Biblical Due Process for Relationships

What to do when they keep hurting you, over and over again…

By: Kimberly Dimick

Editor's Note: Kimberly is someone I know personally, who has personally lived what she teaches. Her voice of authority is empowered by many hours of searching and studying the Scriptures, along with walking with good counselors and a company of men and women who love God deeply and passionately! Kimberly and her husband,Josh, have been doing marriage and family counseling for many years and are highly respected!

If you are someone you know has been hurt in marriage, church, or work relationships, this is solid, biblical advice straight from the heart of Jesus, written in Matthew 18. Oddly, many, if not most, Christians do not use this very effective technique for resolving relational challenges!


The double edged sword of relationships, especially as Christians, is that yes, of course, we have boundaries. Most people however get hurt feelings but never even say anything to the perpetrator. They assume the other person is reading their mind and should know of their own volition that they are wrong.

Most people never really address the actual problem WITH the person. In doing that then we can wait and see the response of the other person before we know where the relationship truly stands. We go straight to creating a boundary without ever giving them the CHANCE to make anything right.

I think there is an over-arching "principle" Jesus gave us, that I know is directed toward "Church relationships", so to speak, but there are healthy guidelines presented there in Matthew 18.

Jesus said, Go to them and directly in love confront the hurt feelings. If they will not listen then take others or witnesses. If that does not work…THEN put the final boundary line and do not engage in relationship but leave the relationship the way it is until, hopefully, the other will make the offense or hurt right.

We are called to live at peace with ALL people, is much as it is in our power to do so. To me, that says, that there may be nothing one can do to facilitate peace with one who refuses it.

I know I have made the mistake of getting hurt and complaining about it to others or family members but was not really honest with the actual person who hurt me. God taught me through trial and error that I had to live my life in relationship deliberately and not let things go that were important enough. Some things are not important. For on-going issues with others, it does take wisdom about what battles to fight and how. Some things that happen are human fallibility and weakness.

People will hurt each other, that is part of life. Those things love covers.

For repeated hurtful events, it is up to me to go to them. If I do not go to them and discuss the matter openly whether or not "they" will receive ME… well, at least I went. However, if I never go, then why would I complain about something I did not get from a person who never had the chance to make it right or explain?

I cannot stay hurt if I never had the courage to talk in TRUTH about an issue. For me I have to ask myself, why would I complain or gripe or talk about the other person when, I, as the Christ-follower did not even obey the Word to begin with?  Yikes..ouch…but so true.

What I have experienced in my own life is I would focus so much on the family member who hurt me but never even told them or gave them a chance to either explain, perhaps clear up a misunderstanding or see how others gossip/hear-say/slander got in the mix. I have to remind myself to be open to owning my part if I have one.

I also have to brace myself and be prepared not to be welcomed.

What most people do is get hurt, stuff it, never say anything directly to the person or give them a chance to make it right. They don't take other witnesses with the purpose of reconciliation, but instead, continue to talk about it to others instead of the person who hurt them.

BUT, not following the Bible in this way makes the wounded party then just as guilty as the one hurting them. Most people jump right to cutting off relationships without the process.

If the process is there and followed an there is clear refusal then cutting off relationship is good and reasonable as the other refuses to hear the other person out and that is on them.

If they do not receive the other person and remain abusive or hurtful then we are not called to keep taking that.

I am not talking about a full blown abuser who has tried to be dealt with through counseling, court/law or pastoral care and is dangerous. I am talking about our everyday friends/family/co-workers/church family relationships.

Kimberly Dimick and her husband, Joshua Dimick, know how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and careers, and so much more. Together and separately they have walked the path of Love, a narrow path, a path that is lonely and not well-used. They know the soul-shattering pain of separation and divorce and the know "The Way Home" to a life of choosing unconditional love.

The surprising answers to a happy marriage are shared in her posts, articles, and her book-in-progress. As you venture on this journey with Kimberly you will experience how God shines His most brilliant light in her darkest hours. Today her mission is to provide a voice to women suffering in silence, shining the Light of Truth into the dark places. As you journey with Kimberly you will witness a true life transformation that will shatter the misinformation and lies commonly fed to women that keep them in false submission.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica Stone October 11, 2012 at 6:48 am

This is such good, sound, biblical advice!  I wouldn't expect anything less from Kimberly 🙂  And it's so true how much we all have to be willing to confront issues with people, because that's easily when gossiping can get a hold of a situation.  Sometimes, depending on the situation, it can be hard getting support through friends and family for something without it going into gossiping.  I believe God has given us people to support us… what do you share and not share sometimes?  Ah, the deep questions of life!  lol  Thanks, again, Kimberly & Susan, for another great post!!


Carolyn Hughes October 11, 2012 at 3:12 am

Some very sound advice here! Switching off from a person or telling others about your situation is just avoiding an issue which is likely to continue. I love the positivity of your post that even the most difficult situations can be turned around!


Olga Hermans October 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm

wow, what a story….I know a few people who lost everything and have built up their life again. I am always amazed to read how strong people are. Forgiveness is sure a key to all of it. Thanks for sharing your story


denny hagel October 10, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Creating healthy boundaries is a crucial part of loving yourself. Brilliant article and powerful message! Thanks for sharing this!


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