Freedom | That Little Dutch Boy

The Little Dutch Boy – Linked from

“I’m not going to be that Little Dutch Boy with my finger stuck in the dam no more.” – June Carter, Walk the Line

How many of us out there feel like we are responsible for holding our finger in a bursting dam trying to keep those around us from pain, destruction, fear, failure, doubt… Etc? The little dutch boy analogy is the essence of codependency.

When dealing with wounded people I have learned two things: 1) feeding & compensating dysfunction breeds dysfunction, 2) sometimes what those caught in a cycle of defeat think they need is just the opposite of what will bring victory to their life.

Rescuer mentality is not beneficial to those you serve if you only want to keep them from pain, conform them to your personal standard of righteousness yet do not move to deliver them to Jesus for victory. In the same way interceding that keeps people from coming to the end of themselves (their soul’s capacity to compensate through the knowledge of good and evil and sin’s inherent agreement with a spirit of lack) only facilitates my (the minister’s) comfort and not their healing (the wounded and hurting I serve).

Ministering to the person body, soul & spirt and bringing them into an encounter with the eternal God, Jesus, produces followers of Jesus. An encounter with Michelle will reproduce only the level of healing or dysfunction I’ve fully realized and live in my own life. Unless, of course, they encounter Jesus in me.

I am okay with leaving a person where they are if they will not choose to engage the work of Christ in their heart. I will not wear myself out on behalf of others who will not choose to engage. I will meet their need in love and hopefully point them to a better promise. The first step for me is always to set an appropriate expectation.

Sometimes the kindest thing I may do for someone in the struggle is get out of the way & let God deal with their heart.

“I, the Eternal God, will not leave them to suffer. I will respond.” Isaiah 41:17a (The Voice)

Michelle Host Photo


2 thoughts on “Freedom | That Little Dutch Boy

  1. Michelle,
    Please explain what this means to you:
    “The first step for me is always to set an appropriate expectation.”

    I understood all the rest of this amazing word.

    Thank you,
    Anna Davenport

    1. Hi Anna,

      Thanks for asking. What I mean by “setting an appropriate expectation” reflects my heart toward both accountability and respinsibility. These are high values for me in my relationships with others. So I do my best to let others know what they can expect from me and by extensionmy expectations toward them. I want their expectations to be aligned with Hoping in God and not in me.

      For example, I counsel women struggling in their marriages. In our first conversation I tell them I may challenge them and will hold them accountable to the changes God is talking to them about in their lives. I also tell them when I believe they are out of line with your husband I am going to call them on it. At the same time, I also listen with compassion and love them in strength no matter what I think of what the are doing.

      In my relationships I set the expectation we should deal with problems as they arise but I do not want to live in them. I also am open about what my expectations are in conflict resolution without withholding forgiveness. It allows me to say, “This keeps coming up between us and I am dealing with my part. I need you to deal or if you won’t deal with your part…it will continue to be a problem until it is addressed.” I can release the offense each time and lve n peace only addressing each new event as opposed to addressing the laundry list of history we may be addressing as life pattern.

      I will also establish my limits early on as well… I don’t want someone to think they are going to get behavioral therapy when what they need is an encounter with Jesus. Make sense? ~M

      “My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. (‭Psalms‬ ‭62‬:‭5‬ NKJV)

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