...neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. -Matthew 7:6b
We are made for relationships. The first human relationship was a marital relationship. God saw that "it is not good that man should be alone (Genesis 2:18)," and brought together the first man and wife.
It should come as no surprise that our hater and accuser, Satan, should seek, first and foremost, to destroy the bonds of love that bind our families together. To render us "alone."
Neither should we be amazed that his favorite tool is ourselves.
I have been blessed with a family (especially my immediate family) that has, almost without exception, expressed loving kindness and support. Certainly I have sinned more than been sinned against and can truly recall no offense given me.
It especially saddens me, then, to see families torn by bitterness, greed, selfishness and anger. It saddens me to see people pouring themselves out on behalf of loved ones only to receive the back of the hand.
So I ask myself, when is it "enough?" We are taught to "turn the other cheek," and I know that the "pearls before swine" reference applies primarily to the rejection of the Gospel message.
Self-destructive behavior has consequences for those besides the person so engaged. Is it proper to remove oneself from these relationships? As a means of self-preservation as it were? To say, "enough?"
Does Jesus' parable have application in the context of one-way relationships wherein the object of love becomes an instrument of hatred; trampling underfoot all the kindness and mercy, then turning to rend the one who would minister to them in love?
How can these questions not trouble our hearts, as we seek to live before the Face of God?