Boundaries

Written by Dr. Henry Cloud

sexlove_boundariesTake control of your time, talent and emotions.

Have you ever wondered about the following things?

  • If I tell my friend I won’t lend him any more money, I am being selfish and not very “Christian.”
  • If I refuse to “bail him out” again, I am not being “long-suffering.”
  • If I assert myself in a relationship, I fear being not loved.
  • If I disagree with what my parents want, I am not honoring them like the Bible commands.
  • If I try to discover who I am, I am focusing too much on myself, and the Bible says to focus on others.

These scenarios have a common theme: The conflict between loving someone and wanting to require responsible behavior. How can we love others and deny ourselves, yet not be taken advantage of or controlled?

On one hand, we feel if we love someone, we’ll continue to be long-suffering, and will accept the person just as he is, hurtful behavior and all. So we continue to give, feeling that is the “Christian” thing to do. On the other hand, he behaves in a way that hurts our relationship. As the hurt and resentment grows, we feel the need to do something, but don’t know what.

The Bible teaches two sides of love. One side of love accepts and forgives people just as they are. The other acknowledges truth and requires righteous behavior.

God cares enough about us and His relationship with us that He will not allow destructive behavior to hurt us or to destroy the relationship. His righteous nature has requirements for behavior in relationships, and He will step into a problem situation with someone. He loves and requires change to take place. He has limits to what He will put up with. This is where someone will experience God’s discipline, which draws him back to Him.

So, in reality, there is not one side that wins out in God’s eyes. His love and His righteousness go together. Indeed, it is as the Psalmist has said: “Lovingkindness and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (Psalm 85:10). God wants us to be like Him. He wants us to have boundless love for one another. But at the same time, He wants us to require righteous behavior from one another in our relationships.

Defining boundaries

When we think of righteousness and limits, we are referring to something called “boundaries.” Basically, a boundary is a property line. It defines where someone’s property ends and where someone else’s begins. If you own the property, then you are the one who has control over it, and you are the one we can hold responsible for what goes on there.

For example, your neighbor cannot look over the fence and tell you that he does not like your landscaping and you have to change it to meet his expectations. Certainly he can give an opinion, but the choice is up to you because it is yours. At the same time you have control over your own property, you also have the responsibility for the property as well. If your grass needs mowing, you cannot say to your neighbor, “My grass is too high. You have to come over here and cut it for me.” Responsibility, ownership and control all go together.

Our souls and personalities have boundaries and limits as well. God has defined us as people to know where we end and someone else begins, so that we know who is responsible for what. Your soul has very clear property lines, and just as you are to take responsibility for your physical yard, the Bible teaches that you are to take responsibility for your soul and its contents, just as your neighbor takes care of his. If either one of you steps over the line and ignores your responsibilities, then it is the responsibility of the other one to let him know. This is what boundaries are about: the lines of ownership and responsibility, and how to manage them.

What boundaries protect

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23). We are to take constant, diligent ownership and stewardship over our souls, and be careful what is going on there.

But what are the elements of our souls that we are to watch over? They include things like:

  • Feelings
  • Attitudes
  • Behaviors
  • Choices
  • Limits
  • Talents
  • Thoughts
  • Desires
  • Love

For example, if I am angry, it is my problem. I must take responsibility for it and resolve it in a biblical way (Ephesians 4:26). If my behavior is out of control, I must take responsibility for that and develop restraint (2 Peter 1:6). And the same is true for the rest of the things that are part of my soul. They are aspects of my property that God requires me to take responsibility for and to have control of, for He will hold me accountable (Romans 14:12).

Boundaries and each other

Ideally, when someone hurts another, the one in the wrong should confess this and make amends with the other person (Matthew 5:23,24). A mature person sees when he is in the wrong and changes his behavior (1 Corinthians 11:31). But sometimes he doesn’t and he has to be corrected by others. That is where boundaries with each other become important.

If we do not see when we are wrong, then it is up to others around us to tell us (Galatians 6:1). This is truly an act of love and it should be done with compassion and humility. Then if we are wise, we’ll accept the correction and change our behavior. That process is part of the loving discipline of God as He helps to improve us through our friends (Hebrews 12:5-13; Matthew 18:15).

