So many people fear being alone. A moderate fear of being alone is healthy because we are wired and intended by God to be in relationship with others. However, when our fear of being alone is severe then we might struggle to enforce healthy boundaries in relationships.
Why might we struggle to enforce boundaries? Because enforcing boundaries requires, in some cases, risking the death of a relationship…and that can risk us being left alone.
Fortunately, some people respond well to healthy boundary setting because they value the relationship more than the inconvenience of making the necessary changes to keep the relationship. On the other hand, those who value their old habits more than the relationship may withdraw or sever the relationship when our healthy boundaries need enforcement. Needless to say, those who sell themselves out to unhealthy ways that harm us are definitely not people that we need in our lives.
Out with the old and in with the new! That expression sounds cliché, but applying the principle with people sometimes can be quite a challenge.
The truth is that the more we engage in healthy community, the more strength, hope and balance we maintain during the process of boundary enforcement in a relationship. And if the relationship becomes threatened or even dies due to our boundary setting, then the healthy community provides the requisite support and direction we need to pull through the challenge and move on to better things.
Some introverts I know do well to stay connected to one or two people. I encourage them to keep at least three or more mature, authentic believers as lifelines no matter how introverted they happen to be. Even better is an authentic small group where Galatians 6:2 and James 5:16 are applied regularly among the members. A small group can provide the understanding, emotional support and healing we need so badly during times of upheaval in our lives. To us, they become Christ with skin on.
Boundary setting in relationships and authentic connection in healthy community are vital ingredients for us to include in the recipe of life so that we can grow and live effectively during these tumultuous days. Boundary setting and healthy connection together provide us with the tools and support we need to do the will of God. With the support of the body of Christ we can make it through anything, even the death of a primary relationship.
If you are mustering the courage to enforce healthy boundaries in a relationship, God desires for you to reach out and get the support you need to carry it through. Consider contacting local resources in your area for leads, such as helpful friends, counselors, therapists, church groups, Twelve Step programs, Divorce Care, Steven’s Ministry, and so on.
Here are some additional points of connection that may be helpful to you:
New Life Ministries at newlife.com and New Life Live radio WNIV 970AM 2pm EST
Living Waters Ministries at desertstream.org
Twelve Step Programs at serenityfound.org
And though a man might prevail against him who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Bear (endure, carry) one another’s burdens and [a]troublesome moral faults, and in this way fulfill and observe perfectly the law of Christ (the Messiah) and complete [b]what is lacking [in your obedience to it].
Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].
2 Peter 3:18
But grow in grace (undeserved favor, spiritual strength) and recognition and knowledge and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him [be] glory (honor, majesty, and splendor) both now and to the day of eternity. Amen (so be it)!
9 For this reason we also, from the day we heard of it, have not ceased to pray and make [special] request for you, [asking] that you may be filled with the full (deep and clear) knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom [in comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God] and in understanding and discernment of spiritual things—
10 That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, acquaintance, and recognition].
11 [We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy,