Morning Thought: Boundaries

Reading the excellent post by Mark Pfeifer on revenge reminded me of a life skills class I used to teach on Establishing Healthy Boundaries. As Townsend and Cloud say in their classic book ,“ Boundaries”, healthy boundaries are like fences around our lives. Fences have gates and the gates are to let out things we don’t want or need and to let in things we do want and need in our lives. Boundaries define where I stop and where someone else begins and boundaries are about respect for ourselves and others. Boundaries are invisible property lines around our lives and we hold the deed to that property and we are responsible for what we let come across those boundaries. (Paraphrased)

We are responsible for our hearts and we must establish Godly and healthy boundaries. We are the gatekeeper of our own hearts and we are responsible for all we allow to enter in. This is why Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) tells us, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

The fact is people will disappoint and hurt us. People will slander and falsely accuse. The question for ourselves is will we open the gate to our “heart” and allow that anger, resentment and pain to come in, or will we keep the gate closed and locked?

Too often the enemy will try to convince us that having boundaries is uncaring and mean. This lie is part of his deception to control our hearts with damaging influences that lead us away from God and our God assignment in life. Healthy Boundaries will not only reveal our respect for ourselves, but also for God. We have to ask ourselves “where do I draw the line and where do I close the gate?”

Just because we do not allow a mad or stray dog in our yard does not mean he stops his barking and railing at trying to get in. Those we have exited from our lives often continue to bark and growl, creating a lot of noise. They will often draw the attention of our neighbors with their noise. Do we keep our gate closed or do we bark and growl back, opening our hearts to resentment, anger and hate?

Most of those in the life skill groups were dealing with past painful relationships that continued to dominate their present life. They had to learn to close the gate and keep it closed. How did they do this? They learned this is possible as they take responsibility for their emotions, thoughts, attitudes and choices.

God warned Cain, Genesis 4:6–7 (NLT): Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? 7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”

We must do the right thing. We must take responsibility for our life. We must guard it diligently and we must deny anything that would try to invade and create destruction. We only master our lives as we allow God to master our hearts, and we must discern when to open our gates and when to close them. We are the gatekeeper!

Leave a Reply