Pleasant Boundaries

I’m an advocate of Dr. Henry Cloud’s book, Boundaries, and other specific books he has written on interpersonal and relationship boundaries.  I’m a visual learner, so I “get” the visual picture of boundaries.  I use this concept a lot with clients I work with, from women in abusive situations, to children in the classroom.  At every level, it seems click with people.


In reading scripture, it’s comforting to know boundaries is God’s original idea.  In Psalm 139, He says He “hems us in, behind and before.”  I’ve always liked that concept, that our Father hems us in….saying, “You may not go any farther.”


This morning, I was reading Psalms 16, and verse 6 caught my attention. 
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places…


After teaching Boundaries to 5-6th graders the last few weeks, this phrase jumped out at me.  Boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.


I smiled, because my heart agrees with this statement.  Today, I can say the boundary lines established by my Creator creates a pleasant place.  It hasn’t always been that way.  I had to think….did He change the boundary lines……or is He just changing me?


I knew the answer.  At times in my life I have pushed against the boundaries He established, thinking something on the other side of the boundary was better, or so I thought.  At times I have pushed and pushed, thinking my way was best, that I knew what should be happening in my life, that I knew the best way to handle relationships. 


And the Lord cared enough to get my attention , saying, 
Here is where I have drawn the line.  If you go your own way and step over the boundary, you will be out of my safe protection.  You will be on your own, out of my will.  It is your choice.


I remember one time when this was so clear, and by God’s grace, I stayed in bounds.  I am so thankful He cared enough to set the boundary, also warning me.  But that is like our God, He cares.  And gives choice.


After periods of fighting and wrestling, today I can praise God with the psalmist that His boundaries bring pleasant places.  Joy dwells much better in pleasant places than in places of wresting and testing.  Tested and proved, as a former BSF leader used to say.  Tested and proved.


Wherever today finds you, we serve a God who has set boundaries for each of us, for our good, because He loves us.  I hope it’s a pleasant place for you, today.


And in the meantime, pick up two books on boundaries…..Boundaries by Dr. Cloud….and the Word of God…….


and rest in pleasant places.

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