"Boundaries" Do you have Personal Boundaries?
Did you know, that God never intended for you to give up your personal boundaries as a Christian?
Do you think having personal boundaries are selfish?
Does saying "no" to volunteering mean you are not giving enough?
Do you allow yourself to be hurt, angered by others actions or words?
Do you even know what personal boundaries are?
I did not! Until early in 1998.
I am just now learning to set appropriate boundaries in my life as God reveals them to me. This photo shows a fence with lots of greenery growing around and over the gate. Boundaries are like a fence around who you are. In simple terms boundaries are fences that keep others problems out of your yard, and letting them deal with things and accept responsibility for their actions. It also means to take responsibility for your own actions in your own yard. That others are not to take responsibility for you.
For example: If I had a brother, who decided to become a alcoholic. ( totally fictitious scenario) He lost his job, so I took him in. I fed him, gave him a room, and he keeps drinking to much. He borrows my car, and wrecks it, then comes home and wants me to lie to the police about who was driving the car. He wants me to lie to his boss about being late or sick. I do all these things, so I go to get help and I want the doctor or counselor to help me find what I can do to make him stop. The counselor tells me, "He does not have a problem, YOU do" and there is the root of the problem. ME. I had no boundaries in life. I thought I was helping my brother, but in reality, I was taking on his responsibilities and preventing him from growing and overcoming his bad habit.
I needed to go home and tell him to move out on his own, in a certain amount of days. I would not lie to his boss or the police. I would not loan him any more money or my car. That from this day forth, he would have to reap the consequences of his own actions. I would love him as much as before, but I was not going to intervene for him any longer.
This is putting up boundaries! It is not saying that we should not help others in times of need. IF they have boundaries themselves. Are not using us. We are to volunteer but not to do so at the expense of our own family, or our own time to be with God.
To learn more yourself please order the full book set of "Boundaries" by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend with work books. Like I said, it has taken me years of reading and re reading to just now start implementing my own boundaries!!
For years, I would be resentful or angry at others actions or words and be hurt. Internalizing overbearing people's actions. When I should be setting my own rules of what I will allow in my life and what I will not allow! Then sticking to it, and not worrying wether they will get mad or not. Their anger is not in my yard! Here is my best tips from the book:
#1. I have the power to change myself, I do NOT have the power to change any one else!
#2. To see the other person as the one who needs fixing, is to give that person power over me and my well being. That the real problem is in how I relate to the problem person. Only I am in pain and only I (with God's help) can fix it.
It is wonderful to see the changes in my life. I am finding joy, and peace with relationships. I am not 100 percent healed but getting there. I am still in the "distancing" stage to handle some situations. But what a blessing to have God reveal this to me. And here I thought it was all THEIR fault! LOL! We all need to practice genuine boundaries in our selves! But remember this, others will be ANGRY when you set your boundaries, but fear not! Their re-actions to your action is not your concern! You are responsible to others but not FOR others.