“Boundary” is the new buzzword as the self-help culture empowers people to regain control of their lives.
But what exactly are boundaries and how does one set them… and are they even Biblical?
The answer might surprise you.
To start – let’s look at what the actual definition of a boundary is.
Oxford defines a boundary as simply “a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.”
So if you have an angry person in your life – you might try to “set a boundary” and tell them not to yell at you anymore.
But as they continue to rage, you feel frustrated that your “boundary” didn’t work.
Well, that’s because boundaries actually have nothing to do with the other person.
The most important thing you need to know about setting boundaries – is they are 100 percent for you.
Instead of trying to control an angry person in your life and make them “stop yelling” – a boundary would look like telling them something such as, “If you continue to yell while we are on the phone together, I’m going to end the phone call”.
Boundaries aren’t meant to punish the other person – they are meant to keep you safe – and set guardrails in your own life.
When used for the right reason, boundaries can help each of us maintain self-control when in difficult situations – and instead of “lashing out” or “repaying evil for evil” – a person with healthy boundaries chooses how they respond – instead of trying to control others.
The world is full of tactics on how to control other people or “make them do as you say” – but the Bible teaches us to control ourselves.
A person with healthy boundaries doesn’t need to manipulate, control, or coerce others…
… and they can prevent others who lack self-control from harming them by setting good boundaries themselves.
However – just like anything else – we can use boundaries in a sinful way.
Boundaries are never meant to “exclude others” or turn a blind eye when they are suffering.
If a person is in crisis, it’s right and just to help them – but a boundary would be making sure you are saying yes from a place of strength, not weakness.
We’ve all seen the person who “volunteers for everything” hoping to be liked and accepted as they chase man’s approval.
But seeking approval from men or doing things from the motivation of receiving recognition and applause will only lead to ruin.
Just like seeking to find your “worth” in someone else is unhealthy and unwise.
God created us to be individuals with our own characteristics – not enmeshed with another.
So when setting boundaries – remember they are never about forcing someone to do something you want – instead they are meant to create an invisible barrier that protects yourself and your well-being in a healthy way.
If you’ve never set boundaries before – today is the perfect day to start!
Do you struggle with setting boundaries?
Were you surprised to learn that boundaries have nothing to do with other people and everything to do with you?
You can post your answers to our Facebook page and join in the conversation with other believers from all around the world.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17
To stay current on the latest Christian Life Daily stories, follow us on Facebook and be sure to like and share our posts!