Boundaries are all about self-control. A fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). They allow you to take ownership, be responsible, and experience the freedom of living the life God has prepared for you. In fact, boundaries were originally God’s idea and He expects us to set them clearly in our lives. When you fail to set boundaries in your relationships, you risk the break down of that relationship. The truth is, your relationships – especially your marriage – cannot develop or grow beyond your ability to set boundaries.
Boundaries As Ownership & Responsibility
A boundary is simply a personal property line. It marks where one thing ends and another begins; whether we’re talking about actual property or personal property. Property lines are essential for being and having good neighbors. Why? Because they establish ownership: who owns what. In relationships, boundaries define who “owns” things such as feelings, attitudes, and behaviors. This is critical because – as I have repeatedly preached – you only have 100% control over your personal attitude and actions. Others cannot own your attitude or change it, unless and until you choose. By establishing ownership we can see who a particular problem belongs to, and to whom it does not.
This is also crucial to clarifying responsibility: who is responsible for what. When we know who owns something, we also know who must take responsibility for it. This should eliminate the casting of blame. Why? Because determining and accepting ownership and responsibility takes the power for changing out of other’s hands and places it in my own. Taking responsibility provides the opportunity for change, and with that comes empowerment. When we see that the problem is our problem and that we are responsible for it, we are then empowered to make a change. We can choose a different attitude and a different action. We are no longer “held captive” by someone else’s control or determination.