Boundaries are simple, they define who you are, they say what you want, and mark out what you don’t want. They state your goals and purpose for life and then safeguard them. They say where you end and another person starts.
They are a property line of sorts. Others can do what they want on their property but not on yours.
Once set, no one gets to redefine these parameters except you and the Lord.
Christ knew who and why He was and was unmoveable
He is our example of staying true to oneself.
Learn setting your own boundaries
Now, sit with Christ for a minute and think through what you want, what you don’t want, what you like, what you don’t like, how you will use your time, how you won’t use your time.
In essence, what would Christ do or not do in your shoes? Define that and now all you have to do is put your boundaries around it.
When you know what you want and don’t want in your life (your borders) then it is easy to say “yes” to what fits and “no” to what does not so that you can pursue the Lord’s plan for your life.
With this in place, you will stop letting others step on your toes and push you into doing what does not fit for you. AND you will be able to do this without guilt.
You will find that people don’t like not being able to tell others what to do. As you start to take back control of your life (“No, I am not available to work in the nursery this week, thank you.”) you will find that they will use tactics to push through your personal parameters.
We drop our guard and our boundaries and allow ourselves to be pressured and manipulated when we are not sure it is okay to have our own life.
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Here's an example
You have been asked to volunteer this Sunday, and have said that you cannot. Watch the different tactics that might be used by someone who does not honor the boundaries of another:
guilt “But, I don’t have anyone else to volunteer on Sunday.”
(repeat your boundary) “I hear that you are having a difficult time finding someone, I won’t be available this Sunday.”
demanding an explanation “What are doing that is more important than this?”
(you do not have to explain your reasons, just repeat your decision)”I understand that you need someone, but I won’t be available this Sunday.”
anger “Now what am I supposed to do?”
(you hear their problem and restate your “no”)”I hear that this is frustrating, I won’t be available this Sunday.”,
whining “This is such a hard job”
(don’t be swayed)”I hear that this is a hard job for you, but I won’t be available this Sunday.”,
martyrdom “I guess I will just have to do it myself.”
(be firm with your decision)”I won’t be available this Sunday.”,
This is just a sampling of manipulation, there are many, many other tactics. Just keep stating that you hear their problem and keep restating your boundary with every tactic.
Without setting boundaries you will limit God's plan for you
This is such a crucial issue to living the life Christ has for you, that I urge you to pick up Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend.
“I work with individuals to actually find themselves in Christ and have their lives truly function well in Him. Often I am serving those most hurt by the world – those who have experienced severe trauma and abuse and helping them to find complete healing from the pain and the memories.
I have seen the Lord heal hundreds. Nothing has been too difficult for Him.”