One . of the most serious problems facing people today is confusion about boundaries. It is sometimes even more difficult for Christians. Many sincere, dedicated believers struggle with tremendous confusion about when it is biblically appropriate to set limits. When confronted with their lack of boundaries, many raise some good questions;
- Can I set limits and still be a loving person?
- What are legitimate boundaries?
- What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries?
- How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money?
- Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries?
- How do boundaries relate to submission?
- Aren’t boundaries selfish?
- Why is it difficult for me to hear no from other people?
- Why do I tend to want to control other people when I don’t get what I want?
Just as homeowners set physical property lines around their land, we need to set mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual boundaries for our lives to help us distinguish what is our responsibility and what is not. The inability to set appropriate boundaries at appropriate times with the appropriate people can be very destructive.
Misinformation about what the Bible says about boundaries can also be destructive. To counter such wrong thinking, we are going to utilize the book Boundaries by Henry Cloud & John Townsend, to assist us in understanding a biblical view of boundaries: what they are, what they protect, how they are developed, how they are injured, who to repair them, and how to use them. As we go through this study, we will find answers to the questions we listed above, and so much more. In fact;
Our goal is to help us use biblical boundaries appropriately to achieve the relationships and purposes that God intended for us as we grow in him.
Each of us have them; each of us use them every day. We don’t know they are really boundaries, but let’s not get hung up on the word “boundary”. Maybe it is limits, or a line in the sand. Each day we are faced with interactions with others and we evaluate how to respond. That evaluation is referring to boundaries. Whether we have them set or not. Here are a few examples to start with:
You get a text from someone telling you that they will not meet you as expected…. how do you respond? Do you email back “okay, catch you later.”, “fine, be that way.”, “again? you promised.”, “figures”.
When we are in those immediate situations we determine the situation, and then go through a whole list of thoughts, if I say this, if I say that. If they say that, what if. Inevitably we get to a moment of “why” or “how come”.
Here are a few things to ponder this morning as we prepare for our journey in the next couple weeks;
Morning plans, goals and expectations are healthy. How well do you do by the end of the day? How do you handle others intruding with their priorities and needs?
How do other’s emotions, feelings and attitudes impact you and your life?
Does your response at home to situations reflect your responses outside the home? Do you have a different approach to certain people or places?
Do you make the same mistake you used to make?
Do you feel like some people like to take advantage of you? Do you find the same people taking advantage of you again and again?
How do you handle or respond to other’s “no”?