“Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
There are many applications of this truth that Jesus taught us. Some us it to teach about the New Covenant that Jesus was establishing. To some it speaks of the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Grant me a small favor and listen to another possible interpretation.
One friend of mine was having marital problems. Her husband was cheating on her. As we walked along the road, talking about the problem, she burst out with this: “But I keep praying that I’ll be able to trust him. If I’m a good wife, I should be able to trust him no matter what!”
There was nothing in her statement that I could agree with. Her husband had broken his trust with her. He had become untrustworthy—unreliable. She was under no obligation to trust him. Pray for him, yes, Love him, yes. Trust him, no.
You may feel obligated to continue to hand over some part of yourself to your former abuser, especially if that abuser was a family member. You may feel compelled to visit, to let your daughters visit and maybe even be alone with this abuser, to give personal information about your heart and your deep thoughts to this person. But let’s face it. There are some people who are not safe for you anymore. You are pouring yourself into them in some way—or worse, pouring your daughters into them—and they are not safe. If they are unrepentant, they will expect you to still give them something, and you can feel the uncleanness on them.
If a relative continues to be your offender’s good-will ambassador, and you know deep in your heart that the offender hasn’t truly repented or that he is minimizing hs sin or the effects of his sin upon you, don’t listen to the ambassador. The ambassador is trying to tie you up with a person who is no longer safe for you, your daughters, or your granddaughters. Protect them as you wanted to be protected. Step into the yoke with Jesus and work with Him to protect them.
You owe the offender prayer, blessing, love, and forgiveness—but you do not have to trust him with any part of your life. He has proven himself unable to be trusted, especially if he is unrepentant, minimizes his sin, or tries to defend himself.
One day my children and I were reading the above passage of Scripture, and I asked them what they thought Jesus was saying. My fourth-grade son piped up and said, “Don’t trust someone or something that isn’t worth it, especially if the thing you have to trust them for is big.” I almost fell off my chair.
Do you feel compelled to give something of yours that doesn’t belong to him or her? Consider the value of what you are pouring out and consider the reliability of the person. Pray over the situation. If this person is a parent, God will show you how to honor and love from afar. If not, consider the fact that swine cannot appreciate your pearls or that old, devastating relationships are not to be trusted with your new heart or your daughter’s heart.
This a page from the book When God Roared. Each page will be published, one per day, on this website. We pray that God uses it mightily in your life to swaddle you in His love and heal your precious heart.