We All Need To Set Boundaries!

Control your temper

When people struggle to get along, it is often because of the lack of boundaries.

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All healthy relationships have boundaries that are put into motion that keep the relationship healthy. More common boundaries are found between men and women, yet all relationships need boundaries.
Sometimes, we let other people take ownership of their thoughts, feelings, bodies, and decisions rather than taking responsibility for what is our responsibility. You can set up healthy Christian Boundaries in 4 simple and basic steps below. ~ Bill Greguska


1 Peter 2:17  Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.



Set Boundaries, Especially With Toxic People!


When we practice boundaries, we take ownership of four things:
  1. Our Thoughts
  2. Our Feelings
  3. Our Bodies
  4. Our Decisions


1. Take a Brutally Honest, Prayerful Assessment

When dealing with a toxic relationship, you’ll first want to pray about it. Be honest and tell God about your feelings (I recommend it out loud or on paper). Ask for wisdom, as in James 1:5. Here are some questions you could pray through to help you get gut-level honest.
  • How do you feel about the situation and why?
  • What do you wish it could be different?
  • Is the other person sinning against you? How?
You could also seek counsel about the situation, but be careful that you’re not gossiping or trying to turn people against the offender. Be discreet and aim to get input, not just vent your frustration.



2. Define Your Boundaries

Once you’ve gotten honest about the situation, it’s time to take ownership of what’s yours—and let go of what’s not. In this way, you’ll define your boundaries. Remember, you’re responsible for your thoughts, feelings, body, and decisions, no one else’s.
If possible, continue to do this in prayer and with a trusted advisor. Your hypothetical mother-in-law says you make her feel unappreciated and unloved. You know that you don’t own her feelings; she does. But she’s not following the same rules you are. If this is a pattern, you could define boundaries in this way: “When my mother-in-law starts blaming me for her feelings, I will apologize for anything I did that was sinful or disrespectful, but nothing more. I’ll tell her I’m trying my best and hope she forgives me. But beyond that, the conversation will be over.” You might also have to explain your limits to others who are involved. In this scenario, you could tell your husband that you are not responsible for his mother’s feelings, and neither is he. He might not get on board, but if you have good boundaries, that’s on him!
If you’re not sure what limits you should set, consider the following questions:
  • 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

Once you have defined your limits, you will also want to determine the consequences of when those limits are broken. If the other person continues to violate your boundaries, what then? After all, it won’t do you any good to read all your favorite Christian websites, listen to tons of Christian podcasts and get great tons of excellent relationship advice if you don’t put what you’ve learned into practice. So, how do you do this, practically speaking? This might mean removing yourself from an emotionally harmful situation. It can be a tricky line to walk, but I like to consider Jesus’ example. He said to turn the other cheek, but he stood up to those who opposed him and walked away when he wanted to. Consequences should be chosen prayerfully—and preferably ahead of time, so you’re not deciding in the heat of the moment. Let’s say your mother-in-law always gets in a huff whenever you go to her house because you don’t put her dishes away correctly. If she continues to harass you, you have the power to decide that you won’t be going to her house if she treats you that way. The family can meet elsewhere. This is a step that can be painful and may also require courage. But it’s also the most powerful when done calmly and respectfully. And don’t forget—for consequences to work, you must follow through with them! Once you’ve made a decision, stick to it.



4. Reassess

A wise friend once told me that boundaries are like fences, not brick walls. While it’s essential to stick to the boundaries you’ve decided, you might not need to stick with them forever, and there may be exceptions. Hopefully, once other people see you’re serious, they might start changing their behavior.
For the sake of argument, imagine you go a year without incident with your hypothetical mother-in-law. At that point, consider adjusting your boundaries. You can be a little more flexible even if it doesn’t go perfectly. Figuring out boundaries as a Christian is hard, and you’re never really done with this process. You are dealing with boundaries as long as you have a conflict with other people.

How To Set Boundaries And Stop People Pleasing?



The Term Set Boundaries Became Popular In The Mid ’80s

I remember when I was growing up that I had problems crossing over boundaries. It was not until it was explained to me that having limits go both ways and help people to get along in a peaceful and orderly manner. Without boundaries, a person can become overwhelmed with fatigue, stress, disrespect, and an overall lack of peace and contentment. We must limit what we allow others to demand from us and 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 hearts, mind, and body against overextending ourselves).

Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules, or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe, and permissible ways for others to behave toward 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 counseling since the mid-1980s.





Jesus Taught us 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

How Does Emotional Encouragement Work?

When setting boundaries, it would be a good idea to pray beforehand and think about the limitations you are placing.

  • Set Healthy Boundaries. Yes, God’s word tells us to love one another, but there are times when we need to set proper boundaries in our relationships, which will help us keep things in perspective. You need to set these boundaries by saying “no” to work, loved ones, or activities you don’t want to do or harm you somehow. Doing too much to please others can make you overly sensitive when they do something that becomes upsetting to you. Even Jesus set boundaries when he turned the tables in the temple, stating 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.







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 serving 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 look at the situation more logically. Did the case 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 if you are taking the situation too personally. If someone is genuinely hurtful, you can ask for what you need or work on letting go of the negative thoughts and feelings. Think before you say or do things that you might regret.






Some Specific Scriptures To Encourage You:

Galatians 6:5 ESV 

For each will have to bear his own load.

2 Corinthians 6:14 ESV 

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

Colossians 4:6 ESV 

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Proverbs 25:17 ESV 

Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor’s house, lest he have his fill of you and hate you.

Acts 17:26 ESV 

And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,

Psalm 16:5-9 ESV 

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.

Proverbs 15:1 ESV 

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Philippians 4:8 ESV 

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Proverbs 22:24 ESV 

Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man,

Proverbs 19:19 ESV 

A man of great wrath will pay the penalty, for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again.

Psalm 147:14 ESV 

He makes peace in your borders; he fills you with the finest of the wheat.

Matthew 5:28 ESV 

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.







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