Saturday, July 19, 2008

setting boundaries - eliminating confusion

How we do relationships reveals how we love God. And, loving God is not a “religious” thing of how often I read my Bible or pray or do those spiritual disciplines. The litmus test of my love for the Savior comes through my love for others. God is looking at my heart. He called the Pharisees white-washed tombs because all their “love” was displayed in their outward behavior of the religious things; but the attitude of their hearts was full of pride.

It IS a good habit to read the Bible, to pray, and to serve; but those things are for me and my edification and character development. What’s for God is how I love others.

What was the greatest commandment? John 14:15 says that if we love Him, then we will obey what He commands. God never says that to love Him is religious discipline. He says, through His instruction manual to us, that it’s relational. The Bible is a very big book about how to do relationships.

In Joy Dawson’s book, Intimate Friendship with God, she states that our relationship with God is only as holy as our relationships with each other, and that the fear of God makes both relationships exciting.

One of the key aspects in growing in our relationships has to do with how we set boundaries with others or what our boundary deficits look like. Unclear boundaries lead to a lack of direction, confusion, anxiety, resentment and, ultimately, to a woman who isn’t principled or on purpose!

How a woman sets boundaries is a good indicator of whether or not she sees herself with worth and dignity. Boundaries must be healthy and they must be communicated to others, whether or not others understand them as boundaries.

When you set a boundary, don’t be moved by the emotion of the other person, even if they seem shocked at your boundary. If you are moved by their emotion, you may both be unclear about how secure that boundary is.

Our boundary issues are about us, not about the other people in our lives. Boundaries make us seek God. He is our boundary-setter.

Perhaps take a REST moment of two and journal - considering these questions:
· Can I draw a defining line around fifteen minutes every day in order to spend with the Lord?
· Who are the people in my life who continually trespass my boundary lines?
· What is my feeling when I permit them to cross over?
· Is there someone in my life who deserves unlimited access to me?
· Who is that person and why do I believe this?
· What boundaries do I need to draw and establish with friends?
· If I allow boundaries to be continually violated, what will I lack in my life? Health, spiritual habits, house cleaning, marriage, children or??

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a woman found said...

"It IS a good habit to read the Bible, to pray, and to serve; but those things are for me and my edification and character development. What’s for God is how I love others."- I LOVE THAT QUOTE!

Lylah, thanks for stopping by my blog. Yeah, I think we have emailed each other before...just lost track.

I really enjoyed this post this morning. You've pointed out areas I need to work on "building" in my own life...boundaries.


Lylah said...

Sheila ~ thanks for stopping by. Glad I could add to your posts on building...which by the way they are FANTASTIC! YOu Go Girl!

RefreshMom said...

Good reminder!

I'm sure you can relate to my biggest boundary challenge--the expectations placed on me because of my husband's role in ministry. God has been so faithful in this new place to make clear the boundaries I need to have in order to help keep my family healthy (spiritually, physically, emotionally). I've been very content to be in that place. I'm struggling with the spoken and unspoken expectations of others though that contradict God's leading in my life. It's so hard when those expectations reflect on DH; it feels like such a tightrope to be on!

I have grown to the point where I'm not so much worried about pleasing people (it's not as hard as it once was to say "no, I'm sorry" when it's outside my boundaries), but it's much more complicated when his job is tangled up in it! I'm hoping that eventually more of the "detractors" will hear me as graciously as the women's ministry team did when I told them of God's direction to me for this season.