The Lesson of The Donkey-Setting Boundaries



One of the best bits of practical advice that I can give my sons is the lesson of the donkey. At different times in my life, I have been faced with people who always seemed to take the wind out of my sails, people whom when I left their presence, I always felt drained or hurt. Being a cheerful and friendly person, I would keep the cycle going, reaching out and expecting a positive response. But these people were donkeys. Donkeys are not always easy to spot, but I’m hoping to train my boys to avoid them whenever possible. There are a few people who I can’t avoid in my life that are like donkeys. I keep going to the donkey thinking the donkey will be happy for me, say something nice, or that we will have a good time. And then I get kicked. And I wonder, what happened? Well, I went to the donkey. Donkeys kick. So, if I go to the donkey and then get kicked, I should know better than to expect anything different. Although it hurts, and sometimes I still get kicked, I have to remind myself that some people are just donkeys and that I should stay away from them.  I should not expect to get from a donkey what a donkey cannot give, and that donkeys can’t turn into prize-winning stallions. They just don’t have it in them.

Proverbs 13:20 Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.

Proverbs 14:7 Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips.

Proverbs 20:3 It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.

Proverbs 23:9  Do not speak to fools, for they will scorn your prudent words.

Proverbs 26:4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.


Amber Lia

A former high school English teacher, Amber is a work-at-home mom of 4 little boys under the age of 10. She is the best-selling author of Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, say Something New. She and her husband Guy own Storehouse Media Group, a faith-friendly and family-friendly TV and Film production company in Los Angeles, CA. When she’s not building sand castles with her boys on the beach, or searching for Nerf darts all over her house, you can find Amber writing to encourage families on her blog at Mother of Knights (