But, if we have been told and still refuse to listen, the boundaries get even stronger. The Scriptures speak of many different kinds of limits that can get invoked in the process, such as group confrontation (Matthew 18:16,17), separation (Matthew 18:17; 1 Corinthians 5:11), deprivation of good things (2 Thessalonians 3:10; Proverbs 26:5; Matthew 25:26-28), and others. But the key thought is that it is not godly to allow evil to go on when someone is in denial of his or her sin.

We owe it to each other to love correctly by disciplining each other: “Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed” (Hebrews 12:12,13). Even though it may be painful, it is the best thing for us in the long run.

Some principles of boundaries

In the Bible, many principles of boundaries are given to help us develop righteous character. Here are some of the more prevalent ones:

  • Limits-The requirement to live within one’s own limits, and to enforce limits and consequences with others.
  • Truth-The ability to speak the truth and be honest clears up a lot of boundary problems.
  • Respect-Not only must we enforce and live out our own boundaries, we must learn to respect others’ boundaries and freedom.
  • Sowing and reaping-Our choices and behaviors have consequences and reality outcomes, and we must enforce these and allow them to discipline others.
  • Activity-Boundaries are an active way of living. To be someone with good boundaries, the passive position in life and relationship must be surrendered.

Reflecting God in our boundaries

The dilemma we feel between being loving and requiring responsibility is not a dilemma to God. The only dilemma to Him was what to do with the penalty aspect of sin, and He solved that with forgiveness. We did not have to pay the price for our sin against Him. But He does not allow the sin to continue.

God requires righteous behavior from us and will intervene in our lives to make sure it happens (Hebrews 12:5-11). One of the ways He does this is through our helping each other grow by setting the kinds of righteous boundaries we have talked about. We are actually God’s agents in this matter. We are to forgive, just as He forgives, but we are to require responsibility from each other and ourselves (Luke 17:3,4). If we don’t require this responsibility and forgive, we will be held responsible both for the lack of confrontation as well as the lack of forgiveness (Leviticus 19:15, 17).

In this integrated stance of love and limits, grace and righteousness, we are living out the true nature of God. These kinds of boundaries with each other will ensure safer, more productive relationships, greater spiritual growth, and a deeper living out of the salt and light that is needed to transform the church and the world.

Adapted from material published by Henry Cloud and used with permission. This article appeared originally in Worldwide Challenge, the award-winning magazine of Campus Crusade for Christ.

47 Responses to “Boundaries”

  • Kate says:

    We must walk in accordance with God’s will, yet we cannot do so unless we yield to the Holy Spirit’s leading. We must grow in our walk with the Lord day by day.

  • John lategan says:

    Hi Kate

    God has given us His Holy Spirit to direct our lives.

    ” For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” Romans8:14

  • kate says:

    I am learning about boundaries this year. They are very important in my Christian walk. I am weak and He protects me from evil but I need to stay detached from people who are doing some evil things. I can be polite and pray for them but not become their best friend. This knowledge has given me peace and strength.
    Thank you.

  • Dan Livingston says:

    John,

    While I appreciate your comments on boundaries and the Word. I feel that you are in denial and have distorted the truth. I am not saying you are bad, but I sense you too be a very wounded and hurt individual.
    I will pray for you and I believe the Holy Spirit will illuminated you to the truth of Biblical Boundaries that aid us in our Spiritual Warfare.

  • Carven says:

    I ant to comment you on the outline and clarity with which you wrote this. It brought good understanding and I learned from it. Well done.

  • Sharon says:

    good article I learned this years ago it is good to have boundaries with everyone good comments too

  • John Lategan says:

    There is a time to say Yes
    And a time to say no
    But the personal boundary line
    Is not the way to know
    For life is not simple
    And our heart’s are a mess
    There’s sin and the enemy
    And all kinds of stress
    But now God is with us
    He will show us the way
    The personal boundary line
    Will lead us astray
    The Lord will lead us each moment of the day
    But we must look to Him
    And remember to pray.

