What is a boundary and why are they set?
With much of my personal reading and devotions having a base in Psalms with an emphasis on 116 through 119; the notion of boundaries has already been cemented into me.
(Psalms 116, Psalms 119)
When it comes to determining what makes for a wise boundary with another person, the precepts from Psalms can be applied like butter. To do what is best and not harmful, to keep the focus on what is holy and fruitful are commonalities of right relationships.
In adult friendships we can learn from our childhood missteps. In 8th grade everyone was trying to fit into a ‘follow the crowd’ mentality. We wore the same clothes and tried to fit in. We wanted our friends to be just like us and if they showed any disloyalty; that friendship was over. As adults we thrive when our differences enhance the relationships with those around us. We cannot all see the same or feel the same way. We can, however, learn from how others outside of our own heads- see and feel about life.
This is done with care. Each person I meet is valuable, therefore I am to respectfully love them as they are; not to impose my ideals, presumptions or false expectations. They are not me and that is wonderful.
There are some friendships that open into deeper pools of richness. These relationships have the Holy Spirit swirling throughout. The boundaries are the same with no adjustments. There are some enhancements, and they are:
– The authority to seek an eternal connection via covenant prayer
– Transparency of heart and the opening for correction by another.
Yes, that means this type of friendship allows and encourages another to hold me to a higher level of accountability by correction or rebuke. I need that accountability and thank God for it!
These deep friendships have passages unique to the bond. In the very element and dynamic of being totally transparent one can throw another off course, veering them into water they were not to touch yet. God can place boundaries that match His precepts, as needed. That is what can be experienced when we allow one another to be open and transparent.
But not all can remove their protective armor or PPE. This is hard as it limits prosperity and growth in a relationship. I question why people place a wall between themselves and being real with those who love them.
Boundaries protect the Spirit. Walls deceive the Spirit.
We tend to put up walls, but walls are what hold us captive; so why do we put them up? We place walls around who we are to protect ourselves from intrusion. We also set walls to keep others out of our intimate space, so that no one can learn what we think or believe. That eliminates any uncomfortable questions that might emerge, or corrections that could bring change. Walls keep change at bay, at least we think so. But this is a deception we place on our own spirit. The truth is that walls are falsehoods we guard ourselves with to prevent reality from waking us up.
In many conversations I find that even those closest to me are not wanting to delve into what is important, the things which truly matter. It is far easier to rattle on about sports, cars, vacation ideas, music, hobbies, family and politics. Whoa, how did politics get a higher value than what is going on within the heart? When does March Madness take precedent over the questions keeping you up at night? And the conversations over coffee which go on about market fluctuations and what might be the best path to gain from them are nothing in comparison to what your personal addiction is doing to your life.
We are taught to never tell what is really happening inside our deepest heart, even if it is the central point of conflict and threatens to consume us. To the world, our friends, family and associates it looks like we are dialed. It’s all good.
That is what walls give us, a shield we can put up against being true. We choose to eschew being our real, genuine selves to everyone…and for a time this deception can inflict its damage on our own psyche. But the thing about walls is that they crack, blow down, rot and fail. Reality always finds a way inside and past the wall.
Let this be a wake-up message to hear before the wall becomes a trap and suffocates you within its compound, one of your own making.