Sunday, October 16, 2022

Boundaries Book Review


Boundaries Book Review

Chapter 1: What does a Boundary Look Like?

Invisible Boundary Lines

-Physical boundaries mark a visible property so does spiritual world

-Boundaries define your soul and they help you to guard it and maintain it

Proverbs 4: 23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

-Boundaries define us-we have a sense of ownership-knowing what I am to own and take responsibility for gives me freedom

**God designed a world where we live within ourselves-we inhabit our own soul

Proverbs 14:10 “Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.”

-As Christians we are called to bear each other’s burdens, but not to take responsibility

Galatians 6:5 “Each one should carry their own load.”

-A boundary guards your heart so you can deal with your own feelings, attitudes, responsibilities, and behaviors

God and Boundaries

-Boundaries come from the very nature of God

-God defines Himself so nothing is hidden-He freely shares what He feels, thinks, plans, allows, what He will not allow, likes, and dislikes

Ex. 1 John 4:16 “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in in God, and God in them.”

Ex. John 17:24 “Father, I want those you have given me to do with where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”

1. Boundary of words

-being clear on your no—and your yes—is a theme that runs throughout the Bible

-Your yes is what you choose to accept, but your no is a boundary that you state what you will not tolerate.

**Poor boundaries struggle with saying no to the control, pressure, demands, and sometimes the real need of others.

2. Boundary of truth

-knowing the truth about God and his property puts limits on you and shows his boundaries

Ex. Galatian 6:7 “Do not be deceived: God will not be mocked A man reaps what he sows.”

-To be in touch with God’s truth is knowing the truth about yourself. The Bible is clear on how you should view Biblical values.

-Remember to take time to replenish yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Jesus removed himself in times as he knew He needed that connection to God and allow the Holy Spirit to refresh his soul so He could do stay focused on him mission of being the redeemer of all namkind.

**Satan is a great distorter of reality and truth which only leads to disaster

3. Emotional Distance

-the heart needs space to stay safe (is encountering abuse then need to separate to fully heal)

-a support system should give you strength, but not take control of your life

-not having boundaries can lead and keep you in bondage, so true freedom comes by living within God’s boundaries for your life

4. Consequences

-the Bible sets consequences for certain behaviors so having boundaries can protect you from consequences

-we get distracted from what God wants us to do, so the focus should be on what I am called to be so I have a focused heart

-God doesn’t enable irresponsible behavior

Ex.2 Thessalonians 3:10 “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

5. Feelings

-feelings should neither be ignored nor place in charge

-the Bible says to own your feelings and aware of them

-you are defined by what Jesus did for you

-you must own your feelings as you are held responsible for how you respond toward yourself and others

6. Attitudes and Beliefs

-attitude is your orientation toward something: God, life, work, and relationships

-beliefs are anything that you accept as true

-Jesus refers to the dynamic between attitudes and beliefs

Ex. Mark 7:8 “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

Ex. Matthew 15:3 “Jesus replied, And why do you break the command of God for the safe of your tradition?”

7. Behaviors

-behaviors have consequences-we reap what we sow so there is a natural consequence t our behavior

Ex. Hebrews 12: 1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

8. Choices

-we must take responsibility for our choices

-don’t decide based on others’ approval

-a sinful nature is real, so poor choices lead to guilt that breeds resentment

Ex. Joshua 24:15 “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

9. Values

-value is what we love to assign importance to

-have a heart for things that satisfy

Ex. John 12:43 “for they loved human praise more than praise from God.”

-boundaries help us not deny but own our old hurtful values so God can change them

10. Limits

-God set standards, but He lets people who they are and then separates Himself from them when they misbehave

-Heaven is a place for the repentant not those who follow Satan who is the father of not limits and lies that lead a man to destruction

-scripture is full of admonitions to separate ourselves from people who act in destructive ways

Ex. 1 Corinthians 5: 11 “ But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[a] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

-protect love by taking a stand against all that destroys love

-setting our own internal limits (feelings, impulses, desires, acting out)

-we need self-control without repression-it is good to be able to tell yourself no

-God says to take responsibility for your boundaries, identity, and self-control

11. Resources and Gifts

-don’t waste the talents God has given you through the fruits of the Spirit

-God-ordained responsibility for ownership and stewardship of our resources

Ex. Money is held accountable not to mention happier when not abusing it to be in bondage to debt

-we are to exercise our gifts by being productive

-it takes work, practice, learning, prayer, and grace to overcome the fear of failure

-not confronting our fear denies the grace of God and insults both his giving of the gift and his grace to sustain us as we are learning

12. Thoughts

-our minds and thoughts are important reflections of the image of God

-no other creature on Earth has our ability to think

-we are the only creatures called to love God with all our minds

Ex. Mark 12:30 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

-we must own our own thoughts (never give your mind over to anyone)

-we must grow in knowledge and expand our minds in God’s word so we obey the commandment to “rule over” the Earth.

