The Beauty of Boundaries

Talk to any mom and ask what a two-year-old’s favorite word is and most will agree. It’s “no.”

When my son was two years old, it certainly was his.

“Steven, put up your toys,” was met by, “No.”

“Steven, time for a nap,” was countered with, “No.”

“Steven, eat your green beans,” was resisted with, “No.”

Lest you think “no” meant anything to me, it did not. I always won the battle of the wills with this pint-sized lump of love God had given me.

One day he fell off of his little plastic three-wheeler and instead of crying, he stood up, placed his chubby hands on his determined hips and yelled at his Hot Wheels, “No!” It was the worst word he could think of and, by golly; he was going to say it.

From the beginning of time we see that obedience to God has been a problem for all humanity. That word “no” seems to ride the wave of disobedience as the undertow of poor choices pulls us down.

“I did it my way,” the proud sing for all to hear.

Why is that? Oh sure, it is easy to say that it is due to our sin nature and our inherent desire to control. But what about after we come to Christ.

Doesn’t 2 Corinthians 5:17 say that we are “a brand new creation”?

Doesn’t Galatians 2:20 say, “I am have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me?”

Doesn’t Scripture teach that our old nature that was rebellious toward God, separated from God, and antagonistic toward God has been replaced with a new nature that is reconciled or brought into oneness with God? Then why do we still struggle with obedience?  [tweetherder]Why do we still tell God “yes,” but live the “no?”  [/tweetherder]

There are many reasons, but let me suggest just one. Could it be that we don’t believe that God has our best interest in mind? Could it be that we see Him as a cruel taskmaster cracking the whip of submission over our backs, rather than loving Father Who wants the best for His child? Could it be that we don’t trust Him?

When I set up rules for my son, I didn’t do it out of meanness. I wasn’t out to ruin his fun. No, I set up boundaries in which he could flourish, so that he could flourish.

God does the same with us. He sets up boundaries in which we can flourish, and when we step out of those parameters, we suffer the consequences. God’s laws are not meant to restrict us but to protect us and provide a safe place for us to flourish. It is within those boundaries that the glory life exists.

So here’s what I’m thinking. I’m thinking that you and I can join together and thank God for the boundaries that He has set up in our lives.

I’m thinking that we can be grateful for the guidelines.

I’m thinking that we can trust that God has a good and perfect plan, and when we live a life of obedience, the plan unfolds right before our eyes.

I’m thinking that we can be filled with gratitude that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us enough to tell us outright where the abundant life is found.

So what are you thinking?

Has “doing your life your way” ever gotten you into a heap of heartache, led you on a trail of trouble, or down a road of regret?

Are you ready to believe that God has your best interest in mind…all the time? If so, simply leave a comment that says, “I”m grateful for the guidelines.”

98 Responses to The Beauty of Boundaries

  1. Vickie Williams November 5, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    I am so grateful that God has given us boundaries. In my own life I experienced all the things you mentioned, when I tried living my life my way, heartache, trouble and regret. But Praise The Lord for He rescued me and I now humbly live and move and have my being in Him and Him alone! His boundaries ARE for my good!!

    • Becky November 5, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

      I am thankful I can trust in God having my best interest . I needed this reminder.

      • barbara shepard November 7, 2013 at 1:34 am #

        i am grateful for guidelines, i am so thankful for a conscience, the prompting of the Holy Spirit that directs me,without it i have made some bad decisions,I am so thankful I have Him now and His guidelines, God loved me and knew i was going to blow it before i came to know Him yet He still loved me Praise His Holy Name

  2. Mrs Sonya Yoder November 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    I am thankful foe God’s boundaries. They ARE a sign of his kind and loving heart

  3. Michelle November 5, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    I’m grateful for the guidelines, in my life, my husband’s life, and son and son to soon be. Thank you for that reminder!

  4. Holly November 5, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    I am grateful for the guidelines.
    IJN

  5. Nancy Beneteau November 5, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    I am so thankful for God’s guidelines. I just wish I learned about them earlier in life. Thankfully we have a merciful God who gave me a second chance.

  6. Karen Wilkerson November 5, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

    I’m very grateful for the boundaries and his unfailing love.

  7. Amy November 5, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

    I am grateful for the guidelines!!

  8. Paula November 5, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    I am grateful for the guidelines!!!!

  9. Jenny November 5, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    I’m grateful for the guidelines. This was so needed and perfect for me today. I have been going through struggles and your post says it all for me today.

