Like any country setting and protecting their well-defined borders, you have to set and protect your emotional boundaries as well. Within those countries’ borders you have to abide to their laws. People need to do the same! We have to establish personal boundaries in our relationships to preserve our own emotional health and to protect the treasure God has in us. We need to strictly guard who has access to our hearts and minds.
A lack of emotional boundaries can be identified by these questions:
- Do you feel that someone often takes advantage of you?
- Are you expected to meet all the needs of someone else?
- Do certain people expect you to help them, but then fail to help you when you need help?
- Does someone take advantage of you at work by piling one priority on top of another?
- Do you feel manipulated by someone’s lies, half-truths, procrastination, and lateness?
When these kinds of breaches occur often, they are significant threats to your being free to serve God and to become all He wants you to be. Learn to establish boundaries and draw the line with people who would cross your boundaries and put you in bondage!
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
How to Establish Emotional/Personal Boundaries:
1. Place boundaries around your heart.
Be careful where and on whom you spend your emotions. Put firm boundaries around the things in which you are emotionally invested. “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
2. Learn that it’s okay to say no.
Many people who lack boundaries are not in touch with their true feelings…Or if they are, they don’t think they have the right to say no. Do not listen to lies about being selfish or uncaring when you refuse to comply with someone’s wishes. Jesus set many boundaries while He was on earth, and He said ‘no’ to many people, including His disciples. He knew that the “No” was necessary for Him and for them. Jesus said,“Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ ” (Matthew 5:37)