Ex. Psalm 119: “Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.”

-we must clarify distorted thinking

-take ownership of our thinking in relationships requires being active in checking out where we may be wrong

-ensure your thinking adapts and grows closer to reality and Biblical truths

-be clear on your communication of your thoughts to others

Ex. 1 Corinthians 2:11 “For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”

13. Desires

-our desires should lie within our boundaries: wants, dreams, wishes, goals, plans, hungers, and thirsts

-watch for the lack of boundaries within our own personality

-seek our real desires with pure motives

Ex. James 4: 2-3 “ You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

-actively seek our desires from God

Ex. Psalms 21: 2-3 “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Ex. Psalms 145: 19 “He fulfills the desires of those who fear him”

-we are commanded to play an active role in seeking our desires as we own our desires and pursue them to find fulfilment in life

Ex. Proverbs 13:19 “The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul.”

14. Love

-our ability to give and respond to love is our greatest gift

-the heart that God has fashioned in his image is the center of our being

-love is crucial to life

-people have difficulty to give or receive love because of past hurts and fears

-Bible is clear that the function of the heart is to receive grace and love inward and the flow then is outward

Ex. Matthew 22: 37 “Jesus replied: Love your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

Ex. Matthew 22: 39 “And the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.”

-our heart is a muscle, a trust muscle that needs to be used and exercised, but if injured then is will slow down or weaken

Chapter 2: Boundary Problems


-compliant people don’t have clear boundaries, so they melt to the demands and needs of other people unable to stand alone, distinct from people who want something from them

-their spiritual radar is broken so they have no ability to guard their hearts

-saying no and building positive boundary conflicts will strengthen the compliant person-no more giving in

**not only does it keep us from evil in our lives, it often keeps us from recognizing evil

-giving into out of guilt feelings are complying with a harsh conscience

-giving into out of fear is the inability to confront others

-Biblical compliance is that God wants us to be compliant from the inside out (compassionate), not compliant on the outside and resentful on the inside (sacrificial)


-saying no to the good

-inability to ask for help, to recognize one’s own needs, to let others in

-avoidants withdraw then they are in need; they do not ask for the support of others

-the heart’ struggle is a confusion of boundaries as walls

-God designed our personal boundaries t have gates so you let the good in and keep the bad out

-we should have the freedom to enjoy safe relationships and to avoid destructive ones

-God even gives the freedom to let him in or to close him off

Ex. Revelation 3:20 “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”


-self-absorbed and undisciplined people who have little ability to curb their impulses or desires

-controllers have a hard time hearing, accepting, and respecting other boundaries

-they resist taking responsibility for their own lives, so they need to control others

**Aggressive controllers: don’t listen to others’ boundaries. They run over the person’s fences They can be verbally abusive, at times physically abusive. They are not aware that others even have boundaries.

-the world must fit into their idea of the way life should be

Ex. Peter is an example of an aggressive controller. He didn’t want to accept the Lord’s boundaries.

Mark 2: 33 “Get behind me, Satan! You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

-Jesus confronted Peter’s violation of his boundaries

**Manipulative controllers: try to persuade people out of their boundaries. They can talk people into saying yes when they mean no.

-their focus is on getting their way so they seduce others into carrying their burdens (good at using guilt messages)

-Ex. Jacob’s name means “deceiver.” He used his cleverness to about others’ boundaries. It took a confrontation with God in human form to break his deceitful ways

Genesis 32: 24-32 Jacob wrestled with Him all night long and in the end his name was changed to Israel

-manipulative controllers have a hard time when confronted with their dishonesty

-God clearly wants us to take responsibility, repent, and accept his and others’ limits


-they do not hear the needs of others because of their lack of attention

-inability to respond to the needs of others is neglecting our responsibility to be supportive and bring about peace

**a nonresponsive critical spirit projects their own self-hatred onto others because they hate being incomplete in themselves, so they ignore the needs of others

**narcissists are absorbed in their own desires and needs they exclude others

Ex. Philippians 2:4 “not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

**God wants us to take care of ourselves so that we can help others without moving into a crisis ourselves

Need both: functional and relational boundary

1. functional boundaries: refers to a person’s ability to complete a task, project, or job. It has to do with performance, discipline, initiative, and planning.