  10. Fiona November 5, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    I’m very grateful for Gods guidelines! God is good ALL the time!

  11. Anonomous November 5, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

    Sorry, this may not be so positive…
    Im struggling to trust….I did and felt I got burned….church abuse issue.
    I know mentally its people not God …but heart is wounded and not ready to trust again

    • Sharon Jaynes November 6, 2013 at 12:24 am #

      I’m so sorry you’ve been hurt by church people. I do pray that God will heal your heart. He loves you VERY much! Jesus was hurt by church people too.

  12. Sarah November 5, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    I am grateful for the guidelines!!
    God Bless! 🙂

  13. Gloria November 5, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

    I am grateful for the boundaries that God has set for me. I know many times I have stepped out of those boundaries and experienced heartache and sadness.

  14. Lora November 5, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

    I remember as a young person I so wanted my mom to tell me “no” sometimes. I felt that if she would say no it meant she loved me enough to care about what was going on in my life and what I was doing, but she didn’t. That is why I am so thankful that God does say “no” and does have boundaries. Boundaries are lines of love that we set as parents and God as set as our Father. He loves us so much he wants us to live well, but to live good as well.

  15. Gloria November 5, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    I am grateful for the guidelines.

  16. Marie November 5, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

    I’m grateful for the guidelines! I with Nancy – wish I’d learnt them earlier! He is good!

  17. Robin Molzon November 5, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    I’m thankful for guidelines!

  18. Vicki Monical November 5, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

    I’m grateful for the guidelines and boundaries set by our God.

  19. Deborah November 5, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

    Im grateful for the guidelines

  20. Katie Ogden November 5, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

    I am glad for God’s boundaries because when He sets boundaries for me, it is a sign of His love to me. I have prayed for my son for a long time to lose weight. Recently he invited me to join him on the fitness app. Also my granddaughter who just had a baby is joining us. It is an app to keep me accountable for my food intake and exercise time. God is so good

  21. Joanne Sampson November 5, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    Dear God, thank you for the boundaries that You have put in place as guidlines for my life. I am very grateful that You love me enough to have great plan for me. Where would I be without Your grace? Thank you for being concern me and for having my best interest at heart. I love you!

  22. Candy November 5, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

    I’m grateful for God’s boundaries, it helps me know I’m loved and that it’s right for to set boundaries too.
    Thanks for the reminder, sometimes it seems to be a daily battle to remember the guidelines = love.

  23. Marisse November 5, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    I am grateful for the guidelines!

  24. joyfuljan November 5, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

    I a so very grateful for the guidelines!

  25. Jean November 5, 2013 at 11:04 pm #

    I am SO GRATEFUL for the boundaries. He knows me and what is best. Psalm 139:17 Thanks Sharon.

  26. nancys1128 November 5, 2013 at 11:04 pm #

    I’m grateful for the guidelines!

  27. Debbie November 5, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

    I’m grateful for the guidelines!

  28. keturah November 5, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

    I too am grateful for boundaries… these hold us accountable to who we are in Christ.

  29. Kelly November 5, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

    “I am grateful for the guidelines” !! In trusting God and having faith that he will make things happen in his perfect timing without me trying to make things happen faster- God always knows what is best for me and when !

  30. Nichole November 5, 2013 at 11:22 pm #

    I am ever so grateful for God’s boundaries.

  31. Michelle November 5, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

    Truth is, I have not always been grateful for the guidelines, I am rebellious by nature. But I always end up being grateful for the boundaries…..when my nature gets me in trouble. But and the older I get the more I am grateful for the spirit in me that guides me. Yes, I am grateful for the boundaries.

  32. Shirley November 5, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

    I am grateful for my guidelines

  33. Lakeeia November 5, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

    I am thankful for the guidelines.

  34. Sheila November 6, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    I’m grateful for the guildlines! Haven’t always been but I sure am now.. 🙂

  35. Michelle turner November 6, 2013 at 12:31 am #

    I’m grateful for the guidelines.

  36. Mrs. Whiting November 6, 2013 at 12:47 am #

    I am grateful for the guidelines! 🙂

  37. Connie November 6, 2013 at 12:51 am #

    I am definately Grateful for God’s guidelines!!! I definately needed this today.

  38. Marjorie November 6, 2013 at 1:13 am #

    My Creator, who understands exactly how “fearfully and wonderfully” He made me, wants only my very best for this life and the life to come. There is tremendous freedom when one lives within the boundaries of His will for us, when one chooses His way. The whisper of the Holy Spirit when one gets too close to the boundary is a wonderful gift of God’s love. “No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me.” The words of the Townend/Getty song are so precisely right on!

