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Are Boundaries Biblical?

Susan came to counseling struggling with boundary issues. As a Christian she believed that she was commanded to ""love her neighbor as herself,"" but was unsure how to apply this principle to her chatty neighbor Millie (who, if allowed, would visit from sunrise to sunset!). Susan believed she was sinning against Millie in asking her to leave. She came to counseling asking, ""Are boundaries biblical?""

Boundaries are biblical when they are biblical boundaries. God's Word is His handbook of boundaries for believers. It instructs us on where to draw lines in all areas of life. Boundaries practiced by believers should be motivated by God's righteous plan for living. Boundaries like; ""Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man"" (Pr 22:24-25) or ""Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things"" (Col 3:2) are biblical boundaries.

Unbiblical boundaries are those practiced out of a selfish motivation. Protecting personal space to the exclusion of time with your family or habitually choosing to attend sports events in place of family or ministry opportunities are not biblical boundaries. Focusing on my ""rights"" rather than the privileges and responsibilities God has blessed me with produces a self-centered mindset that draws lines inappropriately.

Biblical boundaries must be applied to fulfill our God-given responsibilities. Boundaries that are biblical ultimately are for God's glory. Boundaries that are unbiblical are about ME and MY needs. Boundaries should not be established or practiced to protect our personal space, freedom or ""rights,"" but for the glory of God and the good of others!