  • tammy says:

    I set up boundaries in my relationship with my mother as it was not only effecting my marriage but my family. She wanted to control everything in our family. She wanted me to divorce my husband and move in with her. She and my dad divorced many years early when I was 28. She was very verbally abusive would cal me very vulgar and mean names if I did not agree with her. Example when her and my dad divorced they wanted all children to pick a side. My other sibilings chose a side I did not. A great fight took places between my parents and me to take a side. I sat both down and returned their gifts of bribery that were offfered not only to me but my children and said I will not chose a side you are my mom and you are my dad I will no longer accept any gifts of bribery to chose a side you are the ones that messed up your marriage not me I am the 28 year old child and I will not chose a side. Long and short of it I am the eldest in the family they wanted a boy first I am not they have said we wanted a boy first if only you would of been a boy. I let the words spoken by my family haunt me for years and tried to win their love. Then I prayed and God guided me on specific thing s to do it was a journey into healing my heart and repenting for not believing who he said I was and believing the lies brought forth from the enemy through my fmaily. Remember we do not wrestle with flesh and blood. As I have grown more healthy by stepping a way my relationship with my family has changed. They know if the get abusive in words or actions that I just smile and say have a blessed day I love you and I leave. Because for me to stay lets them still enter into sin and for me to stay opens the door for temptation for me to enter into sin also. Wisdom is knowledge in action. Walking away to my family means you are spineless and they will say this as you walk a way they want you to stay and fight to turn up the anger so much that you say things that are not of God but from satan him self. I chose to flee from the situation so I will not enter into anger and say things that are not of God.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi John, Perhaps that’s what you intended but that is not what your comment said. You set up an example where the suffering of a battered woman was necessary for the salvation of her husband. Jesus wrote the Gospel in His own blood, not in the blood of battered wives. It was His body broken for us, not hers broken for him.

    I think it’s time to move on to another topic.

  • John lategan says:

    Hi Claire
    I said that God will let us know when to flee from evil and when to endure suffering for the greater good.
    It is not God’s will that we suffer for nothing.

    ” But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.
    To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps.
    He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.
    When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly. “. 1 Peter2:20-21

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi John, I know you’re talking to Michael but I’ve been following along. I think that sometimes it’s easier to suggest that someone else should suffer than to be the one experiencing pain. Does God use our suffering? Absolutely, but suggesting that a wife lay down her body in the hope of her husband’s salvation is a really dangerous message. I do not believe that God calls women to stay with abusive husbands. Should she pray for him? Definitely. Will she need to do the incredibly hard work of forgiveness, yes. But to say that the more Christian thing to do, the holier thing, the better thing, is to stay and take beating after beating is something that I cannot agree with.

    I don’t imagine that either you or I will convince the other to change perspective, but I did feel that I needed to comment here, for the women who are being beaten today around the world and may have heard that is her job, her role as a wife to stay and bleed. It’s not.

  • John lategan says:

    Hi. M

    Having faith in God is to trust him even when we suffer.
    And after we have suffered for a while He will establish us.
    God will let us know when we must flee from evil and when we need to endure for the greater good.

    ” And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
    1Peter 5: 10

    God Bless

  • M. Jantzen says:

    Hello John,

    I can wholeheartedly agree with the biblical principles laid out in the first half of your comment. We are not under law. The Holy Spirit defines the law of God in our hearts as we walk with him and trust him in all circumstances.

    If we can take your example under consideration, I could believe that the Holy Spirit asks a woman to pray for and be faithful to an abusive husband, but I cannot believe that God would have her stay in close proximity to him if he were continually abusing her and not confessing his wrongs and seeking counselling. If your daughter phoned you up and said, “Dad, he is hitting me again and again.” I’m pretty sure that you would invite her to stay with you for a while.” That would be putting up a boundary; it would not be advocating she break the convenant of marriage.

    In your second example you seem to indicate that she should stay in the abusive situation because the end result of seeing him repent will justify all of the ‘suffering for many years.’ Again, I would ask, What if it were your daughter. Theology must be tested to see if it can be lived…and more personal the better, to see if it stands up when life gets very broken and messy.

