In Part 1, we saw what boundaries are and today (Part 2), we want to understand that boundaries are neither barriers nor walls. Rather, boundaries will only permit access to your inner circle, those you want close to you while simultaneously containing your own excesses thus preventing you from hurting others. On the other hand, while walls are structures that define an area, used to carry loads, or serve as a shelter or security, they can be used to shut everybody out.
Have you noticed something, that in the absence of healthy boundaries, people will turn us into doormats, walking all over us and using and abusing us as they will? Thus let other people’s action be their responsibility; but don’t allow them to do whatever to you because then, you will be responsible for whatever they do to you. Hence there is the need for healthy boundaries without which it is almost impossible to recover from abuse, be assertive, grow, and live meaningfully. Plainly, behaviours have consequences and in Galatians 6:7, 8, the Apostle Paul says, “A man reaps what he sows.” So when you are doing your best to sow good for the better, why should someone else disrupt the sowing and reaping in your life?
Furthermore, without the freedom to say no, all our yeses are useless and also very meaningless. Do you feel guilty or afraid when you need to tell someone “No”?The Bible says “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’,” (Matthew 5:37). If you have self control, as Galatians 5:23 says, you will be able to face boundary busters albeit in love and take responsibility for any choices that you make.
Spiritually, we are expected to take constant, diligent ownership and stewardship over our souls, and be careful as to what is going on there. As I mentioned before, a boundary determines where one’s property ends and where the neighbour’s begins so then, your neighbor cannot be standing in his/her backyard, look over the fence and tell you that he/she does not like the type of grass or landscaping in your yard (though sometimes, and crazy enough, they can get the city on your back with respect to landscaping) so you have to change it to meet his/her expectations. Why allow similar in your soul?
So, what else does the Bible say about setting boundaries against boundary busters? The life of Jesus shows us a good and example of healthy boundaries. The Bible shows us that no one ever manipulated, controlled, or did anything to Jesus without His permission! And when He became a young man, not even His own parents. We know though that satan tried a few times, first at the temptation and later, through Peter when Peter forbade Jesus to die for our sins. What did Jesus tell Peter? “Get thee behind me, satan.” Simply, boundaries define who you are and who you are not.
Proposed prayer: “Heavenly Father, You know how and where I have failed to put in place boundaries that glorifies You. Please help me to develop healthy boundaries in order to keep out the bad while keeping in the good. Please help me to follow what You have modeled for me in Your Word and teach me to respect other people’s boundaries and take responsibility for my behaviours. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”