Defining our values

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 πŸ™‚ May we each live valuable lives that bring glory and honour to our King.

– Ali


  1. Hi Ali
    I really enjoyed what you wrote on values. That sounds like a really good book. I will try and get my hands on it.
    This is the thing, I have values but I have never written them down! I have known them in myself if that makes sense but I have never written them down. Well, here are a few of my values.

    – Jesus Christ comes first in my life
    – Relationships are important to me.
    – I strongly believe in the power of being generous
    – I I esteem wisdom very highly
    – The church is a part of my life
    – Hard work is important
    – Being truthful is key

    These are some of the values I have. It’s good to write them down. Thanks Ali…haha


    1. I’m so glad this prompted you to reflect and write them down Rolain – it’s such a good practice to reflect on our priorities and what’s really important to us. It means we are less likely to compromise when someone challenges us on what we believe.
      Yes, I recommend both books.
      I like your list too – thanks for sharing. Great values to have πŸ™‚

  2. I have trouble setting boundaries and writing lists like this! I wonder what that means??? That I’m in big trouble ? Thanks Ali, for always bringing us something good from Him! God bless you!

    1. Haha, I don’t think lists like this are the ‘be-all and end-all’. I’ve always enjoyed writing lists and reflective, journal-y things as it suits my personality. But it isn’t always helpful or necessary. I think the boundaries advice is helpful if you feel like people are taking advantage or walking all over you – I used to feel that way, so the advice in the book helped me a lot.
      Thanks for reading and encouraging Debbie, and may we keep trusting in him and his guidance πŸ™‚

  3. The Cloud & Townsend Boundaries books are incredible resources! I’ve given “Boundaries in Marriage” as engagement gifts (and once as a ‘breakup gift’ to a young girl who continues to make poor choices in boyfriends).
    I didn’t realize there was this follow-up and I look forward to reading it.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yes, they’re very practical aren’t they. I don’t think I’ve ever underlined a book as much as the first Boundaries one! Boundaries in Marriage sounds good too…
      No worries, thanks for dropping by Denise.

  4. This is a great post. I could really identify with your last point. I tend to focus on the down-the-road. Perfect reminder that ‘today’ matters as much as ‘tomorrow’.

    1. Thanks Janna. Yes, it’s easy to get caught up in the big visions, dreams for the future, etc etc, – which are important – but God has something to say about today too πŸ™‚

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