    Perhaps the way the book of proverbs is designed can help us. It is full of wisdom (principles for life). For example: “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Is that intended as a general, true-in-most circumstances principle or a black and white rule that is true 100% of the time? If the later, then my friend is to blame for his child’s backslidden ways even though he raised him in a very godly way. All this is to say, that Scriptural principles (such as don’t break the covenant of marriage), cannot be applied in a black and white cookie cutter way to all situations. (Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes it is very black and white: you don’t need to spend a lot of time praying about whether cheating on your taxes is stealing. it just is. But when life gets really complicated and it seems that every decision can end up hurting somebody, then the direction of the Holy Spirit needs to be listened for, so biblical principles can be applied wisely in a way that is both redemptive and protective. Take care John, and thanks for hashing this out with me a bit.

  • John Lategan says:

    Hi M
    Before the resurrection of Christ people lived and controlled their lives by the law and boundaries.
    But because of man’s sinful nature the law and boundaries failed to control man.
    That’s why Jesus gave us His Holy Spirit.
    God is now with us and He enables us to live according to His Will if we walk with Him.
    We are no longer under the law.
    But we need to have faith in God in every part of our lives.
    We need to walk with Him and obey His commands.

    God is in control of our lives
    He will make our path straight.
    We need to have faith in God through Jesus.

    Example:

    A woman has an abusive husband. She can’t take it anymore. She draws the line and divorces him. She hates men and spends the rest of her life bitter and lonely.

    A woman has an abusive husband. She prays for God to help him and protect her. She suffers for many years. But one day he has a change of heart. They now go to church together.

    If God is with us then why do we need personal boundaries for self control.
    People who are putting their faith in their personal boundaries do not have faith enough in God.
    They sing all those wonderful songs in church that all we need is God but they don’t want to give Him control of their lives.
    God is awesome- he can do all things- He works out all things for the good- he is the God of miracles.
    We must have faith
    Faith must be tested
    Whoever endures to the end will be saved.

  • M. Jantzen says:

    Good morning Johnl,

    You’ve very clearly laid out your theological position on this issue and even provided some verses to back it up. But I’m still wondering if you could explain a real-life circumstance in a relationship where the teaching on boundaries in the article above would be a misapplication of the biblical principles you listed. People need to see what it would look like practically in a relationship to decide what is true for themselves. If biblical truth is not relevant to practical life and the messiness of human relationships, then many people won’t care for it. Take care!

  • Johnl lategan says:

    “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
    Mathew 5: 10

    “Remember the words I spoke to you: “no servant is greater than His master.” If they persecuted me , they will persecute you also. ”
    John 15:20

  • Johnl lategan says:

    We set personal boundaries to suit ourselves-it’s human nature that we put ourselves first and we don’ t want to be uncomfortable or suffer.
    But as Christians we are called to do God’s will.
    God has set our boundaries.
    It is God’s will that we love others as ourself-without limits
    We are called to put others before ourselves -to endure suffering for the greater good -to give without expecting anything in return-to love our enemies and do good to them.
    God has given us His Holy Spirit to enable us
    We must submit to God

  • John Lategan says:

    The truth is it is our human nature to set boundaries to suit ourselves not others.
    We make boundaries that are self centered-according to our will.
    We don’t set boundaries that are are going to be difficult, uncomfortable or cause us pain and suffering.
    As Christians God has called us to live according to His will not our own.
    God has called us to be set apart from the rest of the world.
    Our boundaries have been set by God.
    God has called us to overcome our boundaries-limits to do His will.
    And Gods will is that we love others as ourself-that we love without limits.
    Gods will is that we love our enemies and do good to them.
    Gods will is that we put others before ourselves and suffer for the greater good.
    We are called to deny ourselves and to give without expecting anything in return.
    God has given us his Holy Spirit to enable and empower us to live according to his Will.
    We must be led by His Spirit not by our personal boundaries.
    The teaching of personal boundaries is a temptation to do our will instead of Gods will.
    We must submit to God and let Him take control of our lives.

