We All Need To Set Boundaries
How to Set Christian Boundaries in 4 Steps
- Our thoughts
- Our feelings
- Our bodies
- Our decisions
1. Take a Brutally Honest, Prayerful Assessment
- How are you feeling about the situation and why?
- What do you wish it could be different?
- Is the other person sinning against you? How?
2. Define Your Boundaries
- Is someone blaming me for something that is their responsibility?
- What is reasonable for someone to ask of me, and what is not?
- What are my expectations of this person? Are those reasonable?
- What do I need to communicate so that my limits are understood?
3. Establish Consequences
The Term Set Boundaries Became Popular In The Mid ’80s
I can remember when I was growing up that I had problems with crossing over boundaries. It was not until it was explained to me that having boundaries go both ways and help people to get along in a peaceful and orderly way.
Without boundaries, a person can become overwhelmed with fatigue, stress, disrespect, and an overall lack of peace and contentment. We need to set limits of what we allow others to demand from us, as well as what we freely offer to do for others. (you may think it is a Christian thing to serve and sacrifice for others, and that is true, but we still need to guard our heart, mind, and body for overextending ourselves).
Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules, or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe, and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits. This life skill has been widely referenced in self-help books and used in the counseling profession since the mid-1980s.
Set Boundaries Especially With Toxic People!
Jesus Taught How To Set Boundaries
- Personal Prayer Time: “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen” (Matthew 6:6).
- Be Honest and Direct (Don’t Pressure People or Try to Get Them to Do Things): “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37).
- Set Priorities: “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other” (Luke 16:13).
- Please God, Not People: “How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?” (John 5:44).
- Obey God: “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did what his father wanted?” ’The first,’ they answered” (Matthew 21:28-31).
Working Out Helpful Plans
- Set Healthy Boundaries. Yes, God’s word tells us to love one another, but there are times that we need to set proper boundaries in your relationships, which will help you keep things in perspective. You need to put these boundaries in place by saying “no” to work, loved ones, or activities that you don’t want to do or that harm you in some way. Doing too much to please others can lead you to feel overly sensitive when they do something that becomes upsetting to you. Even Jesus himself set boundaries when he turned the tables in the temple, making a statement that what the people were doing was wrong.
- Let It Go. Use a painful experience from your past to help make you who you are. Use it to give you strength, empathy, and character to become a better person. We all have something that has hurt us. Don’t let your weakness define who you are. Instead, through prayer, use it to become stronger and more Christ-like because of it.
More Helpful Plans
- Kindness Is A Wonderful Thing. But being kind to others doesn’t always guarantee their acceptance and approval if that is your motive? We would be better off to serve others and ourselves if we do things because we want to, not because we expect something in return. Kindness and love go hand in hand, and the Lord commands us to love Him with all our heart, mind, and soul, and to love others as we love ourselves.
- Think And Be Positive While Trusting God. When something upsets you or gets under your skin, it’s helpful to take a look at the situation from a more logical perspective. Did the situation call for the reaction you had, or are you losing your patience unnecessarily? Often it is best to turn the cheek when others disrespect or hurt you. You do not need to confront every situation that hurts your feelings or is objectionable to you. Ask yourself if the other person is doing something wrong, or are you taking the situation too personally? If someone is genuinely hurtful, you can ask for what you need, or work on letting it go of the negative thoughts and feelings? Think before you say or do things that you might regret.