Why are boundaries so important to our spiritual and emotional health? It is really easy to answer; because they protect us. They protect us from the dysfunction of others and from our own dysfunctions. Think back to the myriad of prohibitions in the Old Testament...God gave them to His chosen people Israel, to keep them safe so they would reflect His glory to the nations that surrounded them.
You might ask, what is a boundary anyway? Think of a boundary as an invisible property line. When we were thinking of a way to keep our new puppy safe outside someone suggested an underground fence. They bury a thin wire underground and the puppy wears a receiving collar and receives a low shock when he gets to close to the underground wire...thus teaching him to stay in the boundaries. On our property there is a busy road to the one side our house; so the purpose was to keep our new puppy from getting hurt or killed by traffic.
The boundaries that we set in our life define us and help us to guard our souls, see Proverbs 4:23 "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. One aspect of setting up healthy boundaries is that they show us where our responsibilities end and someone else's begins.
One danger in any relationship is crossing over into interpersonal boundaries. When person A continually does for person B what person B should do for him/herself a dependency, and co- dependence is created, and nobody wins.
One of the bedrock foundations of life is knowing what we are to take responsibility for in life...this gives the individual as sense of autonomy and freedom. How many people do you know that have fallen into the victim role? They go through life blaming others (parents, society,) for their failures in life. When this happens the individual’s options in life become limited and failure is inevitable.
The Christian life is one of continued repentance. We are continually getting rid of sin and the weights that so easily slow us down in our race toward Christ-likeness. We are bringing into our lives those things that spur us on toward Christian maturity and Christ-likeness...it is the putting on of Christ and putting off of the old-man that the Apostle Paul talks about in his epistles.
This concept of boundaries should not be foreign to the Christian...for God is a God of boundaries. One can hardly go through the Scriptures without coming across a prohibition or a directive. God is holy, and by the very nature of His holiness God has set boundaries against sin.
It is our responsibility to know the boundaries that God has set for us. Once we know these boundaries we can erect mile high fences so we can stay within the will and plan of God for our lives.
My Christian friends...get out your hammer and wood; and build those boundaries in your life to the glory of God.