30 Apr Boundaries Matter (excerpt from Coordinating Chaos)
“I don’t know a whole lot about sports, I mean I kind of pretend I do. Living in a house with a sports aficionado husband and kids that are always in one kind of sport or another – I’ve picked up some understanding. And I DO play Fantasy Football. So there’s that. A common rule in most sports is that you can’t go out of bounds. For the play to count, you have to stay with in the designated boundaries of the field or the court. Right??? We even learn this as little kids playing dodgeball or four-square. Boundaries in life are the same. For things to be fair, we have to stay in the bounds that are set.
The word “boundary” can be a bit misleading. It conveys the idea of keeping yourself separate. But boundaries are actually connecting points – they provide healthy rules for navigating relationships, both in personal relationships and also work relationships. In general, healthy personal boundaries are those limits and rules you set for yourself within relationships, to make sure mentally and emotionally you are stable. A person with healthy boundaries can say “no” to others when they want to, but are also comfortable opening themselves up to intimacy and close relationships.
In the same way, a family boundary delineates what is your responsibility in life and what is not. It clarifies what you are for and what you are against — what you will allow and what you will not — all for the purpose of protecting and guarding the family God has given you. Ultimately, a boundary is about taking responsibility – being that good steward – over your heart and the hearts of your family. Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our hearts and “pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life.”
Setting and communicating these personal and familial boundaries will actually improve your relationships and self esteem. And is essential for your health, well-being, and the quality of your relationships.”
Check out the rest in my book Coordinating Chaos!