  39. Janice November 6, 2013 at 1:31 am #

    I am so grateful for the guidelines….

  40. Joanne Bolno November 6, 2013 at 1:37 am #

    I am sooooooo glad for His guidelines.

  41. Stacey November 6, 2013 at 1:59 am #

    I am grateful for the guidelines.

  42. Erin November 6, 2013 at 2:15 am #

    I am grateful for His guidelines!!

  43. Mary T November 6, 2013 at 2:29 am #

    Sharon, I spent my early adulthood trying things my way…never turned out the way I thought it would….until I truly began believing God vs. Just believing in God…reading His Word and walking with Jesus, opening my heart to His Holy Spirit…suddenly my life was filled by and with His promises to me. “I am grateful for the guidelines!”

  44. Vanessa November 6, 2013 at 2:56 am #

    I am grateful for the boundaries!

    • Sharon November 7, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

      I’m grateful for the guidelines … Recently I learned the very valuable lesson that when I refuse to be obedient I lose my joy and my peace. Obedience brings blessing. Thanks for all your wonderful, encouraging and inspiring posts Sharon.

  45. Heidi November 6, 2013 at 3:09 am #

    I am grateful for guidelines!

  46. Tina S November 6, 2013 at 3:17 am #

    I AM grateful for his guidelines!!!!

  47. Brenda November 6, 2013 at 3:33 am #

    I’m grateful the guidelines

  48. Ada Hamlett November 6, 2013 at 3:57 am #

    I’m grateful for the guidelines. I am and will always be a Christian under construction. I love the Lord all the time. Thanks for all you do.

  49. Jacqueline November 6, 2013 at 5:07 am #

    Am so grantful for guidelines God had set for me.

  50. Ankomah Solomon November 6, 2013 at 5:56 am #

    I am grateful for all HIS guidelines.

  51. Teresa R November 6, 2013 at 6:41 am #

    “I”m grateful for the guidelines.”

  52. Carole Robertson November 6, 2013 at 7:06 am #

    I am grateful for the guidelines.

  53. karenmkwezalamba November 6, 2013 at 7:08 am #

    I am so much grateful for the guidelines and this is a big reason to say thank u God because if it wasn’t for the boundaries that He set for my life i wouldn’t be alive today or be who i am today. Indeed to know Jesus is to Know God and the only way to live an abundant life with peace and joy from heaven.

    Thank you Sharon for this devotional sometimes we feel there’s nothing to praise the Lord for mostly when we are passing through some great challenges but this is just one great thing that we have to everyday no matter what.

  54. Debra November 6, 2013 at 8:14 am #

    I’m so grateful for the boundaries God has given me. And I’m also grateful God didn’t give up on me. I had a very abusive childhood. You name it it happened to me. I’m very blessed I survived it. I also was abused at a church as a child. I turned away from adults and God. I became a introvert. I shut down that was my only way to survive. I have been going back to church going on three years. It was difficult in the beginning. I didn’t trust anyone including God. But through the years I’ve began to trust and I’m beginning to be happy again. Ty Jesus Amen

  55. Charity Chilatu Kapala November 6, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    Father, I am grateful for the boundaries, because YOU are good all the time and Your love endures forever. Amen

  56. Irina November 6, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    “I”m grateful for the guidelines.”
    Greatfull that He doesn’t leave me by my self with my mistakes after I mass it up but lovely fixing or using it for good. Teaching me to obey.

  57. Lesley James November 6, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    I am grateful for God’s guidelines!

  58. Andrea November 6, 2013 at 11:23 am #

    I’m grateful for the guidelines!

  59. Betty November 6, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    I am thankful for guidelines and boundaries, also for a forgiving Father when I step over those guidelines and boundaries.

  60. Kelli Rowell November 6, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    I am so very grateful for God’s protective guidelines! He knows just what His children need!

  61. Laura November 6, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    I AM grateful for the boundaries God has given me – AMEN!!!

  62. Gina Humphreys November 6, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    I’m very grateful for His guidelines and boundaries. Also for His forgiveness and mercy when I try to do it on my own.

  63. Merilyn Traficante November 6, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    I’m so grateful for the guidelines God has for my life. I know He always has my best interest at heart.

  64. Dawna November 6, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    I am so grateful. He is my loving Heavenly Father.

