Do you have problems saying no? Can you set limits and still be a loving person? Do others take advantage of you?
If you’re not at peace with your answers, I invite you to join our upcoming book study on Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Dr. John Townsend and Dr. Henry Cloud. This 9-week course will meet on Thursdays from 7:00-8:30 PM beginning April 13.
Boundaries are one of the most important gifts we can give ourselves. Well-thought-out boundaries help insulate – not isolate – us from exposure to the troubling or even toxic behaviors we experience in a fallen world. Boundaries require time to identify and effort to enforce. Studies have shown that people who establish boundaries are more content and at peace than those who live without them. In fact, Proverbs 22:4 declares “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.”
I recognize that establishing boundaries with loved ones is a difficult task to undertake, but as Christians we are called to do so. By establishing boundaries, we can heal fractured relationships and begin loving each other in a healthier manner. Even God demonstrated boundaries with those He loved. One example is seen in Genesis when God explains to Adam, “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” God provided Adam a clear boundary; he also provided a result if that border was crossed. God understood the impact of Adam breaking that boundary, which I believe is one of the reasons he placed it there in the first place. God gave Adam that restriction out of love, to preserve the perfect relationship that he had with Adam prior to the fall.
If establishing boundaries seems foreign to you, or if you’ve had problems enforcing boundaries you’ve created, you can learn more and register for the Boundaries Book Study here. Together, we’ll address these concerns so we can reflect more of Jesus’ love into the world, while learning that it’s okay to love ourselves by establishing boundaries. Registration is $16, which includes the book and study guide. Free childcare is also available. For more information, contact me at [email protected]
Keith Priest, Christian Counselor