    “In all your ways submit to him, and He will make your path straight.”
    Proverbs 3: 6

  • M. Jantzen says:

    Hi John, thanks for the poem a few comments back. If more people did that, this website would be one-of-a-kind.

    I’m a little confused about the distinction you’re making between boundaries and God’s law. Can you give me an example from the article of a boundary that is contrary to God’s law. Could you explain what that would look like in an actual relationship? Thanks!

  • John Lategan says:

    As Christians our boundaries have been set by God.
    We must not set personal boundaries that contradict God’s boundaries.
    God’s boundary is that we love our neighbor as ourself.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi John,

    If I’m reading your comments correctly it sounds like you’re saying that Christians shouldn’t have personal boundaries and I have to disagree with that. Yes, God’s plans for us are bigger than the plans we have for ourselves, but being fully open to God who is completely trustworthy is NOT the same as being fully open to people who are not completely trust worthy.

  • John Lategan says:

    There’ a time to say yes
    And a time to say no
    But the personal boundary line
    Is not the way to know
    For life is not simple
    And our hearts are a mess
    There’s sin and the enemy
    And all kinds of stress
    But now God is with us
    He will show us the way
    The personal boundary line
    Will lead us astray
    For The Lord will lead us each moment of the day
    As we look to him and pray

  • John Lategan says:

    God is the Alpha and Omega.
    He has no limits
    Christians are not called to set personal boundaries to suit themselves.
    Our boundaries have been set by God.
    Those who lived before the resurrection of Jesus lived according to the law and God’s boundaries.
    But they could not keep to God’s law and boundaries.
    That’s why Jesus gave us His Holy Spirit.
    The Holy Spirit guides and empowers us to live within God’s boundaries.
    We must be led by the Spirit not by our personal boundaries.
    For we cannot live according to God’s boundaries without the power of his Spirit.
    God has commanded us to love without limits.
    To overcome our personal limits to do good and to love others.
    To love our enemies and do good to them..
    We are called to submit to God
    His will be done-not or will.

  • Sharon says:

    good article thank you for posting this

  • Jennifer says:

    So glad to see this truth being shared. The reply that has me laughing is the one who said “Jesus did not set boundaries, he was guided by the HOly Spirit”. Well, let’s see, the HOly spirit is from God the Father, as is Jesus and guess what, God the father had lots of healthy limits and boundaries for us, which would make Jesus and the HOly Spirit in line with the Fathers commands, as Jesus said so himself, he came to do the Fathers will. You can read about those in the bible. lol Read Leviticus! Sounds like boundaries to me! Anyhow, thank you for this post!

  • Tina says:

    I must add…if you are in a relationship that has continued resurfacing sinful acts, (infidelity, anger, name calling, lying) letting go in love is an act of love. Remember Satan is a liar. When we listen to our flesh we can be mislead to allow the abuse to continue. Yes, forgive. That doesn’t mean allow it or enable it. You say But I love him/her. I can’t leave. Is it love or is it something else? Can it be insecurity, fear of loneliness, fear of not being loved? This is Satan’s lie in your thoughts. He has poisoned your thoughts. God loves us. He would NEVER say that to us. Read your bible and seek Him. He will clean up your thoughts. You will begin to see the truth. Pray to Him, Cry to Him, Trust Him, Praise Him. He is listening. He will reveal Himself to you and Satan’s power over you will start to fall away. With God all things are possible!! I have witnessed this in the lives of others and my own.

  • Tina says:

    I think we need to remember that healthy boundries help the ones committing the sin too. If we continue to allow others to commit sinful acts against us it’s some form of Satan controlling us, not God. In a relationship I think it could be our need for control, lust, ect. Yes forgive, but allow that person to feel their sin. Allow them to get to their lowest of lows. Most people come to Christ at their lowest. We can actually be getting in the way of God’s work when we continue to allow the behavior go on. A real change happens when that person repents and commits to change. God is needed in this process or I can’t see how it will happen. In His loving spirit. a sister in Christ. God Bless.

