Boundaries define who we are and who we are not…
Learning how to set boundaries with yourself and others is a huge part of growing up. Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. Thus, boundaries define who we are and who we are not.
Boundaries impact all areas of our lives: Physical boundaries help us determine who is allowed to touch us or enter our space, and under what circumstances; Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions; Emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative, or negative emotions of others; and, Spiritual boundaries help us to distinguish God’s will from our own and give us the redemption and renewal we need for this life.
Often, Christians focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limits and limitations. This has definitely been something I’ve struggled with personally. However, it is important to consider these questions:
– Can I set limits and still be a loving person?
– What are legitimate boundaries?
– What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries?
– How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money?
– Aren’t boundaries selfish?
– Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries?