How to Set Them — How to Keep Them
Is your life controlled by someone else? Is your time monopolized by someone else? Is your schedule dictated by someone else? If your response is, “That’s me!” … then you need boundaries.
We cannot be or do everything for anyone, much less everyone, so we must choose who we will be and what we will do regarding the people God brings into our lives. Jesus established boundaries for His relationships by prioritizing the Father … discipling the Twelve … and being intimate with the few. He also set boundaries on His actions. …
“Jesus gave them this answer: ‘Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. … By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.’” (John 5:19, 30)
Questions and Answers
“What role do HEALTHY boundaries play in relationships, and just how important is it to establish boundaries?”
People with healthy boundaries understand the reality of our unique individuality and our need for mutually beneficial separateness. They accept that we are separate from one another … and yet we live with one another. We are individually responsible before God … and yet God holds us responsible for how we treat one another.
Clearly, although we are separate individuals, God made us to be in relationship with each other. The means by which we succeed at being both separate and together is established through healthy boundaries. Healthy people have healthy boundaries. With boundaries, we can juggle the two opposites of separateness and togetherness by creating and maintaining balance in our relationships. We do that by keeping God in His proper place and people in their proper place. God comes first and people come second. …
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37–39)
“How do boundaries relate to submission?”
Boundaries almost entirely rely on submission to be effective. Jesus submitted Himself to the will of His Father … to the boundaries laid out for His words and deeds.
You are to follow Christ’s example and submit to His will for your life … to the boundaries He has laid out for your life and the purpose for which you were created.
In seeking to set godly boundaries and practice biblical submission, remember …
- Biblical submission is not expressed in breaking godly boundaries but in obeying them.
- Biblical submission is the voluntary compliance given for another person’s good and for the good of the relationship.
- Biblical submission glorifies God, not a person, and results in humility rather than power or pride in the heart of the one to whom you submit.
- Biblical boundaries begin in a relationship of mutual submission, with each person attempting to strive for the utmost benefit of the other.
From God’s Word
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).