Have you ever struggled with setting boundaries in your life?
Today, we are on step 4 of the four-part steps of finding balance. Remember, we are using the acrostic word HATS, because of all many HATS we wear as women. Here they are:
- H- Have right priorities
- A– Act according to your priorities
- T– Take the pulse of the relationships in your life … and finally …
- S– Set boundaries
I think there should be a verse in the Bible that talks about how every one of us will have struggle with this in their life, everyone is going to have a difficult person they have to deal with, because we are constantly learning (as women, especially) to set boundaries. We need to set boundaries with relationships with the opposite sex; we need to set boundaries with friends and family members that sometimes suck the life out of us I wrote about this a few posts back. We need to be a NO DRAMA MAMA! That means that we learn to say “no.”
As Christians, we have a sometimes hard time setting boundaries because we want to be godly, we want to be gracious, we want to be good, and we don’t want to say no.
The good news is, while it is hard to set boundaries, you can learn to do it!
Jesus set boundaries, too! There are verses in the Bible that talk about Jesus getting away by Himself to talk with the Lord, and to bring back His spirit into alignment with the Holy Spirit so that He could do what God wanted Him to do. There are many times when Jesus says, “Father, help Me.”
As women, we need the Lord’s help, don’t we?
I love this verse in Proverbs 29:25. It reminds us to seek God’s will. If we’re trying to find balance, the place to begin is to listen to God first and not other people. The verse says, “The fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”
Mom, love is not always giving people what they want. We see this in Jesus’ life that He often set boundaries. He drove sellers out of the temple, He rebuked the Pharisees’ hypocrisy, He turned away potential followers, and He left the disciples so He could spend time alone with His Father. If Jesus needed to refresh and come away, surely busy moms need to do the same thing.
We need to set boundaries in our own life. Often times when we forget to use boundaries it leaves us despaired and exhausted, and we look at the end of the day and wonder where did our time go?
Part of setting boundaries in our own life is learning what our own limitations are. When was the last time you asked “What are my limitations?” Knowing our limitations helps us set boundaries. What drives one mom crazy is going to make another mom happy: we are not the same.
I have a dear friend and we’ve been friends for about 25 years, and…she thinks I’m crazy. Mainly because she could never live my life. She thinks my schedule is crazy, she thinks me having all these children is crazy, and I look at her life and think I could never live her life—after all—it would be so boring!
The reason our friendship works so well is that we get each other. We know that we are different people with different temperaments, and we each have a set of different limitations. It sounds easy enough, right? But learning to set boundaries according to your limitations and your priorities is a lifelong pursuit for most women I’ve met.
Don’t forget about priorities, either. Once you have figured out what really matters to you, you can begin to build those boundaries around your priorities, and base your boundaries on what is important in your life. For example, if having too much on your calendar stresses you out, you’ll struggle in the more important role of taking care of your children the way you want to. In this case it’s time to let some things on the calendar go or push them to a different season.
Speaking of seasons, remember the tree in Psalm 1? Among other things, it reminds me to bend, not break. I love the imagery of a tree planted by the streams of water. I can imagine the wind blowing and that tree bending back and forth but it doesn’t break, because its roots go down deep in the soil of God’s Word. That’s what we want in our own lives—to be so rooted in Christ that our priorities and our boundaries come from Him.
If you’re in a place where you need to make some changes, start today. Take some time, if you haven’t already, to ask yourself those four questions:
What is important to me?
Where am I going?
How do others perceive me?
What are my limitations?
We can constantly feel a pull of wanting to do what other people want us to do, but, in the end, we need to do what God wants us to do.
Are you ready? You’ve got this!