What does it mean to have healthy boundaries in our marriages? And why is it important for us to set boundaries in the first place?
Boundaries are like the fence around your house. They provide a safe “fence” around your marriage, and they are unique to each relationship. They are meant to protect you, just like a fence. Your marriage should always be protected – Satan would love nothing more than to see your relationship fail. Boundaries allow you to be on the same page in life’s many situations, alleviating worries and unnecessary future arguments. So, how do we set boundaries?
- Pray that the Lord will give you both the courage to say what you truly feel and ask for guidance as you build this fence of protection around your relationship. Praying before discussing boundaries will help you both understand each other’s intentions and receive what they are saying in a loving way instead of feeling attacked or put down.
- Talk it out. This process is bound to bring up some awkward or touchy subjects. If a subject is being brought up, then it is important to you or your spouse and should be heard out rather than made into an opportunity to argue. Things to discuss are everything from boundaries with your kids, to family gatherings, to in-laws, to where you will spend which holidays and more. Obviously you cannot prevent every future issue that may arise, but there are some that you can see coming. You might have to talk it out for a while in order to come to an agreement on these, but make sure by the end of the discussion you are both on the same page. Tweak them until you are both comfortable with the end results.
- Follow through. Put these boundaries into action. You did the hard work, now let them work for you. It is both of your responsibilities to uphold these. There may, and probably will, be people in your life that will not be happy with some of the boundaries you have set, but just remember why you are setting them. You are doing this to protect your marriage – the most important relationship you have besides the one you have with the Lord.
Now go build that fence!