  • John Lategan says:

    WE CANNOT CONTROL THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
    HE WORKS IN WAYS WE CANNOT PREDICT OR UNDERSTAND

    ” THE WIND BLOWS WHEREVER IT PLEASES.YOU HEAR IT’S SOUND,BUT YOU CANNOT TELL WHERE IT COMES FROM OR WHERE IT IS GOING. SO IT IS WITH EVERYONE BORN OF THE SPIRIT. ”
    JOHN 3:8

    WE MUST LET THE HOLY SPIRIT LEAD US
    DISCERN BETWEEN OUR FEELINGS AND HIS PROMPTINGS
    THEN HIS LOVE WILL BE BEHIND OUR ACTIONS
    AND HIS POWER WILL HELP US CONTROL OUR SELFISH DESIRES

    “BUT IF YOU ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT,YOU ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW”
    GALATIANS 5:18

  • Alfred says:

    One aspect of boundaries that seems to not yet be covered, is that if knowing when not to let others dictate decisions that should be mine to make: For example, when building out our basement, our son-in-law wanted to help by doing it for us. I knew that he is not as particular and exacting as I am! But, instead of working with him and showing him what I wanted, I let him go at it in his own way. I was very disappointed in what (to myself) I called a very sloppy job and a mess that could have been avoided. Had I shown him what standard of workmanship I wanted, it would have been done much better. Another time is when, in the interest of “cleaning up”, I was talked into letting go of some high school texts that could go to a second-hand store. I should have gone with him, to keep one hand on these books that I, in my heart, had not let go of. The store refused, so the whole box went into a dumpster. It is not the end of the world, but that time if felt like it almost was! I did not let on how hurt I was, but decided not to condone similar actions. That does not mean insulting or hurting others, but gently standing up for what I know is right for me! Set a boundary to keep others from hurting me unduly. I find that in order to have my idea listened to and supported, I need to prepare myself to show those others who are involved, that I know what I’m talking about and have whatever it takes to complete a project. All this needs, of course, to be done by the prioritizing and the leading of the Spirit.

  • John Lategan says:

    “BUT THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS LOVE,JOY,PEACE,LONGSUFFERING,GENTLENESS,GOODNESS,FAITH,MEEKNESS,TEMPERANCE: AGAINST SUCH THERE IS NO LAW.”
    GALATIANS 5:22-23

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Yes, Jesus is our example but followers of Jesus are encouraged to imitate others as they imitate the example of Jesus (1Corinthians 4:16, 11:1, Philippians 3:17, 2Thessalonians 3:7, 1Timothy 4:12, Titus 2:7-8, Hebrews 6:12, 13:7) so perhaps Jesus wants to teach us something from your example. It would be great to hear from you how God has helped you to endure the suffering of hurtful relationships without ending the relationship.

  • JOHN LATEGAN says:

    I AM JUST A MESSENGER

    JESUS IS OUR EXAMPLE

    “BUT IF YOU SUFFER FOR DOING GOOD AND YOU ENDURE IT ,THIS IS COMMENDABLE BEFORE GOD. TO THIS YOU WERE CALLED BECAUSE CHRIST SUFFERED FOR YOU , LEAVING YOU AN EXAMPLE, THAT YOU SHOULD FOLLOW IN HIS STEPS 1 PETER2:20-21

    “WHEN THEY HURLED THEIR INSULTS AT HIM, HE DID NOT RETALIATE; WHEN HE SUFFERED, HE MADE NO THREATS. INSTEAD HE ENTRUSTED HIMSELF TO HIM WHO JUDGES JUSTLY.
    1PETER:23

  • JOHN LATEGAN says:

    I AM JUST A MESSENGER

    OUR EXAMPLE IS JESUS

    ” FOR IT IS COMMENDABLE IF A MAN BEARS UP UNDER THE PAIN OF UNJUST SUFFERING BECAUSE HE IS CONCIOUS OF GOD. BUT HOW IS IT TO YOUR CREDIT IF YOU RECEIVE A BEATING FOR DOING WRONG AND ENDURE IT ? BUT IF YOU SUFFER FOR DOING GOOD AND ENDURE IT, THIS IS COMMENDABLE BEFORE GOD. TO THIS YOU WERE CALLED,BECAUSE CHRIST SUFFERED FOR YOU,LEAVING YOU AN EXAMPLE,THAT YOU SHOULD FOLLOW IN HIS STEPS.
    1 PETER2:19-21

