A Lesson: Weak Boundary

I’m dog-sitting. Two weeks of just me and “man’s best friend.” But only five days in, I’m feeling pretty doggone exhausted. This pooch clearly operates from one boundary: his.

He boldly asks for what he wants, when he wants it, and accepting “no” is clearly NOT on his agenda. And he’s so charming and cute doing it, that I feel the pressure to give in. (This must be how grandparents feel!)

But is removing my own boundary wise? There’s a God lesson here. 

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For 50+ years, Josh McDowell Ministry has been leading seekers into a deeper knowledge of God’s truth and power. We offer you our accumulated knowledge and research to help you find truth and encouragement to live a healthy and whole life in Christ.

Weak Boundary, Weak Foundation

With a weak boundary, you and I can end up feeling like I am feeling in this moment: a bit burned out and irritated that I am clearly expected to cave to another’s expectations.

God doesn’t want us feeling resentful, or burned out, or tired from what others ask of us. Rather, He wants us to set appropriate boundaries, and keep them strong. But how do we do that? We can start by mirroring the actions of Christ.  

Jesus must have been dog-tired at times when the needy crowds crushed in on Him. But He never got put out by their “asks.” Jesus set firm boundaries where He needed them. And He kept them strong by daily connecting to their source: God.

Strong Boundary, Strong Foundation

Too often we get overwhelmed and distracted and harried because we try to get through the day on our own strength. We forget that our strength comes from daily plugging into God’s supernatural power.

As psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud teaches in his “Boundaries” books, without firm walls, we’re like crumbling castles. Our moat is a joke, and our gate down and unprotected. Dr. Cloud puts a lot of wisdom in his books, which he gleans from the Bible.

God talks about boundaries a lot in the Bible, because He knows we so desperately need boundaries to stand up to the demands of life. Jesus reminds us, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” When we seek time with Him, we are renewed and strengthened. The Holy Spirit seeks to continually work in us to desire to put God and His ways first.

What boundary are you shaky one? Do the work of strengthening it through God’s power, not your own.

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Sheri Bell writes and edits for Josh McDowell Ministry.

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