35 BoundariesPosted: September 23, 2012
Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28
Perfectionism has many qualities in common with codependency, so I want to spend a little more time looking at codependency. I have come to the conclusion that perfectionism is another way of describing codependency. In our codependency we often deal with boundary issues. Boundaries provide a definition between us and others. They also shield us and act as a filter which allows in the good and keeps out the bad.
An analogy from biology illustrates this. The cell membrane acts as a boundary. It provides the cell with its size and holds the cell together. The cell membrane allows nutrition, water and oxygen to enter the cell and facilitates waste products to leave the cell. It also protects the cell from infection.
God has given us boundaries, too. We need to take responsibility for our boundaries. No one else can take care of them for us. Everyone else needs to take responsibility of theirs, as well. This involves taking ownership for thoughts, feelings, wants and needs. When we say what we want and need, we make known our boundaries. When we honestly tell others how their actions affect us, we employ our boundaries. When we say, “No.” to a request or a demand, we assert our boundaries. When we ask for help and use resources for assistance in cases of abuse, we are utilizing the God given wisdom to manage our lives and our boundaries.
Note: As we learn to take responsibility for our boundaries, we will be messy. We are learning a new skill. Remember, we are immature before we are mature.
We also need to keep in mind that we will face resistance. People will not always understand what we are doing. Learning to assert our boundaries can be a scary process. We are going against a lot of rules, our own, as well as others. For example; “I have to say, ‘Yes,’ even when it will do damage to my life or schedule.” We need to let go of this rule. People are used to us saying, “Yes,” so when we say, “No,” they are shocked. We need to be ready for their response and let our “Yes” be “Yes”, and let our “No” be “No.” (Matthew 5:37). We also need to let go of our fear. “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
We need to hear Jesus words, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Giving ourselves rest may be the best way to find and live within our boundaries. In the rest we can hear from God what we really need. “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)
Being still within His presence,
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