My Calling to Set Boundaries.

11:41 AM

Let's face it, we've all had to learn the definition of boundaries the easy way or the hard way. Maybe as a child you learned by touching a hot stove or as an adult after that third glass of wine. We have to establish boundaries at work and with our family and friends, but it's especially important to establish them in our own hearts. It's part of growing. It's part of building our character. It can be very challenging, but it provides safety and security. Setting boundaries is like learning how to sail: you don't become a professional in one afternoon. It takes a lifetime of lessons...

Boundaries can be a mysterious thing. I experience a lot of anxiety, questions,
worry and frustration on this subject. I always have questions like, "WHEN is
the time to set boundaries?" "IS this the situation to draw the line in the sand?" "WHAT IF _____ ?" It's a thought process that makes me want to curl up in the fetal position and go to bed. When it comes to boundaries, being a people pleaser can work against me sometimes.

I recently had an amazing experience at a Bible study. My lovely ladies at Infusion Ministries had the marvelous, Heather Hogsed, speak about what the Word says about boundaries! It was perfect timing because of different situations in my life. She spoke about what boundaries look like, how boundaries result in FREEDOM and how they give you responsibility. She also spoke on how ownership and control tie in together. She expounded on the material from the book "Boundaries" by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. Everything was ON POINT! Here are a couple things she highlighted that I will share with you today: 

In the physical world, boundaries are easy to see: fences, signs, walls, lawns, etc. In different appearances, they all have the same message: This is where MY property begins. Property owners are legally responsible for what happens TO the property and what happens ON the property, and non-owners are NOT responsible for what happens on his/her property.

Spiritual boundaries are the same and just as real. Spiritually, a boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading to the sense of ownership and providing freedom.

So as pretty as that sounds, what do boundaries look in real life? When
should we set the boundaries? And for what reasons? Why are we called to set
boundaries? In Proverbs & Jeremiah, God gives a beautiful, powerful and simple example of setting boundaries.

Proverbs 8:29 // 
"When he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth."

Jeremiah 5:22 // 
"Should you not fear me?" declares the LORD. "Should you not tremble in my presence? I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it."

Notice that God did not set the boundary in anger or out of fear. He set the
boundary for the sea out of love for His creation. His Word is chocked full
of stories giving us examples of God setting boundaries and clearly explaining
them to us. God gives us these boundaries out of love. His love and passion go
deeper than any depth our human minds can comprehend. His Word is a
"Don't touch the hot burner" and a "Love endlessly" guide. Most of the time we
react sinfully, it's because we don't understand that the hot burner will hurt us. If
we take a step back, we'll see that the boundaries He's set for us are just as beautiful and
powerful as the sea. We are able to enjoy it and not fear it. 

We must set boundaries out of love for other people and ourselves. We must set boundaries for protection and freedom. Sometimes people will overstep the
boundary we have set. Sometimes they will hate you for the boundaries and you will have to draw a line in the sand. And some days, the relationship becomes stronger and safer because you took the stand... out of love.

But what about family? What about co-workers? What about relationships? What
about material things? These are no pocket-sized subjects. Many times pain is
involved. However, we are called to set boundaries to experience freedom.
Freedom comes with responsibility. If you have a hurtful, unhealthy relationship, you need to take the responsibility and draw a line in the sand, IN LOVE. I
for one, cannot accomplish this without the help of the Holy Spirit. In
scripture, God gives us an example of standing firm and finding freedom. Look
how God perfectly explains it:

Galatians 5:1 //
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

When do we find freedom? How do we set boundaries and respect them? First off,
we were born sinners, so we cannot accomplish setting and obey the boundaries
without Christ. We need to truly understand what the boundaries are, WHO gives the boundaries and why these are there. You will not be able to stay within the boundaries of godliness if you do have a spiritual support system. Pushing the boundaries is the same as passing them. Without Christ, you will not be able to love and respect the boundaries placed before you in the lives of others.

Boundaries: a simple concept, yet a widespread affair. Everyone has boundaries. Everyone needs boundaries. The subject brings us back to the amazing story of grace. A God who is merciful and just. A forgiving God who is strong and mighty to save. He set boundaries as early as the beginning of creation with Adam and Eve. He set boundaries for our lives concerning sin. Even though we are born sinners and push, pass and abuse the bounds that God has placed before us EVERYDAY - He continues to forgive us and love us. All while protecting us in the amazing grace of His boundaries.

Psalm 19:7-11 // 

7  The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
8  the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
9  the fear of the Lord is clean,
enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
10  More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
11  Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

12  Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
13  Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.

14  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

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Read and Edited by, Jessica Thompson. One of God's most beautiful souls.  

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