  65. Sherry C November 6, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    I’m grateful for His guidance!

  66. Annita November 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    I AM grateful for the guidelines! (and, for you, Miss Sharon!)
    God is soooo very good!

  67. Nancy Cordisco November 6, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    I am grateful for boundaries and guidelines…and will praise God today for them. I will, today, trust that He has my best interest at His heart and that no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly. I will ask for God’s forgiveness for ignoring boundaries, and ask Him to establish firmly in my heart, soul, body, mind and spirit, His boundaries, which are in pleasant places. Praise You, Father! You love me!

  68. Stacy Marshall November 6, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    I am grateful for the guidance. God’s grace has given me hope. Your blog today really hit home for me. Thank you!

  69. Pamela November 6, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    I am so thankful for the boundaries, guidelines and greatness God give us!

    May God Bless you all~

  70. sharon ross November 6, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    I am so thankful God for the guidelines that you set in my life and all of our lives, to your Glory, Amen!

  71. Karryle November 6, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    I am so thankful for the guidelines. Without them our lives are meaningless and filled with heartache. I’m very thankful that Jesus loves me all the time and is gracious and merciful towards me and gently stirs back in the right direction.

  72. Diane November 6, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    I am grateful for the guidelines, and want to be obedient to his good and perfect plan.

  73. Melissa November 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

    I’m grateful for the guidelines.

  74. Trudy November 6, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    I’m grateful for the guidelines.

  75. Michelle Jefferson November 6, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    I’m grateful for the guidelines. Only wish that I learned them sooner but God is good all the time.

  76. Florence November 6, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    I’m very grateful for the guidelines!

  77. Robin Bordwine November 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    I’m grateful for the guidelines!

  78. Akkie Blei November 6, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    I am grateful for the guidelines. Yes God is Good all the time! I agree. God Bless you all.

  79. Anita Wilson November 6, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

    I”m grateful for the guidelines.

  80. Cheryl November 6, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    May I just say that your blogs always inspire… but the new format I am receiving is unformatted, black on white and very hard to read. This page is not a lot better as I have cataracts and bright is not my friend. I will miss the calming colors of your old format. God bless you richly.

  81. Dianne November 6, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

    I AM GRATEFULLY FOR GODS GUIDELINES!!!:)

  82. Trudy November 7, 2013 at 12:02 am #

    I Am Grateful For Guidelines
    Jesus Loving Me And Taking Care Of Me Each and Everyday
    I Love Jesus He Is My Strength And Provider Ever Loving God Thank You 🙂

  83. Linda Weems November 7, 2013 at 12:22 am #

    I am so grateful for God’s guildlines and to know He loves me so much.Thank You Sharon for your posts,emails.God Bless1

  84. Hannie November 7, 2013 at 8:35 am #

    I am so grateful for His guidelines! Within His guidelines there is so much freedom and He protects us! Thank you for this post. God bless you.

  85. Adeife Adeyemi November 7, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    I am grateful for the boundaries. They help me to know when m going out of His will. Thank U Jesus.

  86. Trudy November 7, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

    I’m glad that when He who knows best says “no”, then that is best for now.

  87. Ada Onyinye November 8, 2013 at 5:33 am #

    Indeed I am grateful for the guidelines and boundaries. It always turn out the best for me.

  88. Lily Odindo November 8, 2013 at 5:54 am #

    I am so grateful for the boundaries. I wrote this on my journal on 22nd October 2013 that ” God always knows what is right for us. He can see the future and that’s why he gives us commands”

  89. NicoleL November 8, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    I am grateful for the guidelines. Thank you for the post. It is just what I needed to hear.

  90. Noma November 10, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    I’m grateful for the guidelines

  91. Pearl November 12, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    Boy I could write a book on this subject! When I think of ALL He has saved me from. Oh my goodness!!!.Why do we believe that we know more than GOD? I sure did. Oh God if I do this than I can have that. Yeah right. All I did was add misery to my life. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to TRUST the LORD before we move. But very often we move then we(I) say oh Lord please forgive me….. I should have listened to you. It really is true the flesh wars against the SPIRIT! But victory is always in keeping within His will. His boundaries are very necessary at least for me. Thank you Sharon for the reminder.

  92. Justine Wandera November 19, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE BOUNDARIES and i ask God to me live within His boundaries

  93. Sharon November 22, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    I am grateful for the guidelines.

  94. Cindy January 21, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

    I am thankful for guidelines.

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