Boundaries: we all need them
“I once heard that the Greek term for “weaker partner” can also be translated “fine china,” which I think is a better translation within the context of marriage. How do you handle fine china? With respect, as you tenderly appreciate and display its finest points. You don’t slam fine china around or put it through the blast of a dishwasher.”
Fred & Brenda Stoeker
Every Heart Restored
Boundaries are not meant to be boring, make you feel boxed in or caged, or even meant to isolate you from those around your life. Boundaries are meant to protect, guide and give others a gage of what, where and who you are willing to enjoy life with as we go through our routines. If we don’t have any boundaries, we allow ourselves to be tossed around and to become hurt in the process.
Communicating our boundaries with our loved ones is vital to our relationship success. Telling those closest to you “that’s not okay” or “I’m not going there as it will cause me to stumble,” is key to later conversations and consequences. In marriages, having healthy boundaries is like taking a daily vitamin to keep your body strong and in balance. Just like we handle fine china, we need to handle our relationships with care. Some of us may need more boundaries than others; THAT’S OKAY!
If you come from a background where pornography plagues your mind, you’re not going to take yourself to a movie, dinner or event that would challenge your eyes and mind. Many couples find alcohol as a boundary they’re not willing to budge on in their home or out with friends. Some have boundaries with their kids that may differ from other parents and most of us have those in place due to our childhood. As believers, we have a set of boundaries laid out for us in the Bible that can help us determine which is healthy and which is not as we overcome challenges, fears, and betrayal in our lives. Everyone’s WILL look different but are necessary to succeed.
Do you find it hard to place boundaries in your life and stick to them? Did you have clear boundaries prior to the betrayal in your marriage?
Has it been hard to deal with someone who may appear like “fine china”?
Matthew 4:6-7, Isaiah 58:11, John 12:2, Matthew 5:37, Luke 16:13
Perspective: Stubbed Toes
“Because we often do not think like Him, and because we do not have His perfect perspective, we often do not exactly know what God is doing. Only in hindsight do we understand what is occurring in our personal life, to the church, or in the world in the outworking of prophecy. So we must trust Him, and in the meantime weigh what is happening and its possible outcome.”
John W. Ritenbaugh
The other morning as I was opening the blinds and turning the lights on, I clumsily stumbled into the LARGE table that has been sitting in the same place for years. It is beyond frustrating to stub your toe and more so, when something so small can create such pain! I had instant shooting pain and within an hour a black and purple pinkie toe. As I was icing my “serious” injury, I had an epiphany: Sometimes the pain we encounter due to stubbing our toes is like trying to dodge the sin we attempt to avoid in our daily lives. There are obvious places, triggers, and things in our society and everyday lives that we KNOW will cause pain, but we still run into them and stumble because as humans we are weak and far from perfect.
I love what Beth Moore says, “Measure the size of the obstacle against the size of God.” How quickly are we to forget the size of God when placed in a difficult situation? We see the obstacles in front of us, feel the pain from the punches, and experience the emotional grief due to the sinful nature we all fight. In the moment, we focus on the initial pain that has been caused and aren’t capable to see past the hurt to the bigger picture of the situation. It’s not until we take a step back, we see how we might have been able to avoid the pain or see how God was and has been, by our side through every side kick, jab, or punch that came our way.
Whether it be fighting cancer, dealing with naughty children, friendships, avoiding addictions, stubbing toes or trying to pick up the puzzles of your marriage, let God change your perspective so you can see all the glory in the story.
Has God change your perspective on issues within your marriage?
Have you been able to grow your character when you “stubbed” your toes?
Are you able to see the glory in the story today?
I can’t forgive myself and those who have hurt me: 1 John 1:9, Romans 8:1
I can’t keep going. I’m tired: Psalm 91:15, 2 Corinthians 12:9, Matthew 11:28
I feel so alone: Hebrews 13:5, Genesis 2:18
This is too hard to deal with: Philippians 4:13, 1 Peter 5:7, John 16:33
I’m afraid: 2 Timothy 1:7, Psalm 23:4
Dating: creating the new “us”
What are some other encouraging, interactive date night ideas?
How has God met you in this study?
Do you feel like you’ve gained perspective to your journey?
What ways can the church better assist you, come along side you and encourage you as you press on?
"To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness. Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs."
About the Author
Stephanie is a stay-at-home mommy to four little blessings. Married for 16 years, Tim and Stephanie find new ways to enjoy intimate time together while raising the young family.