You Can Lead a Horse to the Water, but You can’t make Him Drink

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Photo Credit: Lisa Rene Delgado

You Can Lead a Horse to the Water, but You cannot make Him Drink It.

Lisa Rene Delgado, 2020

Since the beginning of time, God determined that no human should be without free will, and throughout the Bible, He has shown Himself faithful by delivering the oppressed from the hands of injustice and oppression. However, many remain stuck because they are afraid of change, don’t know how to change, fear being alone, leave their comfort zone, or, worse, taking responsibility.

Proverbs 1:7 says,

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

When I began my healing journey through Mental Health, I realized I would have to deal with myself, and I was terrified. It was the most challenging path I had ever walked, and I have not yet reached the finished line. Still, as I continue to press forward, I am grateful that I did take that first step when I pulled off the road and made the call to a referral given to me by a counselor on Focus on the Family. Earlier, I listened to Leslie Vernick talks about her new book, “The Emotionally Destructive Marriage,

” I saw the patterns and knew in my heart unless I changed direction; I would continue digging my own grave.

Moreover, this journey has been rewarding in many areas of my life; places I never knew existed. I have grown in ways I thought was impossible because of what I lost as a child, e.g., my childhood development; I believed what was told to me rather than seeking knowledge and understanding. Repentance was not easy because I did not think I was at fault for the things that happened to me; I had a victim mindset. However, there are some things I could not have controlled.

 However, because I did not deal with my pain, I remained stuck in a victim mindset. My suffering did not stop, and my children and grandchildren inherited the effects of my grief. I raised my children with fear as my guide. I needed to change my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Mental illness is the cause; the effects of mental illness are costly, not only to your well being but also to everyone around you. Most stay stuck because they believe counseling is too expensive or are ashamed of their dysfunction.  People hide behind false beliefs or make excuses for their lack of knowledge because of shame.

 Dysfunction began in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve got busted by God for disobeying Him and hid behind a bush. They also hid their nakedness behind fig leaves because they were ashamed. When the Lord confronted their sin of disobedience, instead of taking responsibility for their actions, Eve blamed the serpent, and Adam blamed God for giving him that woman. By no means am I defending the snake, but we give him more credit than he deserves; furthermore, blaming Satan did not keep Adam, Eve, and all humanity from the curse.

First, we need to reconcile that we live in a fallen world, and we will stand before God on the day of judgment. Second, we need to accept people as they are; they are responsible for themselves; we can only change ourselves.  Blaming will not cut it with God.  Sin began in Adam and Eve’s home, and we need the realization that it also starts in our territory/ homefront.

The Lord sent wise people to help me, but I refused to drink from their life, giving Water.

“A scoffer does not love one who corrects him, nor will he go to the wise.” Proverbs 15:12, NKJV; Thomas Nelson, Inc. (1982).

I thought I had all the answers; I did not. I thought I knew God; I did not. All I knew was either my perception of Him or what others told me about Him and honestly, I believed He was a tyrant who sat on His throne playing a game of chess with my life. Even after twenty years of being a Christian, I knew I could not live with Him or without Him; my relationship with Him was dysfunctional, and I was at fault because I refused to get help. However, the good news is change is possible when you seek help from professionals. 


All Scripture is from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, ( Thomas Nelson, Inc. 1982)

Henry Cloud, Never Go Back, 2014, (Howard Books, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. New York)

Leslie Vernick,  The Emotionally Destructive Marriage, (Harvest House Publishers: Eugene, 2007)

H. Norman Wright, Making Peace with Your Past, 1985, (Published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group; Grand Rapids)

Wiliam Stixrud, Ph.D. & Ned Johnson, The Self Driven Child; The Nonanxious Presence: How to Help Your Kids Find as Sense of Control by Finding Your Own, p81, (Penquin Random House LLC; New York, 2018)


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