We finish up the discussion on Boundary Laws with what is thought to be the most significant law, the law of “Exposure”. (pg. 102)
The whole concept of boundaries has to do with the fact that we exist in relationship. Therefore, boundaries are really about relationship, and finally about love. That is why the law of exposure is so important.
Some of the biggest challenges facing relationships now days is rooted in fear. There is a concern about sharing our boundaries and the response we will or maybe get from others as it relates to our definition of our boundary lines.
The same challenge is reversed when we need to face the boundaries of others. Some will not be positive, some will actually make life uneasy and sometimes difficult. How others respond to our boundary volatile; fears of guilt, not being liked, loss of love, loss of connection, loss of approval, receiving anger, being known, and the list can go on and on. These are all failures in love, and God’s plan is that we learn how to love.
What is your love condition in the past year or so? Or how is in relationship to 10 years ago or before you surrendered to Christ?
Because of these fears, we try to have secret boundaries. We passively pull back and don’t engage when we should be engaged and protecting our boundaries and maybe even establishing and refining our boundaries. We secretly resent someone, instead of sharing with them how we are angry because of the way that have hurt us. Often we will privately endure the pain of someone’s irresponsibility instead of telling them how their behavior affects us and other loved ones, information that would be helpful to their soul.
In other situations, a partner will secretly comply with their spouse, not offering their feelings or opinions for many, many years, and then suddenly “express” their boundaries by filing for divorce. Or parents will “love” their children by giving in over and over for years, not setting limits, and resenting the love they are showing. The children grow up never feeling loved, because of lack of honesty, and their parents are baffled, thinking, “After all we have done”
In these examples, because of unexpressed boundaries, the relationships suffered.
Boundaries exist, and they will affect us, whether or not we communicate them.
What are some examples in your life where you have avoided communicating your boundaries or elected to withdraw your stance on a boundary? What was the result and what other options do you think you would take now?
Having boundaries defined is a good thing, but if we do not use them and protect them, they are no better than simple “intentions”. It gets to a point where we need to be truthful and honest about our boundaries as well as our interactions with others.
25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil. – Ephesians 4:25-27 NLT
We need to be honest and in the light. There are multiple places in the bible where honesty is referred to as being in the light:
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
Ephesians 5:8-14 NIV
Then even the disciple fo light, John, instructs us as well:
3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
7 Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. 8 Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.
9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them. – 1 John 2:3-11 NIV
What thoughts, challenges or convictions come to mind as we read these scriptures and reflect on our personal relationships? Are we abiding by staying in the light?
What in your life continues to draw you into the shadows? To justify passivity or avoidance of honest communication?
God wants real relationship with us and wants us to have real relationship with each other. Real relationship means that I am in the light with my boundaries and other aspects of myself that are difficult to communicate. Our boundaries are affected by sin; they “miss the mark,” and need to be brought into the light for God to heal them and others to benefit from them. This is the path to real love: Communicate your boundaries openly.
God has led us out of captivity also. Whether it was from a dysfunctional family, the world, our own religious self-righteousness, or the scatteredness of being lost, he has been our Redeemer. But what he has secured needs to be possessed. The land to which he as brought us has certain realities and principles. Learn these as set forth in his Word, and we’ll find his kingdom a wonderful place to live.