Last weeks discussion of how are boundaries are developed was large; it was deep and it was real. With the importance of the material, it was decided to break the review up into two parts. If you did not go through the first part of the discussion, please click the following link and review it.
The First Part
In the first part we discussed the following injuries and events that have impacted, developed or causes our boundary definitions.
- Lack of Limits
As we continue to learn what has impacted us and now also realize the complexity of life that has impacted all those around us, we begin to develop a level of compassion we may have never contemplated before, let alone experienced or developed.
How has learning about boundaries and how they are developed impacted your interactions with others. Has your quite time or prayers been impacted? If so, in what ways?
This week we will continue to learn and understand, but we have confidence we need more help in these areas that we can do on our own. Let us not just become head strong, but let us learn, adapt and grow/develop in healthy ways. The key to that success starts with identifying who we are and what our opportunities are;
23Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! – Psalm 139:23-24
Our past is our ally in repairing our present and ensuring a better future. This week we are going to clarify some of the typical things that can go wrong and cause boundary injuries. The good thing about injuries is that they can be healed. Let’s review some of the common injuries and see what we can do for ourselves.
We learned last week about situations where there was too much control placed on us, teh experience of very aggressive and strict. Then there is the polar opposite where there are no limits or engagement by people in our life. Sometimes, due to their confusion about rearing children or their own injuries some parents combine strict and lax limits, sending conflicting messages to the child (pages 82)
Who, if anyone, offered you inconsistent limits? What conflicting messages did you have because of it?
If you are a parent, what, if any strict limits have you or are you combining with lax ones?
But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. – James 1:6
What phrase in James 1:6 might be used to describe the experience of a child raised with inconsistent limits?
Specific traumas – emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, accidents and debilitating illnesses, death, divorce, or any other intensely painful experience – can injure boundary development (pages 82-83)
What, if any, trauma may have affected your boundaries?
If you are a parent, what, if any, trauma may your child have experienced, despite your best efforts?
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. – Isaiah 61:1
What words of hope does God speak to people who have experienced trauma?
Our Own Character Traits
We contribute to our boundary issues by our won individual character styles (page 84)
What character traits affect your boundaries? Do you, for instance, tend to be active and confrontational or quiet and reflective? Are you timid or weak?
If you are a parent, what character traits have you or do you see in your children that suggest how they will deal with life and address boundary issues?
Our Own Sinfulness
We also contribute to our boundary development problems by our own depravity (page 84)
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. – Romans 3:23
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. – Romans 8:2
What do these two verses teach about our sinfulness?
How has your sinful nature – for instance, your resistance to submit to God, your resistance to humility – contributed to your boundary problems?
Now that we have learned so much about how we have experienced boundaries and reacted to individuals and defined ourselves, it’s time to look at what the Bible says about how boundaries should operate and how they can be developed all through our lives. Move forward this week by reading Chapter 5. There is a lot to soak up, so take it a bit at a time and jot down ideas, questions and revelations that you get while going through the chapter.