“Every healthy relationship has boundaries!” Does your relationship have boundaries? If so, have you discussed them with your spouse or do you assume that they are there? Although this week’s post is mainly about setting boundaries in a married relationship, single people should have boundaries too. Let’s discuss what boundaries are, and why they are important.
What does it mean to have boundaries in a relationship? Wikipedia defines boundaries as: “Guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits.” For example: A married man should not be on the phone talking/texting a single women late at night.
Why are boundaries needed? Boundaries are needed so that each person can be clear on what is expected, what is okay and not okay in the relationship. They should be clearly communicated and agreed upon so that both people can practice the expected behavior. When boundaries are followed they can help to protect a marriage relationship. On the other hand, when boundaries are broken, this can cause problems in a relationship. Don’t assume that you and your spouse have the same boundaries. Discuss them, ask questions and establish boundaries.
When boundaries are not established it makes more room for the enemy to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). In this verse, the Bible calls the enemy a thief. The thief wants to destroy your marriage, kill your intimacy and take what you have. When I think about a boundary, I think about the yellow caution tape that is placed in front of an area where no one is supposed to go. The tape is there as a sign which reads do not enter. If someone ignores the sign, they could possibly experience immediate danger or enter a zone that is not safe. Sometimes you see the tape, but you can not see the danger behind the tape. This is what happens when a boundary is crossed. There is often danger ahead, but you don’t see it coming.
Healthy relationships have boundaries. Once a couple clearly communicates their boundaries to each other, both parties should do everything possible respect their spouse by not crossing the boundary. Breaking a boundary often creates trouble especially when it is broken consistently. Since every marriage is different, it is important that couples establish boundaries that work for their relationship. Here are a few areas that I think can be discussed in any relationship:
- Cell (talking/texting the opposite sex) phone conversation boundaries
- Social Media boundaries – Is it okay to connect with old girlfriend/boyfriends?
- Workplace boundaries – Is it okay to go out to lunch (one on one) with the opposite sex on a regular basis?
- Financial boundaries – Is it okay for your spouse to lend money to someone of the opposite sex?
- Clearly everyone agrees that your spouse should not lay down with someone of the opposite sex? Right? Some may not agree.
- (For Singles) Don’t have someone of the opposite sex at your house when the hour gets late. Don’t date married people.
- Don’t lend money if you can’t afford to give it.
Please SET SOME BOUNDARIES, don’t take it for granted that you and your spouse are automatically on one accord. If you already have boundaries set, may the Lord help you to keep them. Blessings to you and your boundaries!
Until next week . . .