Like a city that is broken into and without walls, is a man who has no control over his spirit.” Proverbs 25:28
In more than 25 years of leadership in the work of the kingdom, I have never encountered any topic more relevant and powerful than the subject of HEALTHY BOUNDARIES.
In my house growing up, I never heard anyone say the word “boundary.” When I got married and we started having children, I never remember reading anything on the topic of boundaries. I am sure the resources and the knowledge were available, but I simply never encountered them.
At one point in my journey, I started to feel my lack of boundaries. I began to see deep problems in my heart and mind. People began to share with me that I lacked healthy boundaries.
They were right. I felt responsible for everyone and everything around me. I could never rest. Life felt like a list of never ending responsibilities. Worst of all, I let everyone and everything around me dictate my choices and actions.
I was a city without walls. I had no control over my own spirit. That is what the Bible says about people without boundaries: they have no control over their own lives and hearts.
The most painful part was seeing how my lack of boundaries hurt and wounded the people closest to me. As a husband, father and leader in the church, I was causing pain for the people I cared about the most. I shed many tears in that season of my life.
Over the next several years, I read everything I could find on Boundaries. I watched videos, I read Scriptures, and I got much-needed counseling and healing prayer. Slowly, I began to understand that boundaries are a loving gift from God. Healthy boundaries bring safety, protection and blessing to our lives and relationships.
In ancient times, the wall around a city was crucial to the safety, health and well-being of the people living inside. The Book of Nehemiah tells the powerful story of how Nehemiah, a brave Jewish leader, rallied a hard working group of Jews to rebuild the wall around the city of Jerusalem. When the wall was rebuilt in 52 days, the people rejoiced because their city was again protected and safe from the attacks of their enemies. Walls meant safety, protection and blessing for the people.
In the same way, each of us must form and maintain healthy boundaries to live a life of rest, peace and love. There is no other way. Boundaries are God’s “guardrails” to keep us safely in the middle of life’s highway. They protect us from harm and help us grow and mature.
I pray that the walls, or boundaries, around your life will get stronger and that you will experience the freedom, joy and love that God created you for. Jesus came to bring us abundant life (John 10:10). Boundaries are a key component to discovering that life!