Devotional for March 15th
Boundaries are essential in business, governments, etc. But when applied to our lives, they’re either non-existent or met with opposition. Boundaries protect those on both sides from getting hurt. It sets the standard by which a healthy relationship can happen. Without them, people and relationships can be devastated.
Those that live with no boundaries are often those that like to help everyone. In extreme cases, the desire to please without limit or boundary can cause irreparable damage to the pleaser, their family, and those close to their situation. Boundaries in our personal lives are often looked at as bad things. Those that apply them can be thought of as “standoffish”, arrogant, or even heartless. Terms like introvert or shy are frequently given to these people. They can even be described as people that have no sense of family obligation or community.
Every person is different. Every situation is too. No one label adequately or correctly describes. Discovering who you are, and living it out creates clear communication of intent and expectation for those around you. It provides the language of our relationships. Language only has meaning if all involved operate from the same definition and base of understanding.
I have discovered that I am a pleaser and I have not set healthy boundaries for myself or my family. I thought it was just how I was. I’ve lived this way all of my life. But, that’s changing now. I realized that I was unhappy with how I was allowing myself and my sons to be treated. I realized that I had anger and resentment towards so many because I allowed them to hurt me intentionally, or by not living up to my unspoken expectation of them. I am setting boundaries for myself and my sons. I am also communicating what those are. It has removed the resentment; enabled me to push past the pain; and allowed me to focus on future relationships with great expectation.
I find that I enjoy boundaries now. My pleaser mentality realizes that am actually helping people by setting them. I’m helping them understand who I am and what I’m all about. I’m helping my sons understand who their dad is inside and out. Most of all, I’m helping people to no longer hurt me, or be hurt by me. It’s a great place to be. I feel free. No more unrealistic or non-communicated expectations. This is a moment-by-moment choice of how to live my life. I have to be intentional. I choose to be intentional. I choose be happy. I choose be free.
What are you being intentional about today? What boundaries in your life need to be set, or reset?
Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.
– Gal. 1:10 NLT