Good Boundaries and Goodbyes

Good Boundaries and Goodbyes

Lysa TerKeurst titles her latest book Good Boundaries and Goodbyes: Loving Others Without Losing the Best of Who You Are (Nelson Books 2023).  Lysa serves as president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and is the author of more than 25 books.  Most significantly, we set boundaries to preserve love within us, saving ourselves in the process.  In addition, boundaries help us avoid extremes, honoring what honors God.  Hence, the author underscores, boundaries are more than simply a good idea.  They’re a God idea!  However, a lack of good boundaries usually results in an abundance of chaos.  So, setting boundaries reduces the level of access we grant to others.  An access based on their ability to show responsibility with said access.  Because God established good boundaries to protect, not decimate, intimacy.

Furthermore, Lysa counsels, we need to take boundaries very seriously — because God does.  With emotional closeness, each person must understand what they need from each other for a mutually healthy, respectful relationship.  Consequently, a boundary provides the only fighting chance we have at reclaiming our peace.  In contrast, a violated boundary serves to validate bad behavior.  And we fail to honor God when we permit the offender to act in ways that Jesus never would.  Yet, Lysa stresses, none of us are boundaries failures.  Instead, we’re all in process.  As good stewards, we acknowledge and respect the concept of limitations.  Above all, show grace as you voice your concerns, your need for a boundary, and your violation consequences.  It’s not an accusation, just a simple restriction of access.

Certainly, grieve someone’s refusal to keep growing.  But never beg them to see your boundaries as a good thing.  Stay humbled and surrendered to Jesus in the process.  As a sober-minded person, maintain or regain control over your thoughts and actions.  Because overconcern with gaining the approval of others can give you a divided heart with God.  As a result, desire to keep yourself in the place of living a life worthy of the Lord.  So, when setting good boundaries, you heart posture should be one of wisdom and discernment.  In order to create a foundation of true and healthy love.  Also, it’s healthy to check yourself, but it’s not healthy to question your identity.

Above all, end your boundary statement with a period, not a question mark.  For good boundaries bring relief to your grief.  The grief of letting the opinions, issues, desires, and agendas of others ruin your life.  In conclusion, Lysa exhorts, stay whole by keeping what you know, feel, and do in alignment with God’s truth about your identity.  Because when you expend most of your energy to stay in someone’s good graces, you run the risk of becoming the worst version of yourself.  Hence, we must be convinced that our boundary will help us, or we’ll be too afraid of what the boundary will cost us.  Therefore, move toward what reality tells you and however the Lord leads you.  Utilize wise counsel and much prayer before making the decision to say goodbye.

Finally, as you grieve your sorrows, you’ll receive tomorrow with a little more healing and a lot more life.  The moment you feel something break inside = the moment you heal!

About the author

Dave Henning


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