We close and lock the doors to our homes to prevent anyone from getting in. We sometimes close and lock the door to prevent someone from getting out. All in the name of safety. It tells people that unless you are invited and I let you in, you cannot enter my house. So why do we not set and keep boundaries in our personal lives?!
Boundaries are biblical, but the message of boundaries can sometimes seem contradictory to what people have been taught. God shows us He wants us to love others and to be patient, forgiving and forbearing, but He also wants us to be truthful and to require that others take responsibility for their own choices. Can both of those happen at the same time? Can we love others and require them to be responsible for their own choices at the same time? If we are loving, shouldn’t we overlook their shortcomings? In our parenting class we reviewed Matthew 18:15-17 and 21-22 to discuss what Jesus said about boundaries to answer those questions. Our conclusion was Yes. Jesus lays out a process to be followed when we have an offense with someone, but also says that even though they have offended us, we are to forgive them. Forgiving them doesn’t let them off the hook, it just means that we have turned the situation over to God to deal with. It doesn’t mean that we allow ourselves back into that situation, only that the situation no longer controls us.
So why are personal boundaries so important to us? You will have to stay tuned for that in our next installment.