The word ‘boundaries’ is quite confusing: that is until you need them. In fact, life without boundaries causes panic attacks, anxiety, depression, anger, and all-the-not-so-happy-feelings. The lack of boundaries wrecks schedules, home environments, work places, family time, and most importantly – the lack of boundaries interrupts God’s call on our life.
Boundaries create healthy space.
The lack of boundaries sounds something like:
“Does she think I have all the time in the world?”
“I don’t even have time to take care of my own family.”
“I’m always taking care of everything for everyone.”
“Why can’t he help me instead of watching football?”
“There’s no way I’d ever have time to do what I love to do.”
“He’s always making fun of what I like to do.”
“But, they need me.”
“There is no one else to do what I do.”
These thoughts are partnered with a racing heartbeat, soaring blood pressure, and angry words. And, any brave soul were to ask what may help, the mostly likely responses would sound like:
“Tell her that I have other things I need to do.”
“Tell them they need do to this on their own. They are fully capable.”
“I would love it if he noticed that I needed help!”
“I need a month to myself.”
“He doesn’t realize how much his jokes hurt.”
“We need to delegate some of the work.”
“Train someone else to do these jobs.”
Want to know how boundaries will change your life? Implement these responses, and you’ll feel the change. In fact, you will feel light and free. Perhaps for the first time, you’ll notice God placing a profound vision and purpose on your heart – just for you.
Lovingly creating boundaries actually is quite beautiful:
“Hey, I know you looking for some help with that: however, this week won’t work out well for me. Have you tried calling on ________?”
“Thank you for always inviting me, I truly appreciate it! This weekend, I’m all booked up… so I’ll have to catch you next time. Truly have a lovely time.”
“I know you depend on me to take care of things around here so I am thinking we should consider training _____ to help with these things as well. This way, if I have a day that I cannot be here, everything will run smoothly.”
Boundaries protect your purpose.
We are Biblically directed to guard our hearts, prayerfully follow God’s lead, and passionately protect our God-directed purpose. This doesn’t mean that because someone we love and care about – at home, at work, or at church – asked us to do something for them that we always need to say ‘yes’. Most of us live a very distracted life focused on other people’s plans and purposes. Without notice, rather than being God-guided, we are human-directed.
When we are human-directed, we find ourselves:
- Saying “yes” when we mean “no”.
- Feeling unappreciated.
- Overwhelmed & too busy.
- Resentful towards our own calling.
- Overly involved in another’s purpose & life situations.
- Suffering from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
When we are God-guided, we find ourselves:
- Saying ’no’ to distractions.
- Aware of God’s direction in our life.
- Appreciating others and ourselves.
- Living a full life with full days, but not overwhelmingly busy.
- Sincerely interested in other’s pursuits.
- Observing and encouraging the good in life.
- Feeling free, content, and joyful.
Boundaries promote relationship.
Understanding and appreciating the need for healthy boundaries may be one of the most significant influencers on the longevity of deep and meaningful relationships as well as a happy and full life. The Bible clearly states a target for healthy boundaries in Proverbs:
When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.
Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her.
Proverbs 31:26-29 (NLT)
Boundaries use our time wisely.
Boundaries sound like wisdom and feel kind. Boundaries protect the most important ministry – the family and the marriage. Once we have spent time in prayer and have listened for God’s clear instruction for His will on our life, we can let go of the striving and the blurred boundary living, and surrender to intention, wisdom, and a God-purposed life.
In what area of your life do you need to set a boundary? Write it down, and then create a loving way to articulate your desires. As always, before having the conversation, pray for peace and understanding.
Be powered by the Holy Spirit!