I have a sign on my front door. It says “No Trespassing.” My sign lets people know they cannot barge into my house. They must knock and wait for me to open the door. If they do barge in, I tell them to leave and not to barge in again. If they do, they will not be allowed in at all. In my house I make the rules and when people come into my house they must abide by them.
Sometimes people try to tell me my rules are bad. If I believe them, I will let them barge in every day. I used to do this and it would make me feel sad and angry because my house didn’t feel like mine anymore. They started to think it was their house and would boss me around and not leave. Now I know my rules are good. They keep me safe and healthy.
Other people have rules, too. And I must abide by their rules if I want to be their friend. Sometimes I don’t like their rules, but I must respect them if I want to keep my friends. One day my friend got mad at me because I snuck into her house to surprise her on her birthday. She does not like surprises at all. So, I will have to celebrate in another way if I want to keep her as a friend.
Another time my friend told me he liked my hair and touched it. I told him if he ever did that again we would not be friends. So he agreed to respect my wishes.
One way I know my rules are being broken is that I feel bad inside. I must remember to think about why I feel bad and then address the issue. It’s usually about my rules.
Boundaries by Cloud & Townsend is a good read and a solid place to start in the process of learning and applying boundaries.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.