Inspirational Thought of the Day:

Respecting and serving one another without string attached frees us from sucking the life out of people who could never perfectly fulfill our every need like Jesus can.

Scripture of the Day:

Galatians 1:10
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ”

Relationships are a gift from God, but they can sometimes cause a lot of turmoil in our lives. In all our dysfunctional ways, relationships can become an enabling, controlling or demanding proposition. Think about it. Sinful man trying to relate to sinful man. But God. He shows us how to relate to one another and to Himself.

Yesterday we looked at how presumption can wreak havoc in our minds and affect our relationships. Today we are looking at boundaries. It might seem strange to have to have boundaries in relationships, but without them, things can get a little cra-cra, if you know what I mean.


Boundaries have caused a lot of problems when it comes to property. People want what they think is theirs, and nobody better encroach. Boundaries can be selfish, but they can also be a means of protection and a blessing.

I remember when a neighbor approached me and asked why we built our home so close to our property line. Wow. he wanted to define where we would place our home on our property. I kindly smiled and said, well, that is where the builder said it needed to be. Funny thing – his home was right next to the boundary, too. Even closer to the precious boundary line.

People want boundaries to define the “most” of what they can have, but don’t often want the limitations that boundaries can offer. Like the budget that cruelly tells us we have no more funds to spend in a certain category, the same budget also states that there is freedom in another category.

So it is in our personal relationships. Having no personal boundaries and being a people pleaser can look like having a servant’s heart, but it can also become idolatry and slavitude to people’s whims. Jesus did not do that, nor should we. People do not have a “right” to demand things in relationships. We do have a command to serve one another, though, and this service is others-focused, not manipulative or hoping for a favor in return.

Having boundaries that provide freedom to relate in a healthy context is liberating and refreshing. Jesus modeled what it meant to be available, but also to have times where he stepped away to have time alone with the Father. I admit I feel guilty when I tell my youngest one to go read a book in his room and to be quiet while I seek the face of God, but I quiet this guilt and realize that I am setting an example – Christ first. When I go to peek in on him, what do I see? He is imitating me, reading his Bible, marking his bible reading plan, writing in his journal. (Well, sometimes . . . other times . . . oh never mind, no rabbit trail today!)

While relationship problems can fill a wide spectrum of slightly irritating and debilitating to delightful and fulfilling, the most harmful and sometimes not as easily recognizable relationship pitfall is when someone is abusing us. It might be spiritual or emotional abuse, which are often disregarded in comparison to the more physical forms of abuse. In cases of abuse, there can be a lot of mixed emotions and it can feel unkind to shut someone from access to us, but it is actually unkind to stay in that environment for many reasons.

Relationships can heal when we place boundaries that help us to overcome hurdles we are facing in our relationships. I love this Scripture from Psalm 16:6: “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” Boundaries provide the fabric in which relationships can become a beautiful place of freedom and joy. Respecting and serving one another for the glory of God with no strings attached frees us from sucking the life out of people who could never perfectly fulfill our every need. God meets our every need perfectly in Christ Jesus.


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