I’ve just finished reading a book called Beyond Boundaries by Dr. John Townsend (the co-author of the original Boundaries book).
The first book defined what it means to set loving limits around our lives so we can experience healthier relationships. It’s one of the best ‘self-help’ books I’ve read.
Beyond Boundaries expands on this concept, and explores the idea of ‘defining boundaries’.
Townsend says defining boundaries are those which establish who you are and who you’re not. “They are at the core of your identity and reflect what you believe is important and valuable in life,” he explains.
Such values might include:
“I follow God and his ways and will always live my life in him,” or “I will always be growing and will not get off the path”.
Defining boundaries help others to know who you are – the real you. And your values will help guide your decisions in life.
I believe knowing our core values, and knowing what we will and won’t tolerate from others, is vital to the way we start – and maintain – healthy relationships.
It’s easier said than done. We need God’s help – and the help of wise friends – to keep doing the work of setting boundaries.
Who are you, really? What are your core values?
I’ll start by sharing a few of my own:
* God is the centre of my life and my reason for being. Through Jesus he has won my heart, and no other relationship will come before him.
* I believe all people have value, even though not all make healthy choices. All people, including myself, are worthy of forgiveness and grace.
* Each person has been given at least one gift or talent from God. With his help we can use it and express it during the space of our life.
* I believe it’s important to be authentic – to say what you think, boldly and with love.
* If we value ourselves, we’ll teach others to value us too. Good relationships start with a strong sense of identity and healthy self-esteem.
* God has a purpose for my life, but life is made up of many small choices squeezed into each day. I hope not to be so distracted by ‘the bigger picture’ that I lose sight of my Heavenly Father’s daily directives. Ultimately, I’m on the ‘home stretch’ to Heaven, and I want to live a life that leads others there too.
Thanks for letting me share these with you 🙂 May we each live valuable lives that bring glory and honour to our King.