2. Relational boundaries: refers to the ability to speak truth to others with whom we are in relationship.

Chapter 3: How are Boundaries Developed

***Boundaries aren’t inherited. They are built.

-you can’t develop or set boundaries apart from supportive relationships with God and others

-our deepest need is to belong, to be in relationship, to have a spiritual and emotional home

-we are built for relationship. Attachment is the foundation of our soul’s existence (No God No Soul)

-children must learn boundaries so they are able to face the world

-teaching children to have a healthy internal safety and attachment vs. autonomy and independence

-balance to know self and how to relate to the world

-youth need to be able to say no to evil, respect self and others’ boundaries

-ability to be emotionally attached to others, but also ability to say appropriate nos to others without fear of loss of love

-be able to express anger without withdrawing builds freedom to be able to confront in a healthy manner

-children need to learn self-expression without fear of isolation or abandonment. Spiritual and emotional blackmail will teach a child to hide parts of themselves

-do not be hostile toward yourself or other’s boundaries-these kids learn to be people pleasers not God pleasers

-hostility is a poor counterfeit f God’ program of learning discipline which is the art of teaching self-control by use of consequences

-God’s discipline teachers, not punishes

Ex Hebrews 12:10-11 “They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

**Result of hostility an adult can suffer from depression, anxiety, relationship conflicts, and substance-abuse problemes

-Overcontrolled people are subject to dependency, enmeshment conflicts, and difficulty setting and keeping firm boundaries

-Lack of Limits leads to lack of connection which produces an aggressively controlling person

-Inconsistent Limits causes massive boundary confusion so as an adult they never feel safe in a relationship. They are uncertain and turn to addictive behaviors like alcoholism

-Trauma is engrained into a child’s soul. It injures how boundaries are developed. It is an intensely painful emotional experience. It can be emotional, physical, and sexual.

***Trauma lies that the world is unsafe with nowhere to find protection.

Chapter 4: Ten Laws of Boundaries

1. The Law of Sowing and Reaping:

-law of cause and effect is a basic law of life= sow in the flesh, you will reap corruption for the flesh, but if you sow in the Spirit, you reap eternal life from the Spirit (Galatian 6:7-8)

Ex. Codependent people bring insults and pain on themselves when they confront irresponsible people They need to stop interrupting the Law of Sowing and Reaping in someone’s life

2. The Law of Responsibility:

-be responsible for yourself and then you can take care of others= we are to love one another not be one another

-Bible mandates for our own personal growth

Ex. Philippians 2: 12-13 “For it is God who works in you to will and to act to fulfill his good purpose.”

-put limits on another’s destructive and irresponsible behaviors-break patterns

-you are not responsible to rescue someone from the consequences of their sin

3. The Law of Power:

-they don’t have the fruit of self-control= can be seen in any 12-step program

-Confession in the Bible is that you have the power to agree with the truth about your problems

-you have the power to submit your inability to God and ask for strength as you humble yourself, ask for help, and yield to the promises in the Bible

-you have the power to search and ask God and others to reveal more what is within your boundaries

-you have the power to turn from evil through repentance=no one is perfect, but you are able to see your sinful parts

-you have the power to humble yourself and ask God and others to help you with your developmental injuries and leftover childhood needs

-you have the power to seek out those whom you have injured and make amends

-Boundaries help define what you do not have power over= Let go Let God

4. The Law of Respect

-we focus on others and lose clarity about ourselves

-Bible reminds us that when we judge we will be judged

-the commandment is do unto others as you have them do unto you

-we need to love the boundaries of others to command respect for our own

-walking in the Spirit, we give people the freedom to make their own choices

-God gives us freedom to choose him and he will not force it so when we accept others’ freedom, we feel better about our own

5. The Law of Motivation

-Bible says that true love leads to a blessed state and a state of cheer

-don’t give to others reluctantly-the motivation of your heart is what matters

-what can motivate fear, anger, and confrontations= no boundaries

a. fear of loss of love or abandonment= they give to get love and when they don’t get it, they feel abandoned

b. fear of other’s anger= people who just can’t stand for anyone to be mad at them

c. fear of loneliness= people who try to ‘win’ love and end their loneliness

d. fear of losing the ‘good me’ inside= people who think that to love means to always say yes

e. guilt= people trying to do enough good things to overcome the guilt inside and only way to feel good about themselves

f. payback= people who feel a burden to pay for all they have been given

g. approval= people seek the symbolic parent ‘well pleased’ and are filled with shame if not getting approval by others

f. overidentification with other’s loss= people who take on the disappointment, loss, and hurt of the other person so they deprive themselves of any happiness

6. The Law of Evaluation

-understand the difference between hurt and harm

-things can hurt and not harm us and even be good for us

-things that feel good can be very harmful

-you need to evaluate the effects of setting boundaries and be responsible to the other person

-like the analogy that broad is the gate of destruction or choosing to only walk through the narrow gate

-purposeful like leads to good fruit

-setting boundaries is difficult because it requires decision making and confrontation which may cause pain to someone you love

**Own your responses, respect others’ choices

7. The Law of Proactivity

-for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction

-get out of the victimized place (remove from physical and sexual abuse, emotional blackmail, and manipulation)

-don’t stay stuck in the “victim mentality”

-removal of reactive boundaries leads to freedom

-assertiveness is not bad, but takes practice so that you protect the treasures you find in your soul

8. The Law of Envy

James 4:2 “You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.”