    “WHEN THEY HURLED THEIR INSULTS AT HIM, HE DID NOT RETALIATE; WHEN HE SUFFERED, HE MADE NO THREATS. INSTEAD HE ENTRUSTED HIMSELF TO HIM WHO JUDGES JUSTLY.
    1PETER2:23

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    So John, how have you dealt with hurtful people in your life? Do you have any examples of times that you were tempted to end relationships with hurtful people but God led you to love without limits? How did God lead you to love those people? What were the results?

  • john lategan says:

    GOD’S WILL

    GOD’S WILL IS THAT WE LOVE OTHERS
    LOVE HAS NO BOUNDARIES

  • john lategan says:

    GOD’S BOUNDARIES

    “BUT I TELL YOU WHO HEAR:LOVE YOUR ENEMIES,DO GOOD TO THOSE WHO HATE YOU ”
    LUKE 6:27

    “BLESS THOSE WHO CURSE YOU, AND PRAY FOR THOSE WHO MISTREAT YOU.”
    LUKE 6:28

    “TO HIM WHO STRIKES YOU ON THE CHEEK OFFER ALSO THE OTHER; AND FROM HIM WHO TAKES AWAY YOUR CLOAK,DON’T WITHHOLD YOUR COAT ALSO.”
    LUKE 6:29

    “GIVE TO EVERYONE WHO ASKS YOU, AND DON’T ASK HIM WHO TAKES AWAY YOUR GOODS TO GIVE THEM BACK AGAIN.” LUKE6:30

    “AS YOU WOULD LIKE PEOPLE TO DO TO YOU,DO EXACTLY SO TO THEM.” LUKE6:31

    SO WHERE DO YOU DRAW THE LINE – NO PLACE FOR OUR PERSONAL BOUNDARIES HERE.

  • john lategan says:

    Hi Jamie
    WE ALL HAVE BOUNDARIES
    BUT GOD WANTS US TO BREAK OUR BOUNDARIES WHEN IT COMES TO SERVING HIM AND OTHERS:
    TO DIE TO SELF – TO BECOME A SERVANT TO OTHERS – TO PUT OTHERS BEFORE OURSELVES -TO LOVE OUR ENEMIES – TO GIVE WITHOUT EXPECTING ANYTHING IN RETURN – TO SUFFER FOR DOING GOOD – TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBOUR AS OURSELVES
    WE CAN’T DO THIS IF WE KEEP TO OUR PERSONAL BOUNDARIES
    THESE ARE GOD’S BOUNDARIES
    THEY ARE SUPERNATURAL
    THAT’S WHY GOD GAVE US HIS SUPERNATURAL SPIRIT TO ENABLE US TO DO HIS WILL
    WE HAVE TO SUBMIT TO GOD AND LET HIM LEAD AND HELP US
    THERE WILL BE TIMES WHEN GOD WILL ALLOW US TO SUFFER
    OUR FAITH IS TESTED THROUGH SUFFERING
    AND SUFFERING PRODUCES ENDURANCE TO OVERCOME.

    ” To him who overcomes,I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.”
    REV.3:21

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    John, I think as we read through the accounts of Jesus’ life we do see Him setting boundaries. I agree that He was led by the Spirit but the Spirit led Him to spend times alone in prayer, to avoid certain situations and to not let other people manipulate His decisions. He told His mother “My time is not yet come” and he said to Peter, “Get behind me for you do not have in mind the things of God but the things of men.”

    I agree that we need to allow God to guide where we set our boundaries and where we allow ourselves to suffer for other people but that doesn’t mean we set no boundaries.

