As a student of human behavior, I have often heard the story of the children on a fenced in playground enjoying recess with reckless abandon, while student on a fenceless playground huddled together toward the center of the play area. The fence gave students a sense of security and freedom. It kept them within the school boundaries, but it also kept bad people, stray dogs, and other potential harm from coming into their space.
We should learn from this that, at every age, boundaries are important. They protect us from harm and keep us from overextending into potentially dangerous territory. God gave the Children of Israel very clear boundaries in the Ten Commandments. Throughout Scripture we are given boundaries that are in place for our protection and for that of our family, friends, and communities.
As Christians, we sometimes have problems setting boundaries, because, after all, aren’t we supposed to bear one another’s burdens. We are supposed to quote “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” and just keep adding to a load that is already too heavy to carry. Friends, the Christian life does not have to be a life sucking, exhausting, overwhelming journey of carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders kind of life.
I used to consider it a compliment when people asked me to take on a task. Wow, I thought, they must think I am competent, qualified or talented. I equated my bundle of tasks with my value and success as an employee and as a human being. I learned, maybe a little too late, that while I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, He did not call me to do all things.
Boundaries, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend guides the reader through scriptural, life-altering methods for setting and respecting biblically based boundaries. There is freedom in understanding how to protect your heart, mind, and time. There is also freedom in understanding how to respect boundaries set by others, understanding that an unreturned text or phone call is not a personal afront; it may be the phone is silenced for a reason.
I would encourage you to grab a copy of this book or, better yet, listen to it on Audible or the Libby app. It is on sale on Amazon right now, and you can get it by clicking on the picture below.