Abusers will ALWAYS chafe at boundaries. They may abide by those limits for a time, but only because they have no choice. And the first time they see some kind of opening that, in their thinking, justifies them crossing the line, off they go.
Here is a narrative from the Old Testament which illustrates this. The story is about how King Solomon set boundaries on Shimei. Shimei was a man from the house of Saul who had repeatedly cursed (verbally abused) and thrown stones at King David when David was fleeing Jerusalem after Absalom’s mutiny (2 Samuel 16:5-8).
We’ll pick up the story from where Solomon, David’s son, has been made king. Solomon knew how Shimei had cursed and abused King David, and he set very clear boundaries on Shimei’s conduct. The boundaries Solomon set were merciful and generous: they would have allowed Shimei to live and prosper, so long as he kept within the…
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