Why do people need boundaries? If we only acted in Christ’s love twenty-four-hours a day, we respected and honored everyone, and if we were perfect, we wouldn’t need boundaries.
The facts are that we live in an imperfect human condition in a broken world until Jesus comes to take all of his disciples to heaven. God created us in limited bodies which are constrained by the laws of gravity, the consequences of our choices, and the fact that we will receive what we sow or give to others. Whether you are a disciple of Christ or not, you can’t escape living in this broken world and being affected by these laws.
God Created the First Boundaries
God established the first boundaries for Adam and Eve because they didn’t know they needed them. God set a boundary to protect their heart and mind from Satan, in the Garden of Eden. He told them, “not to eat of the fruit of the tree of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
The consequence of Adam and Eve’s choice to disobey God was to be separated from God’s presence. Their choice resulted in being cast out of the Garden of Eden and having to endure toil, pain, and struggles in their lives. They experienced one of God’s laws on this earth, with every choice there is a consequence.
God didn’t create boundaries to manipulate or control Adam and Eve. He drew a loving boundary for them to protect their mind, heart, spirit, body, and life. Once they chose to dishonor God’s boundary, He had to draw a new one, which included them leaving His presence.
Oh, the heartache and sorrow they must have felt once they realized they could no longer walk and talk with God every day the way they did in the past. They had to learn to draw personal boundaries to keep them loving God first and to protect themselves from the deception of the devil. Now they knew there is always a cost for breaking a boundary, whether it was theirs or someone else’s.
What is a Boundary, and Why We Need Them?
When you drive through the country, you will see a variety of fences defining one property from another. Boundaries keep landowners from infringing on one another’s properties. To live healthy, loving lives, we must establish and maintain visible and invisible boundaries to protect our heart, body, spirit, and souls—our mind, will, and emotions.
As disciples of Christ, it’s vital for us to establish healthy boundaries to keep the devil from having any access to our mind and heart. He gains access through the messages or actions of other people, what we tell ourselves, and the influence of the world. We can’t leave the gate to our mind open and allow ourselves or people to disrespect and dishonor Jesus living in us. Each one of us is responsible for drawing and maintaining healthy boundaries, just as Jesus did to make sure he protected and cared for his mind, body, and spirit.
“Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership. Knowing what I am to own and take responsibility for gives me freedom. If I know where my yard begins and ends, I am free to do with it what I like. Taking responsibility for my life opens up many different options. However, if I do not “own” my life, my choices and options become very limited.”
This explanation of boundaries is from the best book on boundaries I have read, and continually recommend is, Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life, written by two Christian psychologists, Dr. Henry Cloud, and Dr. John Townsend.
Set Up Your Boundaries in Christ’s Wisdom and Power
The devil’s domain of influence is in our broken world. Therefore, as disciples of Christ, you are responsible to learn how to set up boundaries to guard your heart, mind, and spirit as he did. He showed us how to set boundaries when he lived on earth.
Jesus always started in prayer and communication with God, his Father. He never said or did anything without it coming from God first. Walking with God is how he protected his mind, heart, and spirit. He ate, slept, and rested when he needed to for his body. If he had to draw boundaries, so will we.
Take the hand of Jesus and let him help you learn his healthy boundaries and how to draw them in your life. Seek the help of a Christian counselor, read the Boundaries book, or find a Christian life coach who has learned how to live in healthy boundaries. In the safety of Jesus, you will find his peace, love, joy, grace, and freedom. Be courageous and begin learning about boundaries today by reading how Jesus lived his life.
Remember, boundaries don’t keep you isolated, and they are not used as manipulation. Boundaries keep you dwelling with Jesus and protect you while you live in this broken world. To evaluate the health of your boundaries and to learn how to draw healthy ones in Christ’s love, contact Darla today at Darlatgm@gmail.com.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23 NIV