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9 October - How To Have Healthy Relationships

I spoke to several people this week about how important it is to have guidelines for navigating conflict and setting boundaries to have healthy relationships. It's a vital step to how we relate and communicate well with others.

People are people, and if we don't have parameters around how we relate to others and vice versa, our communication is affected, physical lines can be blurred, emotional and mental freedoms are hindered, and we become unsure in our spiritual lives of how to be loving and kind, while not pushing ourselves to be and do things beyond what is wise or even godly.

God gives us the strength to do everything, but He also asks us to walk in wisdom. He wants us to live in peace while leading a productive life. But importantly, when it comes to boundary setting, he doesn’t expect us to wear ourselves out or become a " doormat” to others' selfishness, issues or our own fears or weaknesses.

When we push and strive all the time with no boundaries in place, instead of learning to move in grace and rest, people and situations will soon overwhelm and damage us. Whereas choosing to set boundaries helps prevent damage, breakdowns in relationships, risk of abuse and burnout.

We've got to know what we value, the season of life we are in, our purpose and what God desires for us in our everyday life. Without that understanding, our boundary lines will always be blurred and can be walked all over.

When we set boundaries and hold to them, we can assess situations and relationships and see if they are healthy spaces for us. The people who should be in your life will grow to respect your boundaries and often feel safer and more sure of their relationship, as everyone can communicate and relate at a deeper level because it's known what is acceptable.

Plus, the devil backs off hassling us so much in what we will allow in our lives. The lines are drawn, and it's known to everyone, including ourselves, "don't cross this line."

Some things to consider to help you set healthy boundaries are:

1. What do you value, what is okay with you? You are deeply loved and valuable to God so is there anyone or things that make you feel less than who God says you are?

2. What pushes you to feel exhausted or beaten? How can you prevent that by putting in some guidelines of what you will and won't allow in your life?

3. Consider what is safe and healthy and enables you to have choice, freedom and connected honest relationships.

4. What do you expect from others in their behaviour and demands upon your time?

If you are ever feeling shut down, limited, scared, exhausted or something or someone in your life is causing you to believe less of yourself than who God says you are, I encourage you to put some boundaries in place and to draw some lines in the sand of what is and isn't okay. Tell people these are your boundaries and then determine the consequences if people repeatedly step over your line.

Talk to someone who can support you in this, and know that God honours you and your life; therefore, it's perfectly okay for you to do so too.

Be aware a boundary is also there to help you too - to know when you need to step back, how much to take on in your schedule and what you want to be doing in this season of your life.

Prayerfully draw your boundary lines today, and then for the sake of your relationships and your health and happiness, keep those boundaries in place.

"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)

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

Prayer. Lord, please give me wisdom as 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. Thank you for giving me the ability to have healthy boundaries so I can fulfil my purpose and live free. In Jesus name amen

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