Be Discerning About “Boundaries”

Recently, I’ve needed to bring biblical clarification to others regarding the popular teaching known as “Boundaries.” Here are three articles I reviewed which I, again, found very helpful:

Better Than Boundaries – While “boundaries” is a one-word, seemingly all-purpose answer, there is another approach that is more complex, nuanced, and faithful to Scripture. It is found in a trio of biblical concepts—limitations, love, and wisdom—which work together to bring greater holiness and health to our lives and relationships.

Why the Counsel of “Boundaries” Can Be Unhelpful to the Christian – In contrast to what Boundaries calls the victim to avoid, James actually calls his readers to face difficult experiences with joy (James 1:2). He tells his readers to see difficulties as times when their faith in God is being tested, and he goes on to say that as a consequence they will grow in patience and wisdom (James 1:3–5).

Boundaries in Relationships – In this article, Ed Welch discusses the best-selling self-help books, specifically by Henry Cloud and John Townsend, which popularize the idea that the key to sane living is to set boundaries, to stand up for yourself, and to say no to outside demands. Welch argues that when boundaries become a life-style, we think only of self-protection. This excellent article costs $5.00 to download, but is worth every penny.

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