Boundaries, Relationships, and the Bible (Repost)

Hello lovelies. Welcome to another week of Loving Mondays. Today I’m reposting something on boundaries. This post was originally posted May 27, 2018. I’ve made a couple slight changes to it, mostly grammar. Enjoy.

I like talking about boundaries. I think they’re interesting. They get a bad rep sometimes, but that’s all due to some misunderstandings. So, let’s take it from the top…

What are boundaries?

Boundaries are like fences. They’re designed to protect us, keep the good in and the bad out. They don’t have the power to magically negate all pain. And our boundaries aren’t always healthy. They can be too rigid or too porous. And we can talk about that, but not right now.

I found this handout I created back when I was an intern. And of course I have no sources listed. (I was really bad at that. I would paraphrase then forget to write where I got it from unless it was for school. I promise I’m getting better.) And I don’t want to get online to find sources, but I think some of the information came from the book “Boundaries” by…someone. The book has a pencil on the cover. I think it was that book. And I have no plan to come back and put it here once I discover who wrote it. If someone wants, you can put it in the comments…or I guess I could do that if I remember.

(2019 me: Dr. John Townsend and Dr. Henry Cloud wrote the book. But I now feel like not as much of this came from that book as I thought because I never finished reading it. I guess the few chapters I did skim (yes skim, who has the time to read in grad school) started me on my journey of wanting to talk about relationships and help people with that. I should properly cite the book, but that would require me to go to work and grab a copy, then look through it…nobody got time for that. At least not with everything happening at work right now. Maybe some other time…like when I actually read all of it. Now back to the post.)

Below is straight from my old handout. I didn’t paste every example that it has on there. And I’m too tired to modify this like I want. And honestly, if I didn’t make changes over the last weeks, knowing that I’d be posting it, it’s not going to happen anytime soon.

Anyhoo, let’s talk about what the Bible says about boundaries.

Responsibility TO Others and FOR Self

  • “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.” ~ Galatians 6:2-5 (NIV)
    • Our responsibility to others is to help someone who has a burden too heavy to bear. However, everyone is responsible to carry their own loads. The word burden implies an excess, while load refers to the daily stresses. Problems arise when people act as if their burdens are loads and refuse help. It can lead to pain and irresponsibility.
  • “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” ~ Romans 13:8 (ESV)

Setting Boundaries in Relationships

  • “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.” ~ Proverbs 22:24-25 (NIV)
    • Be mindful of the company you keep. We cannot completely avoid people who are angry or negative, so we must create and maintain our boundaries. If we do not, it will be easy to be influenced by the other person’s negativity.
  • “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.’” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NKJV)
  • “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” ~ Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)

Knowing Our Limits and When to Stop

  • “Do not be quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools.” ~ Ecclesiastes 7: 9 (ESV)
  • “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord’.” ~ Romans 12:19 (ESV)
    • Do not try to take revenge and sin. Instead put your troubles in God’s hands. If someone wrongs you, God will judge them.

Jesus sets boundaries

  • “Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” ~ Luke 5:15-16 (NIV)
    • Jesus said no to inappropriate behaviors, such as demands. He withdrew from the crowds and instead spent one-on-one time with God. Jesus did not give in to the demands of others just because they wanted something.
  • “The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was. Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: ‘Everyone is looking for you!’ Jesus replied, ‘Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.’” ~ Mark 1:33-38 (NIV)
    • Again, Jesus withdrew from the crowds. He made time for God and his priorities. He also did not give in to the demands of others and spend his time focused on one place and one group of people. He left one city to go to another because He knew that others needed Him.
  • “When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, ‘Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?’ So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.’ Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” ~ Matthew 13:54-58 (NKJV)
    • Jesus didn’t heal those who were too proud to trust Him. He required people to have faith before He would heal them.
  • “All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.” ~ Luke 4:28-30 (NIV)
    • Jesus said no to the abuse that the people of the town tried to make Him endure. He walked away and left that situation.

Confronting Those Who Sin Against You

  • “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” ~ Matthew 18:15-20 (NIV)
    • People will not know that they have hurt or offended you if you do not say anything. We should confront out of love. In doing so, we do not try to hurt the other person or embarrass them. Do not make a production of it. That is why you should approach the person one-on-one first, then bring in others if needed.

Boundaries are not designed with the intent of harming others or keeping them out. When you create boundaries, it’s a sign of respect for yourself. It’s self-care, self-love. It’s to create healthy, appropriate relationships with others.

So, this is 2019 me speaking now. This is a lot of stuff. Going through it to correct some grammar stuff and write what versions of the verses were used got me thinking: I would love to redo this. I guess using the word “redo” would be wrong in this situation. I could use “remake” because we all know that not all remakes are faithful to the original. 

I originally wrote the handout this stuff came from about 7 years ago. I remember using it for my women’s group at Prov. My thoughts have evolved since then. I definitely see things that I want to change in this, but I have too much on my mind at the moment to do so at the moment. But don’t worry. It will happen.  I LOVE talking about boundaries. I have absorbed so much knowledge on the topic, it just has to come out.

But for now, I’ll just say that you are important. Your boundaries matter. Don’t let anyone tell you they don’t.

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