I’ve just come off a call with my mentor and the subject came up of setting boundaries. I know. To be honest though I know I struggle with guilt and wondering if my boundaries are selfish and will be viewed as being inconsiderate to others. However having clear boundaries is so important for healthy, respectful relationships and becoming all that we were created to be.
Setting healthy boundaries is essential if we want to have flourishing close relationships and to fulfill the dreams in our hearts. People are people and if we don’t have parameters around how we schedule our day and relate to others and vice versa our communication is affected, physical lines can be blurred, emotional and mental freedoms are hindered. We can also become unsure in our spiritual lives of how to be loving and kind, while not pushing ourselves to be and do things beyond our limits and wisdom.
I’ve discovered over the years as a wife, mum of six kids, a pastor and running my own business that unless I put boundaries in place I am headed for trouble. God gives me strength to do all things, but He also asks me to walk in wisdom. A good way to know if a boundary is both healthy and loving is to examine the motive. Am I protecting myself or someone vulnerable from potential harm or just maintaining distance because I want to exclude or punish? Am I tired or fedup, or just need to spend time in His presence to refresh and renew my purpose and vision?
If I push and strive all the time instead of learning to move in grace and rest then people and situations are soon going to overwhelm and damage my personal world. Whereas setting boundaries helps prevent damage, breakdowns in relationships and burnout.
We’ve got to know what we value; what season of life we are in, our purpose and what God actually desires for us in our everyday life. Without that understanding our boundary lines will always be blurred and able to be walked all over. Yet when we have healthy boundaries we recognise far quicker when things have been crossed or we are off balance and can push back, communicate and resolve the issue.
God wants us to live free and lightly. We all benefit from knowing when to say yes, and how and when to say no. To be aware that a boundary is also there for us to acknowledge when we need to step back; how much to take on in our schedule and what is wisdom for this season of our life.
I encourage you today to consider what you value, what is okay with you and what makes you feel less than who God says you are. What pushes you to feel exhausted or beaten about? Consider what is safe, permissible, healthy and enables choice? Then prayerfully put some boundaries in place and let people know them and when they’ve overstepped the line.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” ( Philippians 4:8)
“He makes peace in your borders; he fills you with the finest of the wheat“. (Psalm 147:14)
Prayer. Lord please give me wisdom to who and what to say yes to and how to say no, both to myself, others and situations that may arise in my life. In Jesus name Amen.