“Safe People”

A group of friends and I have been studying a book titled, Safe People, written by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. The first two sentences on the back cover read as follows: “The wounds inflicted by an “unsafe” person can go deep. If you’ve ever been in a relationship where you were used, abused, or abandoned, then Safe People is for you.”

Who hasn’t been in at least one unsafe relationship? Some of us have found ourselves drawn into painful relationships many more times than we would like to admit. Whether our relationship is with a family member or friend, knowing the best ways to deal with the people around us is one of this life’s greatest challenges. Early in the study, Drs. Cloud and Townsend remind us that we are each “unsafe” on occasion, because our human condition is sinful. We need discernment to know how to find healthy friendships, and wisdom to know the best ways to emotionally invest in them. “Safe people are individuals who draw us closer to being the people God intended us to be.” (p.11)

I do believe this is an ongoing struggle in our lives. I once had a friend who consistently talked about her frustrations with other friends and family. I didn’t know most of these people, so I simply allowed her to “vent.” It took me a while to realize that any frustrations she had with me were being shared with those people. Another time, my youngest came home from school crying almost everyday for an entire year because of a child who declared her to be “in” or “out” of the “group” depending on this child’s mood. It’s not only valuable to understand our own relationships, but helping to guide our children toward “safe people” is equally important.

What are we to do?

I have come up with a short list that I believe might help:

1. Learn to identify Godly character traits. Galatians 5:22, 1 Corinthians 13, and the Book of Proverbs are good places to begin.
2. Ask the Lord to reveal to you any “unsafe” character traits from which you need to be freed.
3. Pray to know how to identify and attract safe relationships, and how to manage those you determine are not safe.
4. Pray for wisdom to guide your children toward safe relationships.

Always remember that although people will occasionally let us down and we will at times be hurtful; God our Father is always faithful in His love, Jesus our Savior will always forgive us and strengthen us to forgive others, and the Holy Spirit will faithfully guide us in the truth.

God has shown us His love by sending his only Son into the world so that we could have life through him. This is love: not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the payment for our sins. Dear friends, if this is the way God loved us, we must also love each other. 1 John 10 8-10

3 Responses to “Safe People”
  1. DesireeR
    July 28, 2009 | 6:41 pm

    Wow, that sounds like a great book. I would love to do that with some ladies at our church. It sounds deep and rich. Thank you for sharing that!

  2. Summur Braley
    July 29, 2009 | 9:59 am

    thanks for this devotion………….the Lord sent it to me just at the right time!

  3. Daisy Kay
    January 20, 2011 | 6:56 pm

    I’ve been wondering why a friend of mine has been less giving and unkind recently. Then I discovered “Safe People” on his night stand, where he stays in a room in my house (free of charge). As a very devout Catholic, I get the feeling that this book is dangerous to Christians, who are easily influenced by what they read. I’m especially anxious to get as copy and read more of it.