Boundaries - How to Set Them and How to Keep Them

What Is God’s Heart on Boundaries?

God created us to be His image bearers—literally to bear the image of God. In the first chapter of Genesis, God says, “Let us make human beings in our image” (Genesis 1:26 nlt). We are to be like Him in our character and are to act like Him.

God’s heart is that we set boundaries that are mutually beneficial for our relationships with one another, and He clearly communicates those boundaries in His Word. He gives us written boundaries to show us who He is and what He requires of us. “Live in harmony with one another.

Do not be proud . . . Do not be conceited.” (Romans 12:16)

God’s Blueprint for Boundaries in Relationships God established parameters for godly relationships, as revealed in His Word. He has ordained boundaries for us—boundaries we need to set and maintain. By grasping God’s heart on boundaries, we can develop meaningful relationships that are pleasing to God and fulfilling to us. When this occurs, we . . .

Treat one another with respect.
“Show proper respect to everyone” (1 Peter 2:17). Listen to one another and consider our words before we speak. “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak” (James 1:19).

Do not lie, but speak truthfully from the heart.
“Each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor” (Ephesians 4:25).

Say Yes or No without lengthy justification or feeling guilty. “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’” (Matthew 5:37).

Give and accept correction while refraining from flattery.
“Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favor rather than one who has a flattering tongue” (Proverbs 28:23).

Confront one another with love, grace, and truth when we sin against one other.
“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over” (Matthew 18:15).

Express anger in a helpful, not hurtful manner. “In your anger do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26).

Take responsibility for doing wrong and forgive others when we’ve been wronged. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

Encourage one another—verbally, emotionally, and spiritually. “Let us not neglect our meeting together . . . but encourage one another” (Hebrews 10:25 nlt).

Practice mutual submission. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).

Remove ourselves from abusive situations. “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered” (Proverbs 22:24).

Refuse to stay in a relationship if either of us is negatively influencing the other. “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’” (1 Corinthians 15:33).

Following God’s blueprint for boundaries, we can establish healthy relationships and build godly character.

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Want to learn more about this topic? Check out the Women of Faith Resources to discover biblical hope and practical help on this topic and many more. The Keys for Living are designed to help you—and help you help others—overcome difficulties, grow in maturity, and move forward in life.

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