“Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance! I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.” – Psalm 16: 5-8.
Boundaries. Fences. Partitions. They perform a vital role in our lives. Boundaries are designed to protect something, not to prohibit. A ski boundary line, a railing on a bridge, a divider on a freeway, directions on the back of a medication, these boundaries are not set in place to hinder you, they are set in place to hedge against danger. It is not always easy to figure out just what is and isn’t a healthy boundary.
Boundaries were established by God. God established the universe with a certain order and specific boundaries. “Let there be a space between the waters, to separate the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth.” (Genesis 1: 6) God created different animals, different plants and vegetation, different celestial bodies. Then He created man, and from man, woman. Boundaries are a fundamental element of any relationship, business, or organization. Since marriage was created to be the most intimate of all human relationships, shouldn’t it be given more careful thought when it comes to boundaries? When boundaries are not established in the beginning of a marriage, or when they break down, marriages break down as well.
Boundaries are like fences that help control our behavior. They indicate where we must stop and change course. They define what belongs to me and what belongs to my spouse. They are edges that warn me if I come too close, or if I cross them, certain consequences will predictably happen. They are part of God’s order for His creation.
Boundaries are all about protecting something that deserves protecting. That is all boundaries are for, protection. I encourage you to place some boundaries on your marriage. Maybe it’s not still talking to some old girlfriends. Maybe it’s no dinner dates with someone of the opposite sex. Maybe it is not staying for longer than a few minutes. Maybe it’s not leaving your clothes all around the house. Whatever it is, make sure your spouse knows your fears, thoughts, and concerns so they don’t “accidentally” find themselves wandering so far away that one day you both can’t find your way back. They are guardrails set up so you won’t go off the road in your marriage.
- Does setting boundaries make you selfish in your mind?
- How do boundaries relate to submission?
- What boundaries do you need to set in your marriage?