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BOUNDARIES CAN . . .

Wesley, Keri, Kimberly & Rhonda

Create Space or Build Walls

I think having boundaries is important in our relationships with other people. For instance, I value my space. Therefore, I try to make sure I have plenty of time and space for myself.

brick wall FTR TSP 491379661Yet, sometimes the walls I build to protect my space turn into a cage that traps me. Boundaries don’t need to build cages. We can give ourselves room to grow without shutting out other people. We can let other people in without feeling smothered. Setting boundaries is all about balance, about give and take. Sometimes, we need to build walls; sometimes, we need to tear them down. Let’s seek to give ourselves room to grow and also to find people to share our space.

—Wesley Overhults

Hold Us Back

Boundaries make us feel safe and comfy and help us avoid awkward situations. But they can also hold us back if they keep us from trying new things or growing in faith.

Recently, I stepped out of my comfort zone a bit and have started volunteering, getting more involved in my church, and writing for devozine. Stepping out has helped me to grow in faith and to see life from different perspectives.

Stay inside the good boundaries, but step out of the boundaries that are holding you back. Go ahead and try something new, trusting that God has your back.

—Keri Pappas, 15

Strengthen Our Identity in Christ

Here’s an important question: Who or what should set the boundaries for our lives? Our friends? Nope. We may have amazing friends, but even Christian friends struggle with the same issues we do. The world? Romans 12:2 (NRSV) is pretty clear on that one: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Our parents? Our parents may be dedicated to following Christ, but we have to make that choice for ourselves.

Since God is our Creator, who knows and loves us, let’s set boundaries for our lives that are based on God’s will and God’s Word. All areas of our lives need boundaries. They help us to create our identity and let other people know where we stand. Boundaries make clear what we want and don’t want in our lives. When we rely on God for setting boundaries, we enforce our sense of who we are in Christ and stay focused on his purpose for our lives.

—Kimberly Dyer

Protect Us from Pain and Suffering

guardrail 2 TSP 487417975I was driving down the Interstate one rainy morning, and my car hydroplaned. I completely lost control of my car and was headed for an embankment, injury, and maybe death. Then the car hit a guardrail, bounced off, hit again, and came to a complete stop.

Boundaries are like guardrails. They protect us from people and places that may cause us pain and suffering. God and our parents give us rules, not to make us miserable but to protect us from pain and to make our lives more enjoyable. Boundaries are an expression of their love for us.

JOURNAL: Make a list of the boundaries in your life. Write about how each one is meant to protect you. What would happen without the boundaries in your life?

—Rhonda Hensley

—from  devozine  (May/June 2014). Copyright © 2014 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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