How Not Setting Boundaries Can Draw Us Away from God

For the past few months, I've noticed a discomfort in almost all my relationships. Something was just off. I didn't want to be around anyone anymore and when I was, I found myself easily annoyed and frustrated. I've felt this feeling before and it's caused me to run away from important relationships rather that figure out the problem.

When this discomfort bled into my relationship with myself, I realized it wasn't anyone's problem, but my own. But what was the problem? I didn't have a name for it.

Until I picked up Set Boundaries, Find Peace. Oh, my gosh. My problem was that I had set very little boundaries in my life with others and even myself and because of this, it was negatively impacting my ability or will to focus on my relationship with God.

Nedra Tawwab's book, she says, "Boundaries teach other how to exist in a relationship with you." How true is that? It's true, but maybe not obvious. When I thought about this, I realized I was letting others decide what kind of relationship they wanted to have with me and most of the time, they had no idea or cared about what that meant.

Each of us deserves people in our lives who care and seek ways to love us harder, respect us better, and give us what we need to feel safe and secure. This is a two-way street, of course, but if we aren't honoring or even setting our own boundaries, how can we recognize or respect the boundaries of others?

Setting boundaries, or the lack thereof, made me realize how the health of our relationships can often impact the health of our faith. God created us to be in partnership with others, to seek and thrive in an environment of sweet fellowship. But those relationship, if not chosen and maintained wisely, can be the death of our mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

Not setting boundaries with people in my life made me feel like every relationship I knew was wrong. That somewhere along the way, I ruined a gift from God. The truth is, relationships can be ruined by a lack of boundaries. Boundaries are not meant to keep people away from us for as long as possible, but to welcome those who matter and who are deserving into the most intimate parts of our lives while being very clear about what we do and do not accept.

With this mutual respect, we begin to understand and welcome the full beauty of fellowship and love God created for us to experience in our communities. Setting boundaries is a long-term commitment to ourselves in which we honor God, respect ourselves as His creation, and invite the best people in to our lives.

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