There are lots of articles and books about boundaries. Do you wonder why boundaries are important? Is it just another “buzz” word, or is there something to it? What does God think about boundaries? Why would you set them in your life?

Over my decades, I’ve discovered some Christians squirm when you start talking about setting boundaries. That topic seems to provoke issues. Some people become too extreme in setting boundaries. Some use them dysfunctionally. Others have figured out boundaries are necessary when protection is needed. A few realize healthy boundaries help in living a more balanced, intentional life.

If you don’t know why or how to set good boundaries, you are missing a key element for a healthy life. In fact, a lack of good boundaries brings anxiety and other problems.

But the three main reasons to explore boundaries are because the Lord teaches them. Jesus modeled boundaries. God wants you to live a wise, balanced, intentional life as you represent His heart.

The Lord Teaches Setting Boundaries

 

Most people don’t think of Jesus’ teachings in the light of boundaries. Yet, God knows that the best-lived life is one that has godly borders – boundaries – in place. If you boil Christ’s teachings down to root principles, often obedience is linked to a boundary. For example, in the parable of the virgins waiting for the bridegroom, half took provisions needed and half did not. Half planned, purchased, prepared, and carried out the plan. When the other half realized they were running out of oil, they asked the wise virgins to share. The wise half refused to share. (Mt. 25) Interesting! Not share? Hmmm. Is that even Christ-like?

Not sharing is not the issue here; foolishly giving away God’s provision for you (and compromising your priorities) is. Not accepting what God has already put into place on your behalf shows a disrespect for who God is and a disregard for what He has done for you. It even smacks of personal pride. In fact, if the wise virgins had given away the resources they gathered, they would have missed the dearest thing to their hearts: the bridegroom’s arrival. There is nothing more valuable than receiving Christ in every detail of your life.

Jesus Lived His Entire Life With Boundaries In Place

 

Jesus was such an effective manager, able to minister and provide a good model for you and me. Here are examples of various boundaries He put into place in His life:

  • He only chose 12 disciples to train. If anyone could have trained a million, God could have. But God in a human body wisely limited His time, energy, and resources. What borders are you putting around your time, energy, and resources?
  • Jesus did not share His heart with people in certain situations. “But Jesus would not entrust Himself to them, for He knew all people.” (Jn. 2:24) All your life issues start in your heart. Are you guarding your heart? (Prov. 4:23)
  • Jesus did not let any person get in the way of God’s will. Among many other intentional things He engaged, Jesus pursued the cross with passion, deliberately setting His course. Are you too concerned about what other people think? Do you live to please God – or to please others/yourself?
  • He often withdrew from people for time alone with His Father. Do you welcome “alone-time” with the Lord each day? Do you fill your free time with people and events? Is contentment a struggle?
  • By living an ordinary human life with purpose and boundaries, Jesus created room for the miraculous power and provision of God’s “overflow display” in daily human issues. How are you creating room for the overflow of God’s miraculous power and provision in your daily issues?
  • Jesus did not let people pressure Him into doing His ministry the way they thought He should – not even His close friends. When Martha sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was very sick, Jesus did not go immediately to save the day. He purposefully waited another two days till His good friend had died. Then He went. Jesus had God’s glory in mind even as He loved His friends. Are you letting people pressure you into decisions and directions that God has not led you in?
  • Interestingly, Jesus set clear boundaries particularly around children. Better to wear a millstone necklace and take a swim in the deep blue sea than give even one of these dear little ones a hard time!” (Lk. 17:2 – The Message) Do you protect children at every level of their little lives? What kind of necklace would God put around your neck?

There are many more examples from Christ’s life. Setting boundaries enabled Jesus to adequately accomplish God’s will and timing. Boundaries brought order and credibility to His work. He also commanded respect from others because of utilizing boundaries.

Setting Healthy Boundaries is Wisdom

 

Proverbs talks a lot about boundaries and equates those ideas with wisdom. Some examples: “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man. Do not associate with one easily angered.” “A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself.” “A righteous man is cautious in friendship.” “The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his soul.” “He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.” (Yes, that is also a boundary.) Because God loves you so much, He wants you to have a healthy, balanced life much like a well-tended and watered garden. Are you working to live a balanced life using God’s wise boundaries?

Scripture urges a person who has been wronged to “run to your Fortress!” To your Tower. (Prov 18:10) Get hemmed in. Get behind your rampart. (Synonyms for rampart are: fortification, wall, barricade.) Sounds like boundaries to me. Are you doing your part in protecting your heart by staying hemmed in under God’s safe shadow? *

God’s Word gives direction on setting healthy boundaries. Here is one of the best Scriptures. It deals with the very beginnings – the roots – of where boundaries are needed and set. Scripture’s Thinking Grid.

I hope you choose to take up the Lord’s teaching, His model, and His wisdom.

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Connect with Us and Get a FREE Resource!

SIGN UP and get – “How To Turn Scripture Into An Alive and Active Life” with practical ideas to refresh your Bible Study.

You will also receive weekly inspiring articles to read. If you are super busy, you can listen and multi-task, using the web player at the top of each article – OR – subscribe on your favorite podcast app.

Subscribe

* indicates required

Prepare Your Heart For Christmas – Advent #1

You prepare for Christmas in so many ways. But how do you prepare your heart? It’s a challenge. This treasured holiday is a time for celebration, cheer, friends, family, and worship. However, because Christmas has become highly commercialized, it takes skill and pensive preparation to fully participate in the hustle and bustle without losing it’s meaning.

This is the first in a series to help prepare your heart for Christmas. Each week we will light another candle in our hearts as a statement of preparation in Advent. Read More …

Read More »

Thankful While Busy

As I’ve been preparing for a mostly traditional Thanksgiving meal, I’ve been reminded how much planning and preparation goes into special celebrations we hold dear. These are added onto regular activities and responsibilities of each day. So, managing everything during the holiday season is critical. Additionally, remembering there are many reasons to be thankful while busy keeps you centered. Read More …

Read More »

Do You Wonder About Prayer?

Sometimes I wonder about prayer. How to pray most effectively. Do my prayers make a difference? Sometimes I wonder how to engage this precious relationship with an invisible person. I know it’s critical, and I’ve engaged it for many years. But in our physical, visible daily reality, going after invisible qualities can be hard to define. Do you ever wonder about things like that? Or do you wonder about prayer? Read More …

Read More »

Rise Up Higher

While reading a favorite author recently, I noticed new ideas I’d missed from reading them in the past. These ideas encouraged me to keep going after something God placed in my heart years ago. What was that? “Rise Up Higher.” After pursuing this for years, I can tell you – it’s a really good place! “Rise Up Higher” has so many practical applications. Enjoy this content. Read More …

Read More »

Trick or Treat – Real Life

This week in many communities, you will hear the phrase, “trick or treat.” Fall is in full swing. Candy. Caramel apples. Cider – hot or cold. Chilly air and colored leaves (in some geographies). Hayrides. Some folks decorate their yard for Fall. Others prefer a Harvest Party with games, costumes, stories, and pumpkins. But these festivities don’t change the reality – trick or treat is real life. Read More …

Read More »