Shove love away? – boundaries

By Dave Henning / April 14, 2023

“Boundaries aren’t meant to shove love away.  Quite the opposite.  We set boundaries so we know what we want to do when we very much want to love those around us really well without losing ourselves in the process.  Good boundaries help us preserve the love within us.”- Lysa TerKeurst

“A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”- John 13:34-35 (NIV)

In her Introduction (“We Can’t Set Good Boundaries Without Love”) of Good Boundaries and Goodbyes, Lysa TerKeurst describes relationships as organic, moving like breath in and out of our lungs.  Thus, relationships expand with deep connection one minute.  Yet, in the next they atrophy into complete misunderstanding.  Hence, Lysa underscores:

“To love and be loved is to be enveloped in the safest feeling I’ve ever known.  To cause hurt and be hurt is to be crushed with the scariest feeling I’ve ever known.”

Therefore, Lysa muses, love and heartbreak come with multifaceted complications.  So, life never turns out like the magical plots of Hallmark movies.

However, Lysa stresses, God’s ultimate assignment for us involves loving Him and loving others.  Consequently, we can’t call it love when we enable bad behavior in ourselves and others.  In addition, when we pride ourselves on being loyal and longsuffering in relationships, in reality we perpetuate violations of how God defines love.

Boundaries, then should help us avoid extremes, thus living closer to the type of love God intended for relationships.  Thus, Lysa states, love must:

  • be honest
  • be safe
  • seek each person’s highest good
  • honor God to experience the fullness and the freedom of the sweetest connection between two humans

Finally, the author exhorts:

“Setting boundaries from a place of love provides an opportunity for relationships to grow deeply because true connection thrives within the safety of health and honesty.”

Today’s question: Do you believe boundaries shove love away?  Please share.

Coming Monday: the April Short Meditation, “Christ will hold me fast”

Tomorrow’s blog: “Smelling smoke – there is fire”

About the author

Dave Henning

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