Thursday, October 14, 2010

Healthy Boundaries

1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah: During the month of Chislev in the twentieth year, when I was in the fortress city of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, arrived with men from Judah, and I questioned them about Jerusalem and the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile. 3 They said to me, "The remnant in the province, who survived the exile, are in great trouble and disgrace. Jerusalem's wall has been broken down, and its gates have been burned down." 4 When I heard these words, I sat down and wept. I mourned for a number of days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven. (Nehemiah 1:1-4)
If Nehemiah had a word for us today it would be, "You need to build some walls to keep danger away"

Notice that Nehemiah “heard these words an wept”. What are the things in your life that you have seen that have made you weep? Do you come from or have you been impacted by someone in your family that have broken homes because of adultery or abuse? Do you recognize the pain in children when their mom and dad no longer love each other. Do you know how that makes them feel? Do you know that over 60% of all married people at some time during their marriage are unfaithful to their marriage vows? Do you know what it is like to have to deal with drunkenness, a DUI or the strange behavior that accompanies someone that is drinking too much?

Proverbs 25:28 tells us "a man who lacks self-control is like a city whose walls are broken down." Without self-control, passion, lust, peer-pressure and our pride will be our downfall.

Don’t be seduced! We live in a society that has discarded the persuasion that some choices are always right and some choices are always wrong. Black and white has given way to many shades of gray! I have learned that I can’t walk so close to the fire that you won’t be burned. The Bible says that it’s impossible to live that close to Sodom and not be affected. The King James uses the word, “vexed” (2 Peter 2:7). We all need healthy boundaries; we need to know where we can tread safely and where it was better not to venture.

So what are “healthy boundaries”? What does it mean to set up personal boundaries?

A boundary is an invisible protective fence around our personal God-given space.

A boundary is something we are supposed to have. It is not “keeping people out” so that we don’t ever interact with others. It is a space or a distance that gives you protection from being controlled by the influence of others, but through which you can have healthy relationships.

Boundaries are lines that we have determined before hand that we will not cross. Boundaries are personal but are to be fixed and not flexible. For example, boundaries tell us there is danger beyond a certain point. I don't want to put myself into a position where I can jeopardize my life, my testimony, or my family.

Heathy personal boundaries help us to not fall into a weakened or defenseless position where we can be easily be compromised.

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