After publishing my blog “The Morning Glory Story” I heard back from several women who commented on their own Morning Glory stories. These are great stories and, much like parables, are aimed at sharing truth. I thought I’d share this one from Doris with you.
“I have lived here 33 years and we have never had any Morning Glory vines until last year. They started growing up one side of my fence. This just happened to be a time when my husband’s lies were exposed. Our marriage has taken a nose dive. This summer, God has overwhelmed me with His love. In the midst of all the craziness, struggling with fear… also the world…my own family, has stolen my voice. I want it back. My name means ‘gift.’ I want to use the gift(s) God has placed in me for His glory.
This is my fence. God has been so, so good to me!!”
Wow Doris, thanks for sharing both your story and photo with us. It’s such a powerful word picture. And by the way, what a beautiful meaning behind your name.
You are ‘a gift’ to us as well.
Doris’ story struck me in particular because the Morning Glories were covering her fence. When I saw the photo, the fence made me think of boundaries. So, I looked up the definition of ‘fence’ and it carries with it the idea of ‘defense,’ ‘protection,’ and ‘boundaries.’1
In my book, chapter 15, “No is a Complete Sentence,” I talk about the importance of boundaries in establishing sexual safety in our relationships.
“Bestselling authors Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend define boundaries as “personal property lines that promote love by protecting individuals.”2 Boundaries define who we are and what we are responsible for. There must be limitations and lines drawn between an unfaithful husband and a betrayed spouse. It’s what we ask them for to protect the fidelity of our relationship. Boundaries help us define what I can’t control and what choices I need to make. When sexual deception leaks through our walls, setting boundaries invites our spouse to look at what’s threatening the relationship and compromising our safety.” (Intimate Deception: Healing the Wounds of Sexual Betrayal, pgs. 222-223)
Establishing safety is so important and boundaries are the fences (purposeful protections) aimed at repairing trust.
When we confront these dark times and the sexual betrayals that greatly impact our families, we protect what matters to us – love, trust, and fidelity. Our boundaries are fences that keep us safe and can call the ones who are betraying us into responsibility and sexual sobriety.
Doris, you shared with us how the Morning Glories started growing 1 year ago, right after you discovered your husband’s lies and sexual betrayal. Take a look at how they’re blanketed over her fence. God is for us. As Jehovah Ezer (Defender), God ‘surrounds’ and ‘encircles’ our camps with love and protection. It takes tremendous courage to defend our families by standing up for what’s right. “When we defend what we love, it’s not out of obligation. Instinctively, as with a mother bear and her cubs, it’s innate to us. From our first breath to our last, we were made to rise up.” (Intimate Deception: Healing the Wounds of Sexual Betrayal, pg. 202)
Because setting boundaries for our specific situations can feel tricky and overwhelming; you can reach out to loving and supportive others who ‘get it’ and can assist you as you walk this out. For more support, check out my resource page under “Sexual Betrayal and Addiction Recovery.” https://drsherikeffer.wpengine.com/resources/
2 Henry Cloud and John Townsend, Boundaries in Marriage (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012), 10.
3 Thank you to Dottie who took the beautiful picture that captions this blog http://seasaltandsailorstripes.com/favorite-things-5/