Mon, Mar 12th - 2:45AM
Christians and Boundaries
Five Causes of Weak Boundaries
by Karla Downing
Christians need boundaries but often don't have them in their relationships. Here are five causes of weak boundaries:
1. You were raised in a dysfunctional home where boundaries weren't modeled. As a result, you don't know what healthy boundaries are and don't recognize that you need to have them. You may believe that a wife submits to her husband in everything and isn't entitled to say no. You may believe that a husband loves by tolerating and overlooking everything. You may believe that a parent shows love by saying yes to everything.
2. You believe that being a good Christian means that you tolerate everything while forgiving and giving. There are many misconceptions that Christians have that result in doing unhealthy things in relationships. Yes, we need to forgive as opposed to holding bitterness and resentment, but you can forgive while having boundaries so the person cannot continue to harm you. And of course you need to give, but the giving needs to be balanced and voluntary.
3. You recognize your relationship isn't healthy but don't know what your boundaries are. You doubt your feelings, thoughts, and perceptions. Boundaries require clarity. You have to be able to clearly see what your responsibilities are and what the responsibilities of the other person are. Self doubt prevents you from being clear and makes you vulnerable to believing what the other person says over yourself.
4. You are afraid to set boundaries because you know the person won't respect them and you will have to figure out what to do about the boundary violation. The more difficult the person, the more your boundaries will be challenged. Boundary-less people are often like two-year-olds. They are strong-willed and defiant and will test your limits.
5. You would rather give in to keep the peace because you are uncomfortable with conflict. Boundaries often result in conflict, especially when you start to set them and the person isn't used to you having them. If you want to avoid conflict, setting boundaries will be difficult for you. But until you risk speaking the truth and drawing lines, nothing will change and things may get worse.
If you are a Christian and boundaries are difficult for you, identify which of these five causes are to blame and begin to work on developing your ability to have boundaries. God wants us to have boundaries in relationships.
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