We talked about boundaries in our marriage class last night.
Gary Smalley writes, "healthy boundaries can help you to protect yourself from being mistreated by other people - your marriage partner, your children, and your friends. They also can protect your own family from others."
You know it's time to build your own fence when you are angry, he writes. When you feel threatened or fearful.
You want to rise up and says, "Hey, I'm an individual. My feelings are important! I'm a person! I want to build my fence."
Smalley writes, "when you build that fence, you will find that these negative emotions begin to drop off."
We all need boundaries. We all need to spend our time building our own fences and letting people know where we being and where we end.
Years ago, we had an older man in the church, who for a season, called me at 7:30 A.M. every morning, as I was getting ready to go to work.
Finally, after a time of this, I had to share with him, "Thou shalt not call me at 7:30 A.M. every morning."
What are your boundaries today?
Debbie and I have a phrase that we use with one another - sometimes we get "peopled-out" where we desire to spend the evening together at home - alone. Those feelings bring us to the point of saying, "we need to put our boundaries up." "We're getting maxed out."
That's hard, especially for care-givers. It can lead to feelings of guilt. But it is necessary for a fulfilling life long ministry.
Remember - boundaries aren't used to necessarily keep people out - but to keep your emotional balance within.