When you don’t set a boundary, you are doing that because it fulfils some need in you. However it is not typically in the best interest of the other person to do this. Your lack of action is not helping them long-term.
Think about what happens to the child who is not taught to be respectful towards others. Many times s/he develops a rude, self-centered, out-of-control attitude. People tend to stay away from and not like these types of people. So your inaction actually harms the child in the long run.
Boundaries are like fences around a yard (your life). They keep others’ problems out of your life (yard) and in the yard where they belong.
Boundaries . . .
- Define what is me and what isn’t me
- Show where I end and someone else begins
- Lead to a sense of ownership
- Are not walls or an excuse to avoid interacting with others
This is why we need a gate. When the pain or the sin of boundary-less living affects us, we have a choice. We can either open the gate of communication (to God and to appropriate people) or ignore the pain and/or sin.
“Confessing pain and sin helps to get it out [of my yard/life] so that it does not continue to poison me on the inside” (Boundaries, p31).
What is my responsibility? My responsibility includes my . . .
What is not my responsibility? Galatians 6:2 talks about helping others with their “stuff.” This help is to take place during times of crisis and tragedy. This is not to be a day-to-day involvement where the other person abdicates their choices, power, and actions to you.
Think about this . . . “Satan is the great distorter of reality. He caused Eve to question God’s boundaries and God’s Truth” (Boundaries, p33).
NOTE: The book I am getting this information from is titled, Boundaries: When to Say YES, When to Say NO, To Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. This is my 4th time through the topic and I learn something to apply each time.
Your Turn . . .
- What is an action in your life that needs to be put out?
- Is there an area where you are questioning God’s boundaries or His truth?
- Are you taking full responsibility for your attitudes, behaviours, and feelings?
- Is there some action you want/need to take regarding a boundary with yourself or someone else?
- Are you neglecting a boundary because it is fulfilling a need in your life? If yes, what is the potential long-term harm to the other person?