For many years, I taught inside multiple state prisons. One of the courses I taught was called, Boundaries. It was based on the book of the same name written by Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townshend. It was a Biblically-based teaching on this very important topic.

The general idea of this course was the great importance of establishing healthy boundaries for us and for those around us. The problem we have is we either don’t respect the boundaries of others or we allow others to not respect our boundaries.

Show others the respect you think you deserve. “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor” (1 Peter 2:17 NIV).

Boundaries are crossed in thousand different ways. It may be asking too much of others. Often a layer of guilt will be thrown alongside every request. Manipulation becomes the standard of the offender, and a root of bitterness will begin to grow in the one being manipulated.

Your struggles will either make you bitter or better; the choice is up to you. “Look after each other so that not one of you will fail to find God’s best blessings. Watch out that no bitterness takes root among you, for as it springs up it causes deep trouble, hurting many in their spiritual lives” (Hebrews 12:15 TLB).

Too many of us think we should tolerate others disrespecting our boundaries in order that we can maintain some level of peace with them. But we soon find out that as we yield territory, they only want more, and there is no peace in the end.

Stop worrying about the antics of man and stand firm in the power of God. “…that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:5 NKJV).

We think that if we set a boundary, the other person will be offended, and it will hurt our relationship with them. Yet by not setting boundaries, we are becoming bitter towards them and avoiding them. The relationship suffers more where boundaries are established less.

We take better care of our natural than our spiritual and then wonder why the devil plays us. “And do not give the devil an opportunity [to lead you into sin by holding a grudge, or nurturing anger, or harboring resentment, or cultivating bitterness]” (Ephesians 4:27 AMP).

We wonder if we can set a firm boundary and still have the love of Christ in us. But the truth is it will be the love of Christ in us that will compel us to establish healthy boundaries, which are the God-ordained order that we are meant to live in.

People can only frustrate you as much as you’re willing to let them. “Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32 NLT).

If someone is crossing the line into your marriage, then they are trying to break the covenant between a man and a woman that God has established. We are called to leave and cleave, and this sometimes means others will be offended. Let them be offended but know that God is with you.

Stop looking outside God’s plans trying to find a better way. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24 AMPC).

If someone is asking too much of you, then it is up to you to establish what you are willing to do for them. This is not being unkind to them, but rather it is drawing a line between you being kind and them taking advantage of your heart.

The more baggage you carry, the harder your journey will be. “We each must carry our own load” (Galatians 6:5 CEV).

If someone is treating you wrong, then it is up to you to draw a line that they can no longer cross over. Get help if you need to, and know that God loves you and wants what is best for you. We have to set boundaries before we can expect people not to cross them.

Never be surprised when someone crosses a boundary that you never established. “A day will come for rebuilding your walls; on that day your boundary will be extended” (Micah 7:11 HCSB).

One of the most important boundaries we must recognize as Christians is the boundaries that others have with us. We must ask the Lord where we are being manipulative in order to get our way with others. Be willing to admit where you’re wrong and then pray to fix it.

Treat people better than they deserve because that is how God treats you. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 NIV).

If you ever can, get this book called Boundaries and learn just how serious God is about having healthy boundaries in your life. Once you start to establish good boundaries, you will have better relationships with others and more peace in your life than you imagined possible.

I had the great honor of meeting Dr. Cloud. He came into one of the prisons I was serving in to sit in on a class I was teaching. After I taught a short message, I asked Dr. Cloud and the other men with him to share with the class. I’ll never forget how humble and kind Dr Cloud was.

Blessings to you,

Paul Balius

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.