Bad behavior validated?

By Dave Henning / April 20, 2023

“When we allow a boundary to be violated, bad behavior will be validated. . . .  We need to keep remembering that good boundaries originated with God and are modeled by God.”- Lysa TerKeurst

In Chapter 4 (“God Takes Boundary Violations Very Seriously”) of Good Boundaries and Goodbyes, Lysa TerKeurst discusses six reasons that boundaries sometimes fail to work. Because of us.

 1.  More concern with tending to other people’s needs.  As a result, we reach the point where we tend to lose sight of our own needs.  But what you need at that moment may be most important.

 2.  Reward people for disrespecting your boundaries.  You excuse the offending behavior, rationalizing that he/she didn’t mean it this time.  Just love that person better and things will improve.

3.  Hint around at setting a boundary.  Rather than specify it.  However, if you fail to take you need for a boundary seriously, you can’t expect others to take you seriously enough to respect your boundary.

 4.  Wrongly believe someone’s pushback indicates you’re doing something wrong.  Hence, the offender (a) continues to ask things of you that fail to align with your boundary or (b) just flat out ignores the boundary.

5.  Allow others to draw you into debates about the boundary.  As Lysa’s Christian counselor, Jim Cross often reminds her: “Adults inform.  Children explain.”

And sometimes people try to convince you that the boundary is the real problem.  That as long as your boundary remains in place, things will never get better.

6.  Lack of strength to stand firm with people who know both you and the offender.  Usually, Lysa notes those people feel slightly inconvenienced or frustrated by the boundary.  They wish you would ignore the issues at hand.  Rather than address them.

In conclusion, Lysa counsels, don’t start thinking that your boundary hinders peace.  Instead, see it as the only fighting chance you have at reclaiming your peace.

Today’s question: Have you ever validated bad behavior?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Guard and protect our hearts”

About the author

Dave Henning

Leave a comment:

Call Now Button