to resurface – just like a Thriller video.
These pathological people make it their mission to drag people down into their den of dysfunction, and they will abuse, demean, and invalidate you over this period.
If it seems like they take some sadistic delight in ruining the holidays or special occasions, it is because you are right – they do!
However, you do not have to spend the holidays with toxic people, even if they are family.
No Contact is the best way and if for some reason, you are not able to go No Contact right now, then at least, maintain very strong boundaries.
God expects us to be harmless as doves, but wise as serpents.
So, be wise!
Be discerning, hold your boundaries and remove yourself from harmful or stressful situations.
Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.
ad Jesum per Mariam
8 thoughts on “Biblical Basis For Having Healthy Boundaries”
Thank you for this. My husband, children, and I have been No Contact with my abusive family and my in-laws as well for a few years. My husband maintains extremely minimal contact with his parents, but they hear nothing about the children and myself. Even that tenuous connection is close to severed. This is the result of repeated and unrelenting abusive behavior for many years. Trying to work things out has only ever made things worse.
I was feeling another wave of guilt and self-doubt after a homily on forgiveness… The priest particularly called out relationships where people refuse to speak to one another. Should I try again? Give them another chance? Am I refusing to forgive and sinning against charity, by not “bearing with one another?”
If I look at it objectively there has never been any indication that they accept their part of problems and show no insight into what they’ve done or how to come back from this, despite being told. All indications are they would merely continue the abuse, now justified because the prodigal (me) returned. I have no doubt about my family of origin, because they have shown themselves to be truly dangerous to my children. The self-doubt is harder with my in-laws because they “aren’t as bad” (admittedly a ridiculously low bar), and because it’s both families. It’s also very hard to explain to others, as there was no BIG BAD INCIDENT as there was with my family. From the outside it looks like the common factor is me. Not that I go around explaining this to really anybody, but it’s there. My children have absolutely no extended family in their life, because all the aunts and uncles and cousins on both sides have decided to give up on us rather than face the truth of the family dysfunction.
I also recently had a baby, and none of the family is to know. That just plain stinks. Family estrangement is more common than most people realize, and it’s not all down to politics and petty arguments. I wish more priests had an awareness of this. Being told to forgive and reconcile when it’s just not possible or even dangerous is a very lonely and painful kind of suffering.
Sending prayers and gentle hugs
Please pray for me. I need to leave my husband. He calls me garbage, trash, c***, a parasite or some other equally degrading thing every day in front of our infant. He was violent once but hasn’t been again since he went to jail for it.
The priest who married us said as long as I am safe I have to stay. But this is driving me to wishing I wasn’t alive and panicking every day about our child’s future and if they are impacted by his words. I live in fear every day that the neighbors will call the police (he yells a lot and does so very loudly, and it makes the baby cry) and that they will take my baby.
My family wants me to stay with him and think if I treated him more like Jesus, he would treat me better. I do have faults. I have said awful things to him. I do sometimes wonder if I deserve this. I want so badly for us to work out and I’ve prayed novena after novena for signs on what to do. Please pray for me and my family.
I think I would discuss this with a different priest!
I was married to a sometimes physical, always emotionally abusive man for 6 years.
First off let me say no one deserves abuse…no one. If you have been the perpetrator apologize for your actions forgive yourself and move past that.
Have you tried counseling with your spouse?
My ex-husband refused counseling, drank, took recreational drugs and had numerous relations outside of the marriage.
My priest told me it was not a sin for me to do what I needed to do to protect myself emotionally and physically.
I will pray for you.
This love everybody fallacy has literally destroyed half of my life. I was told that it was “not very charitable/christ like” to refuse to engage with sociopath, effeminate and abusers because I didnt want to be exploited. I was told that if I want to be like Christ I should accepted to take the burdens of others just as He did. I have believe this for many years, became slave of everybody, I can still remember people smirking down on me while telling me “I’m just not charitable”. It is dangerous especially for catholic girls who because of this love everybody nonsens are really conditioned to become perfect prey for abusers. I suffer really badly from self loading and self hatred now and I am constabtly not sure about my conduct. I examine myself like crazy because of many years I spent minding every step I did in order not to cause other people to scream at me, insult me, cross every bondary or even hit me. There are times I feel absolutelly worthless and without any will to live. I have ben destroyed in my teenage years by this narcissists and I beg parents who are reading this: do not put your children to public schools or scouting, do not put your young daughters to places where they are going to be on the mercy of narcissists and men who watch porn. They will destroy your daughters, they will end up wretched and full of self hatred.
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Thank you! The devil still whispers to me, that I should have been the good wife and stayed in my marriage with a husband that continued to be the bully he had been since childhood. It was manipulation, and coercion from day one of a marriage that had me close to suicide more that once. The short courtship of 4 months with me 17 and winding up pregnant, and him in my parents living room telling them that if they didn’t go along with a wedding it didn’t matter because I would soon be 18 and we’d get married anyway. After 4 children in 4 years I definitely felt trapped.
There is too much to get into with this reply, so I’ll leave it there. I stayed with him until the children were out of college. I had reached an age where just what you talk about was starting to happen to me, health wise. If I hadn’t been the type to always exercise, eat fairly healthy, and pray a lot I’m sure things would have been worse for my health. Yes, stress kills.
I’ve been remarried, after annulments, for 12 years, yet the scriptures about marriage being for life still sting. Then I’ll read or hear a homily online from a TCM priest, speaking on marriage that says I’m living in an adulterous marriage. There starts all of the turmoil again. Even after many years of confessions, daily mass, repentance, and working on reparation for past sins. UGH!
One of my daily prayers is that I’ll live long enough, so as to continue the things I do in the form of reparation, that I won’t have to spend too much time in purgatory. Plus I’ve got children, and grandchildren that need my prayers, as they are all suffering from the generational sins. That is very hard to watch. I question if it would have been better to have left him when the children were young, but knowing him things would have definitely been even worse.
Anyway, thank you for sharing on this subject. We lived in a messed up world, and I’ll admit that I’ve bought into the lies more than once in my life. Heaven help me, never again.
May your work produce good fruit, especially for the young women.
Bless you Paige!
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Paige, thank you for your wisdom, truly a gift from God.
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I am merely God’s mouthpiece. Thank YOU for stopping by and I am glad you find the article informative.