Easy love. Hard love.

This is for parents of teen-agers and “bounce backers”. I just heard that term “bounce backers” the other day. It refers to the dread of all parents-the adult child who moves back home.

This morning I’m having coffee as one of the above asks me if she can borrow my car because she doesn’t have gas in hers and doesn’t have time to get it before work. (She did ask nicely.)

I said, “No.” That quick and with no explanation.

(Not as nice, this time, but to her credit she didn’t say anything, although there was no “good-by” as she left for work. I’m hoping we will get a chance to discuss this so she can understand how the situation could have been avoided in the first place, but if not, I’m hoping it was still an “Aha” moment for her.)

no without explanation

Here’s the facts.

She worked yesterday and got home by two. She went out last night from six to eleven. Car wasn’t driven between two and this morning. (Someone else drove last night.)


  • She knew she had no gas yesterday on her way home from work. Could’ve filled-up then.
  • She had nine hours yesterday to do the same.
  • She could’ve got up earlier today to get gas.

What about all this didn’t she get? I should add, this is not an exception with her. It’s a lifestyle. This kind of stuff happens all the time. I’m not heartless. 🙂

The facts.

  • Who would’ve had to take the chance of getting the car to the gas station and running out of gas? Me (And still wearing a surgical boot, by the way.)
  • Who knew her car was running low on gas days ago? Her. (It’s kind of like thinking Christmas just pops up overnight and you don’t have any presents.)
  • Who could’ve got up earlier? Her.
  • Who wouldn’t have learned any lessons if I gave her my car? Her.

Two kinds of love

There’s really two kinds of love, the easy kind and the hard kind.


  • The easy kind does what solves the issue, for the moment.
  • The easy kind doesn’t want to confront.
  • The easy kind is actually quite selfish because it’s concerned more with one’s own discomfort or inconvenience.
  • The easy kind is destructive.
  • The easy kind is, well, too easy.


  • The hard kind of love thinks way down the road.
  • The hard kind is willing to confront.
  • The hard kind is actually compassionate.
  • The hard kind enables someone to make the necessary changes in their lives that are causing them problems.
  • The hard kind is beneficial in the long run for everyone.

Why do we have such a hard time saying “No”?

Yep, because it’s hard.

No is hard.

It’s easy to let someone have their own way all the time. At least for the moment. But in all relationships, this can turn back to bite us in a thousand ways.

We enable others and end up resenting them when our habit of saying “Yes” has come back to haunt us.

Jesus never enabled anyone. He said “Yes” countless different ways, but those “Yes’s” came with commandments.

“Go and sin no more.”

“Get up and walk.”

“Tell no one.”


The concept of “Tough Love” has been written about often but practiced seldom. And I understand that.

I can think of a number of times, I’ve enabled other people. And I can’t think of a single time when it’s done them or me any good at all.

So if you’re dealing with someone today who needs some “No’s”, don’t be afraid to voice it. You’ll someday resent all those “Yes’s.”

As far as gas in her car?

  • If she stopped to put gas in her car and was late to work—– oh, well.
  • If she didn’t stop for gas and runs out of gas after work—–oh, well.
  • If she’s mad at me—-oh, well.

My husband has a saying he quotes often and I share it with you today.

“Not my circus, not my monkeys.” 

not my circus, not my monkeys

God bless and I hope you have a good day.