  • john lategan says:

    JESUS DID NOT SET BOUNDARIES. HE WAS LED BY THE SPIRIT.WE ARE CALLED TO FOLLOW IN HIS FOOTSTEPS. WE ARE NOT OF THIS WORLD. OUR BOUNDARIES HAVE BEEN SET BY GOD.WE ARE CALLED TO BREAK OUR PERSONAL BOUNDRIES : TO DIE TO SELF – PUT OTHERS BEFORE OURSELF- LOVE OUR ENEMIES – GIVE WITHOUT EXPECTING ANYTHING IN RETURN – SUFFER FOR DOING GOOD – LOVE OUR NEIGHBOUR AS OURSELF. THERE IS NO PLACE TO DRAW THE LINE HERE. THIS IS SUPERNATURAL. THATS WHY GOD GAVE US HIS HOLY SPIRIT. TO ENABLE US. TO TEACH US ALL THINGS – WHEN TO SAY YES AND WHEN TO SAY NO.WE ARE CALLED TO SUBMIT TO GOD A TO WALK IN AND BE LED BY HIM.
    WE ARE CALLED TO BE HOLY.

    “FATHER, IF YOU ARE WILLING , TAKE THIS CUP FROM ME; YET NOT MY WILL, BUT YOURS BE DONE. LUKE 22:42

  • Maribel says:

    Your words of wisdom were so helpful. God bless you for ministering to me.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Amy. Thanks for the recommendation of the book. Henry Cloud and John Townsend do a great job in the book on the issue of boundaries. They also have some great resources on their webpage http://www.cloudtownsend.com.

  • Amy says:

    I have the book by called Boundaries by henry cloud and it is a wonder book when you have difficulty with boundaries. I have many loved ones in my own family who say hurtful things and don’t listen when I try to tell them how it makes me feel.
    This book and page help me to realize I am not a bad person if I expect to be respected. If I don’t get that respect I must set boundaries. I always thought I had to Honor thy father and mother no matter what. But I now understand that is wrong. Get the Book it helps you to become stronger and deal with the pain, anxiety and, depression that years of no boundaries can cause.

  • Shelley Anderson says:

    Boundaries! Big word to all of us in this life we live here on planet earth.
    We all whether we know it or not have boundaries.
    We set up our own boundaries in every walk of life that we live in.
    I pray that the wrong boudnaries will be broken and that Godly boundaries will take place in each of our lives.
    I am a mentor here in pwoer to Change and love to pray for you.
    I know about boundaries as I have also set wrong ones, but have changed to good ones, as I let the Holy Spirit work in my life.
    You can too! I have faith in you that You will, by let go and letting God control your life.
    In Jesus Mightyname Amen

  • Elise says:

    I do appreciate your ability to show the delicate balance between long-suffering and not being abused. The problem with establishing boundaries with violent people is that it becomes more difficult to have those boundaries respected. The most dangerous time in a battered woman’s life is not when she is in the abusive marriage, but when she is trying to establish boundaries, and leave. When that happens, just having a picket fence will not do when a tank comes and has no regard for where that fence is. Where is the community of believers to help her then? How can she move toward forgiveness when her life is threatened and the people of faith just sit back and say that sin is already forgiven, no need to hold anyone accountable, just forgive? Boundaries are only good when respected, or when there are allied forces helping the boundaries be in forced. Just think about the Libya, without ally help, how can anyone stop the tyranny?

  • Venessa says:

    This is interesting to me, and a friend sent me this link. I think I’ll have to read it several times to digest it, but the hardest part is that I feel like I don’t know what my boundaries are. I’m going to read more on it, and make it a mission. It’s something I need and this shows the importance of boundaries. I just still don’t feel like I have the power to know which ones are appropriate and which ones are not… Anyway, I’m rambing. Thank you for this material.

  • elizabeth sonu john says:

    Thank you for this message. God had told me to define my boundaries and i was searching and found this message by the Grace of God. It was useful and the Lord help us to walk in HIS ways within the boundaries he has set for us and to be responsible. thank you. God bless

  • Daniel S Widdison says:

    Thank you for putting such effort into such an important area of Christian living.
    I am already thinking of all the people i want to share and discuss this with! (But i need to start with me!)

Leave a Reply