God has put it on my heart to write about “relationship” and His design for various aspects of the word. Last week I opened with stating that our relationship with God should be key in 2016. If our relationship with God isn’t #1 then all other relationships- with ourselves and with people will be affected and off balance.
This week I want to talk about relationship and the need for boundaries. If we look around us we see boundary-less people (we might even see it in ourselves). We see people who allow themselves to be doormats for others, people who are struggling with substance abuse and their lives are a reflection of a the inability to say “no more,” women who settle for just any kind of man, people in unhealthy debt and just keep spending, people who don’t know how to say no and feel resentful because they say yes to everything, men and women in [Pseudo-relationships] and don’t know where to draw the lines, men who constantly sleep around, etc.
A boundary-less life is a life out of control. A friend once recently told me that “You’re bad with boundaries when you feel resentful, because you have allowed someone to take too much from you without your having drawn a line somewhere.”
I don’t seek to paint the scarlet letter “A”on those with little or no boundaries. I myself have been bad with not instituting boundaries when needed, and I write with love and wisdom. When we don’t have boundaries it shows an absence of having God totally guide our lives, also, for some it might show a little ignorance, and for others it might show a little stubbornness- a desire to live how they want to. But, if we want to understand one thing about our Creator, it is that He is self-controlled and has boundaries. And, He wants us to be that way too. And and and, even though we may have been bad with boundaries in the past, God will show us better ways to live (Psalm 37: 23-24)- if we have humble hearts with teachable spirits towards Him.
God has boundaries:
God has always had boundaries. There are things that He will simply not allow or compromise on, and if we cannot handle His boundaries we will suffer and be stagnant, or we will eventually change and comply with his limits. A few examples of His boundaries:
He doesn’t allow sin within His gates and therefore He threw Lucifer out of heaven (Revelation 12: 7-12). When Adam and Eve sinned they were thrown out of the garden. When David sinned with Bathsheba God allowed for their first son to die.
We cannot pray prayers that will contradict God’s Word and expect Him to answer them. We cannot expect Him to breathe on and approve a prayer that’s in essence sin. Though you may pray for a request that contradicts His Word or character and get what you want, I can assure you that God didn’t breathe on it! That’s you willingly choosing to live in sin because the desire was in your [Root System] all along. But God will allow it because He respects your free will choices and desire to some extent, and will let you fall victim to your sinful desires in hopes that you will see your error, repent, and come to Him with a changed heart.
Our model is God. He does not really “set limits” on people to “make them” behave. God sets standards, but He lets people be who they are and then separates Himself from them when they misbehave, saying in effect, “You can be that way if you choose, but you cannot come into my house.” Heaven is a place for the repentant, and all are welcome. –Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend, Boundaries
You have boundaries:
This brings me to my next point. God respects your boundaries and will allow you to sin. He gives you an option to believe in Him or not, to go to heaven or not- to accept the free gift of salvation or not. And because you have boundaries you have the choice to be principled- to guard your heart above all else; to not let anyone take advantage and hurt your mind, body, and soul; to say no; to say yes; to do what’s right in the face of opposition; or to act in love. God has a mind and He has given us minds to be boundary-less or have healthy boundaries.
Other people have boundaries:
When we come to understand that God has boundaries and we learn to respect them, and, that we too have boundaries that we should enforce in front of others- then it will be easier to understand and respect the boundaries of other people. I wrote a post a few weeks ago titled [Let People Be Free].
Parents must let their children go as they grow into various stages of life, spouses must not smother or control the other, employers must not micromanage their employees, we must learn to not force God’s hand but trust His plan and heart, pastors must give their parishioners free to use their spiritual gifts and talents in the church community, and mothers must learn to let go.
We must respect the choices of others and we must give them the freedom to live their lives the way they want (Even if it’s destructive. In time they will reap the consequences of their own choices- good or bad), and we must not try and control or manipulate others, for manipulation is rooted in fear, not love.
For all of us, if we can understand the principle of boundaries and God’s divine purpose in instituting this principle in the world, that embodies who He is, we will find life to be more peaceful between our relationship with God, ourselves, and others. Not just for 2016 but for the remainder of our time on this earth.
For a deeper understanding of boundaries read:
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life, Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend
Happy Friday xx!