This seems to be a popular theme right now in the news. Also, a re occurring theme in my life.
The headlines as of late have been focusing greatly on the border crisis this great country is facing. Borders that are being infiltrated by a loop hole in the laws and or system that are allowing children without parents to travel over the border’s and subsequently being wards of the state. It is a truly sad situation and I cannot imagine the toll it is taking on the border states, the children and the parents.
Yet, we do have “Borders” for good reason. These lines are set to separate states and countries and each of the governing bodies. To eliminate mass chaos and add order not only to the states and countries but ultimately to lives. Can you imagine an earth with no borders?
We have the same sort of rules when it comes to boundaries in our lives. If we do not have set boundaries for our relationships, our kids, our marriage, our ministries. There will be mass chaos.
I have run into this personally, especially since embarking on this life in Christ. I want to help and I want to lead, I want to be Christ like. Yet, I continue to run into these jams. Jams that are caused by yours truly, because I have not set boundaries where they needed to be. It not only ultimately hurts me but also the people that I have allowed to cross invisible boundaries lines that were never drawn.
I have researched the matter and also have read up on what is biblically sound since this is always the place where ultimate truth lies.
Here is an excerpt from a article I read on the biblical view of boundary setting.
Here’s Galatians 6:2-7, which talks about boundaries:
2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load. 6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor. 7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
We’re supposed to carry each other’s burdens, but we’re also supposed to carry our own loads. Think of a load as something which is manageable–your daily to-do list. But when something out of the blue hits someone that they can’t handle themselves, then we’re supposed to help them. We aren’t supposed to carry each other’s loads–only their burdens. And you won’t be able to help someone with their burdens if you’re simultaneously trying to carry your family’s loads.
Here’s something else about boundaries: we’re not supposed to compare ourselves to others, and we’re not supposed to worry about other’s opinions. We need to test our own actions, and only rely on God. And finally, and perhaps most importantly,
A man reaps what he sows.
God set up the world so that our actions have consequences, and we are supposed to bear those consequences. If you take responsibility for things that aren’t yours–by not having boundaries, for instance–you put a roadblock into one of God’s best teaching instruments He has for His children. Let’s say your husband is prone to rages. He’s sowing discord and anger. But if you and the kids walk on tiptoes around him, trying to placate him, and then when he does yell, you apologize and try to repair the relationship, you’re the ones who are reaping that discord, not him.
We aren’t to carry each other’s loads, and we’re supposed to let people bear the consequences of their actions. We are each responsible for our own stuff.
This helped me to understand that their needs to be healthy boundaries set in relationships, that enable both parties to share in the fruits of the relationship that can only be borne of right standing.
Also, it is important to remember that we have a place in the body of Christ. Christ is the head and should always be our right hand. I think without boundaries it is easy to replace that right hand with a person instead of the God head. Here is a devotion sent to me by a good friend on this subject.
My Right-Hand Man
“I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8 (NASB)
I sat on the floor and cried. I felt overwhelmed and so alone.
“Who is going to help me now, Lord?” I whispered.
My assistant and close friend had just informed me she was no longer able to partner with me in my ministry. Circumstances beyond her control made it impossible for her to continue to work alongside me as someone I depended on. No longer there to help me. No longer there to be my sounding board, my prayer support, my “other half” in a very real sense.
I felt like I was losing my right hand.
Have you ever felt that way? As if you are suddenly on your own, without anyone to hold you up?
And yet, God had something He wanted me to learn in that difficult moment.
Just hours earlier, I had spoken to a group of women about the seasons of our lives in which we need to be pruned. I gave the example of how rosebushes need to be pruned. They look choppy after the pruning, but come spring, the roses bloom brighter and more beautifully than ever.
But here I was, being pruned in my own life, and feeling like I was losing my right hand!
God, this doesn’t feel like pruning, I prayed. This feels like my right hand is being chopped off! Please God, not her. She’s all I have right now. Please don’t take my right hand.
Desperate for God’s presence and His comfort, I reached for my Bible. Not knowing where else to turn, I opened to the Psalms. Years earlier, my cousin had shared how Psalm 16 comforted her when it came to experiencing loss in her family. I read the Psalm aloud and stopped suddenly after reading verse 8:
I have set the LORD continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”
Lord, I prayed, I’m complaining I’ve lost my right hand, but You are my right hand. You are the One who helps me, counsels me, encourages me. You are the One who never leaves my side.
Dear God, I’m so sorry I didn’t see it before. You truly are my Right-hand Man.
I read through the rest of Psalm 16, and smiled at how it ended:
“You will make known to me the path of life; In your presence is fullness of joy; In your right hand are pleasures forever,” (Psalm 16:11, NASB).
God was telling me, in my moment of fear and anxiety, that not only was I not alone, but I never would be. Even without my friend to help me. With God at my right hand, there is joy in His presence and pleasures forevermore.
I realized that day there is no one else I would rather have at my right hand.
I got up off the floor and walked out of the room with my Bible in my hand, my head held high and my Right-hand Man at my side.
I have never walked alone in this job yet, I thought to myself. And I never will.
Dear Lord, on those days when I feel cut off from help, encouragement, or support, help me to remember You are the One who is at my right hand. Thank You for being the One who helps me, counsels me and encourages me. Because of Your stability I will never be shaken … and I will never walk alone. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Isaiah 41:10, “‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'” (NASB)
Psalm 18:35, “You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, And Your right hand upholds me; And Your gentleness makes me great.” (NASB)
We HAVE to set healthy boundaries in our lives. The enemy is circling about waiting for that boundary to be crossed, so that we may be attacked.
The people in your life that are meant to be there will respect the boundaries you have set. Also, you will be setting a good example to them, and we may all become better imitators of Christ Jesus. Often others will be angry, and resentful of the boundaries. Maybe that is God’s way of weeding the people out of our lives that aren’t meant to be there. For everything there is a season. Hopefully with time they will also see the good that comes from boundaries and right standing.
Titus 2:7-8New International Version (NIV)
7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
I hope to convey with love the need to be safe in the confines of biblical boundaries so as to all we do can be all the God has predestined for our lives.