I just finished preparing to teach a session in the Boundaries Class for this Sunday. It’s been several years since I’ve taught this class and coming back to teach it again has reminded me of how valuable this information is. God created us to be in relationship with Him and with one another and understanding boundaries is essential if these relationships are to be healthy and fulfilling.
Boundaries define us and our responsibilities. As we research the Biblical passages that teach us about boundaries we gain a true sense of who God made us to be and how to respect who God made those around me to be. Then I am able to take custody of my life and realize that to truly love another means I am not to take custody of their life. In this healthy separateness we are able to relate to one another in freedom and love.
As we consider the plethora of ways that lives today are injured we begin to understand why there is so much confusion about relational boundaries especially if those injuries occurred in our developmental years. Over the last fifty years or so we have moved away from foundational truths that provided clear understanding of right and wrong and without a clear morality we’ve forgotten how to love. In the absence of love not only have we lost respect for others we’ve lost respect for ourselves.
God Himself shows us the importance of boundaries. Consider that God is transcendent and totally separate from His creation. This transcendent God is also omnipresent. He is close to all of us and through Christ wants an intimate relationship with us. God is holy and because He is holy He sets limits on us. These limits are moral and spiritual boundaries. If we do not honor His boundaries then we cannot enjoy closeness with Him. The scripture says it this way: “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7)
God is light (holy) and the only way we can enjoy fellowship with Him is to walk in the light (honor His boundaries and love Him). If we walk in darkness (live in violation of His boundaries) then we lose closeness and fellowship with Him.
We are to be like God in the way we relate to each other. We are to have a healthy sense of separateness from each other for only then can we connect with others in a close relationship and this connection can only happen as we honor one another’s boundaries. God is here to help us know who we are and what we need to do to have healthy interpersonal relationships. We were made for such relationships so look to the Lord and learn well.