“My Boundaries are My Responsibility” 💪
by Ana Adler
Did you know that boundaries come from the very nature of God? Just go back to the beginning!
"Growing up in a dysfunctional environment / home" seems to be the latest description by which most troubled people describe their early childhood years. By definition "dysfunction" means the condition of having poor and unhealthy behaviors and attitudes within a group of people. Other words for dysfunction are: flawed, broken, debilitated, decayed, defective, and deteriorated.
Biblical or boundaries from a Christian perspective means: they are boundaries that are loving limits you set in your relationships. They help you determine which things are your responsibility, and which things are the other person's responsibility. You are responsible for your actions and reactions.
Biblically speaking, boundaries are related to self-control. The Bible commands us to control ourselves, whereas our human nature desires to control others (Titus 2:12). If left unchecked, our natural desires inflict pain, abuse, suffering, disrespect, etc. over others. Personal boundaries help to limit our selfish inclined nature to control or manipulate others. Likewise, boundaries protect us from those who have no self-control and who wish to control us. A person with clear, healthy boundaries communicates to others what is and is not permissible, saying, in effect, “This is my property, and you have no right to come in at this time.”
*Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
“A boundary doesn't tell someone else what to do, it tells them what you will do.”
Growing up in a home with an Alcoholic father was not a fun or safe environment for anyone to grow up in. I don't need to say anymore other than "I lived in fear of" anger, angry voices, fighting, cursing, yelling, harsh punishments, afraid of being in trouble and the good 'ol favorite I don't have a voice or choice. Not to say the least, I never knew healthy boundaries. I never knew I had a choice for how I felt.
I am most definitely triggered when I witness anything that sounds like my childhood traumas. God has recently revealed to me that triggers are a red flag that there is still unresolved pain from a past hurt. I am to acknowledge it. Give myself the gift to feel the pain, disappointment, or experience. A trigger can be a clue that someone is mistreating you and it might be very appropriate to set some boundaries between you and that person. The trigger is another gift! Learn to appreciate them and use them for your personal growth and healing. Maybe it's about forgiving an abusive parent or partner, but no matter what the trigger is reminding you of, it is there to help you recognize something is wrong or help you recover.
So, What Are Healthy Boundaries?
(Taken right from the book Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend)
I highly recommend this book~
In the physical world, boundaries are easy to see. Fences, signs, walls, moats with alligators, manicured lawns, and hedges are all physical boundaries. In their differing appearances, they give the same message: This is where my property begins. The owner of the property is legally responsible for what happens on his or her property. Non-owners are not responsible for the property.
Physical boundaries mark a visible property line that someone holds the deed to. You can go to the county courthouse and find out exactly where those boundaries of responsibility are and whom to call if you have business there.
In the spiritual world, boundaries are just as real, but often harder to see. 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.
Healthy boundaries help us to distinguish our property so that we can take care of it. They help us to guard our heart “with all diligence” (Prov. 4:23 NASB). We need to keep things that will nurture us inside our fences and keep things that will harm us outside. In short, boundaries help us keep the good in and the bad out. They guard our treasures (Matt. 6:19–20) so that people will not steal them. They keep the pearls inside and the pigs outside (Matt. 7:6).
Sometimes we have bad on the inside and good on the outside. In these instances, we need to be able to open up our boundaries to let the good in and the bad out. In other words, our fences need gates in them. For example, if I find that I have some pain or sin within, I need to open up and communicate it to God and others, so that I can be healed. Confessing pain and sin helps to “get it out” so that it does not continue to poison me on the inside (1 John 1:9; James 5:16; Mark 7:21–23).
And when the good is on the outside, we need to open our gates and “let it in.” Jesus speaks of this phenomenon in “receiving” him and his truth (Rev. 3:20; John 1:12). Other people have good things to give us, and we need to “open wide our hearts” to them (2 Cor. 6:11–13). Often we will close our boundaries to good things from others, staying in a state of deprivation.
We need to take responsibility for our souls. But taking care of what lies within our boundaries isn’t easy; neither is allowing other people to take care of what lies within their boundaries. Setting boundaries and maintaining them is hard work, but it is essential for us to be healthy adults.
Note from me to you: I just love the analogy of the fence with a gate!
"There is a BIG difference between a WALL & a FENCE with a GATE". A wall does not allow anyone in or out. An emotional wall is not God's way of setting boundaries. There is NO Love in the walls. The fence with a gate allows the good in and keeps the bad out. Only you have the power or key to unlock/open the gate! When you set a boundary you communicate what you will permit (allow) and what you will not.
Here are some power scripts to help with setting godly boundaries: from Good Boundaries and Goodbyes: Loving Others Without Losing the Best of Who You Are by Lisa TerKeurst ~
I highly recommend this book
I love you. I’m in a place right now where I have to guard my heart against these kinds of ways you’re handling yourself around me (or with me).
I love you and I care about you, and at the same time there are some behaviors that are requiring me to make changes in our relationship. When you (… ) in my presence, it affects me in ways I am no longer willing to accept.
You’re an adult and your choices are your own. This is me being proactive about my well-being, making wise choices for myself and looking out for my heart. So I am requesting that you no longer ( …………..) around me or in my home, or I will remove myself from the situation or conversation and if it's in my property, you will need to leave.
If you are not able to agree with these parameters, then we will have to limit our interactions and I can longer (………)
I’m doing this because I care about our relationship and I want to keep it in a healthier place.
If you cannot agree with my request then we will have to (………)
I wanted to talk to you today not to debate about how you choose to speak to me (or others) - I need to let you know it is no longer sustainable for me to stay in this kind of relationship with you (working or ………..)
I’m just accepting the reality that this issue is affecting me emotionally, mentally and perhaps even physically. And it’s time to acknowledge that and make some necessary changes.
I’m committed to caring well for myself, therefore I’ve decided to stop asking you to change the (……………) and instead create some distance between us so that simmering resentments don’t take over our relationship.
This isn’t easy but it's necessary- if you would like to continue our relationship of (……….) I am willing to do that as long as you understand that I am no longer willing to be subject to your (put downs, yelling. …….) - -as long as our interactions are mutually respectful and honoring to one another.
I hope this was helpful and until next time!
Quotes by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend
“We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing. Consequences give us the pain that motivates us to change.”
― Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend
“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. Taking responsibility for my life opens up many different options. Boundaries help us keep the good in and the bad out. Setting boundaries inevitably involves taking responsibility for your choices. You are the one who makes them. You are the one who must live with their consequences. And you are the one who may be keeping yourself from making the choices you could be happy with. We must own our own thoughts and clarify distorted thinking.”
― Henry Cloud, Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
"Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don't say it in a mean way."
- Lisa TerKeurst, Good Boundaries and Goodbyes
Credit where credit is due 😀:
https://www.gotquestions.org/boundaries-biblical.html https://www.verywellmind.com/boundaries-in-relationships-and-stress-3144984 https://www.boundariesbooks.com/pages/what-are-healthy-boundaries https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/1114699.Henry_Cloud https://proverbs31.org/study/online-bible-studies/good-boundaries-and-goodbyes
Ana Adler led a Women's Bible Studies for 15 years, was the Women's Ministry Leader at her church for 3 ½ years and has been leading Dare To Share since the 2013. She is married to Dean since 1994 and has 3 children, Jon, Jenny and Jake and 4 grandchildren, Jayden, Melody, Bryan and Kylie. You will want to stay up-to-date on her Blog: My Story For His Glory - This is where Ana is transparent and real and shares with her readers all about her struggles, trials, stories and her VICTORIES in Christ. The purpose of this blog is to give her readers hope, healing and faith that our God can move mountains!
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