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What is a Safe Person?

“What will we be looking for in a safe person? Henry Cloud and John Townsend offer three hallmark qualities of a safe person in their book ‘Safe People’:

1. They draw you close to God. Safe people do not try to take the place of God in your life by providing “answers” or solutions. They do not try to be your everything. Safe people understand your dependence upon God and gently draw you in the direction of receiving what you can and must from God directly. They encourage your spiritual development; they’re quick to remind you that God cares, that God is at work, to encourage your full surrender and participation in what it is God might ask of you.

2. Safe people also draw you close to others. This is significant in that a safe friend will not try to isolate you from your other important relationships. Safe people are for your marriage, for your work relationships, for your friendships beyond themselves. When appropriate, they gentle push you towards resolving conflict — not merely allowing you to vent your frustration.

3. And last, safe people draw you close to your true self. This is perhaps one of the most difficult to observe, and most powerful when working right. Many of us live lives of relatively deep deception about who we actually are, both the dark and the light. A true, safe friend can see where you are stuck and also see your potential — and they join the fight for your soul’s freedom from the barriers so that you more closely resemble the person God envisioned when he made you.”

Henry Cloud and John Townsend, Safe People, 1995, 143.

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