Why are personal boundaries so important to us?
Before we talk about why personal boundaries are so important, we should probably give some definition to what are personal boundaries. I know…BORING.
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. They are built out of a mix of conclusions, beliefs, opinions, attitudes, past experiences and social learning to give our lives order, peace and a sense of well-being.
Personal boundaries operate in two directions, affecting both the incoming and outgoing interactions between people. These are sometimes referred to as the “protection” and “containment”. In other words they show us the responsibility we have to others and make us aware of the limitations we should place on people in our lives.
When we fail to set healthy, clearly defined boundaries, there is a blur between where one person ends and another begins. This results in an unhealthy entanglement between two persons and will eventually cause great resentment, chaos and hurt in our lives.
Ahab and Jezebel are one of the best examples of unhealthy boundaries that resulted in the destruction of both. 1Ki 21:25 There was no one else who had devoted himself so completely to doing wrong in the LORD’s sight as Ahab—all at the urging of his wife Jezebel. GNB
If boundaries are so important, then why do we have such a rough time setting and keeping them? We will answer that question next time as we look into some common myths about setting boundaries. In the meantime, answer this question…
When I discover or am confronted with a problem in my life, what is the typical way I handle it? Do I blame someone else, make an excuse, avoid it, deny it is real, make little/light of it, rationalize a reason for it, deal with it, or something else?