52 Ways for More Serenity in Life and Home :: know your boundaries (week #38)

Happy Monday to you

I’ve thought much on my own words last week to stop tweaking and focusing so much on improvement.

Here’s a real life example:  In our local church ministry work as a pastoral couple, my husband and I had been praying and planning for many months about upcoming changes.  There were conversations with other leaders, questions to answer, notes to prepare, and a significant church-wide meeting this past weekend.

Last week, I found myself tweaking things — a lot.  At first, reevaluating and rethinking proved a wise decision.  Yet very quickly, I could tell I was simply trying to improve upon my improvements.

NOT helpful at all.

Releasing the itch to keep modifying, more peace was found in placing our hard work into God’s hands and letting all else rest.  After this, the week flowed more smoothly!  Whew.

But, it made me think of something I wanted to share with you today….

Week #38  Know your relational boundaries

To frame our conversations, a scriptural encouragement –

“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.”  Psalm 16:6 (NIV)

Oh, this one just truly hurts my heart to watch.  Along with knowing when to let it rest in our own lives, we must grow in knowing when to let it rest with other people.

We often think of boundaries as keeping people, things, non-essential priorities out.  There’s truth here.  Today, I’d suggest also thinking of these same fences as keeping YOU in.

We women are rescuers at times.

But you see, there’s only so much we can do in some of our relationships.  There will be times where our power to reason, talk or share with, persuade, or even encourage another person will be limited.

We will encounter frustration at our inability to change a person, or influence them to change their situation.

This is exactly as it should be.  We’re not God.

What got Satan kicked out of heaven, Adam & Eve banished from the garden, and a host of other biblical characters in trouble was their unhealthy desire for influence.  They weren’t content with their sphere or level of impact or authority — they wanted God’s.

But, I’ve done it – and maybe you have to? – I jump those fences which inform me of my limitations, and find myself waaaay outside of my sphere of influence.

Basically, I’ve leapt over marriage fences, parenting boundaries, friendship lines and pastoral limitations thinking if I just….then they  will…  You know what I mean, don’t you?

We play Holy Spirit.  We play God.

I know it’s tough.  I relate to feelings of helplessness.  I understand it’s most likely out of our care for another person.  I get it.

But like the psalmist, I instead want to recognize there are pleasant boundary lines for me, especially in relationships.  Honoring those will bring me peace, a delightful inheritance as I pray and trust for changes.

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{**I’m aware many are called to go further in helping a troubled individual than what may seem normal .  I encourage you to exercise wisdom – and to ask for it by receiving counsel.  Scripture describes how this can sometimes be a slippery slope**}

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 Action Plan:  Pray and ask God if you’ve jumped a relational fence recently, stepped into territory that’s His alone.  Ask for strength to get back on your side and to trust God at work.  Prayerfully, you’ll find rest as well.

More to Read:  The first part of Galatians 6 offers great insight on working with others, while remaining humble ourselves.  Take a look!

 

 

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2 comments

A resounding “YES”! to this post. When we stay in our proper place in relationships, not meddling, trying to control, etc, we actually show respect for others – even when they are making mistakes! Thank you!

Yes, yes Laure, it’s all so true! You are welcome….