-reflect Satan as his sin when he coveted God’s position and led a rebellion where God cast him and his followers out of Heaven

-these people are perpetually insatiable and dissatisfied

-the problem with envy is that it focuses outside our boundaries onto others

-envy is a self=perpetuating cycle where boundaryless people feel empty and unfulfilled

-don’t envy others develop my own gifts God gave me

9: The Law of Activity

-our spiritual and emotional well-being depends on our having this spirit (not meant to be passive and inactive)

-being passive is intolerable to God

-God wants us to preserve our souls

-purpose driven= knock, seek, and ask

10. The Law of Exposure

-boundaries need to be made visible to others and communicated to them in relationship

-boundaries define you in relation to others

-be honest to yourself and others

-don’t keep things hidden as they lead to resentment

-speak up as it heals your own soul

-live in truth= live in Christ’s light

-truth in self reflect truth on the outside

Ex. Psalms 51: 6 “You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part. You will make me know wisdom.”

Chapter 5: Common Boundary Myths

1. Myth 1: If I Set boundaries, I’m Being Selfish

-objections to boundary setting for Christians: a deep-seated fear of being self-centered, interested only in one’s own concerns and not those of others

-there is a distinction between selfishness and stewardship

Selfishness= has to do with a fixation on our own wishes and desires to the exclusion of our responsibility to love others

Stewardship= being able to set limits is a gift from God as we develop our lives, abilities, feelings, thoughts, and behaviors

-God invests in us so we have spiritual and emotional growth so we owe it to ourselves to protect His investment

2. Myth 2: Boundaries are a Sign of Disobedience

-if you don’t go along with the program then you have an unresponsive heart, but internally you are trapped in endless activities of no genuine spiritual and emotional value

-God values motivation over fake service or commitments

-God is more concerned with our hearts than he is with our outward compliance

Ex. Hosea 6:6 “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings.”

Ex. 2 Corinthians 9:7 “Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

3. Myth 3: If I begin setting Boundaries, I will be Hurt by Others

-God never gave us the power or the right to control how others respond to our no. Some will welcome it; some will hate it.

-those people in our lives who can respect our boundaries will love our wills, our opinions, our separateness

-those people who can’t respect our boundaries are telling us that they don’t love our no. They only love our yes-our compliance

-setting limits has to do  with telling the truth because the Bible clearly distinguishes between those who love truth and those who don’t

-if telling the truth causes someone to leave you, this gives the church an opportunity to provide support and a spiritual and emotional home to the abandoned person

4. Myth 4: If I Set Boundaries, I will Hurt Others

-boundaries are not an offensive weapon, boundaries are a defensive tool

-Jesus said “no” to large groups so he could connect with God to replenish his soul

-appropriate boundaries don’t control, attack, or hurt anyone-saying not to an adult who are responsible to care for their own needs may cause discomfort, but doesn’t cause an injury.

-He knows we are to take responsibility for our lives and saying ‘no’ help us do just that.

5. Myth 5: Boundaries Mean That I am Angry

-anger tells us that our boundaries have been violated-it is much like a radar defense system

-anger serves as an early warning system that tells us we’re in danger of being injured or controlled

-individuals with injured boundaries often are shocked by the rage they feel inside when they begin setting limits

-often years of nos that were never voiced, never respected, and never listened to

-rebuild the injured parts of your soul, so you must take responsibility for healing the ‘treasures’ that may have been violated

-develop a sense of biblical boundaries to build confidence and leave the enslavement of fear of other people

6. Myth 6: When Others Set Boundaries, It Injures Me

-having to accept the boundaries of others is certainly not pleasant as no one enjoys hearing the word no

-self respect is from God so boundaries equal self-responsibility and mutual respect with others

-allows those in our lives to feel free to say no to us without guilt because we have somewhere else to go

-ability to accept others’ boundaries can indicate a problem in taking responsibility

7. Myth 7: Boundaries Cause Feelings of Guilt

-one of the major obstacles to setting boundaries with others in our lives is our feelings of obligation

-the idea is that because we have received something, we owe something= the gift of salvation

-God views his gift of salvation to us. It cost him his Son; It was motivated out of love for us

-distinguish here between those who ‘give to get’ and those who truly give selflessly

8. Myth 8: Boundaries are Permanent, and I’m Afraid of Burning my Bridges

-you own your own boundaries, they don’t own you

-changing and negotiating  boundaries has many Biblical precedents: Boundaries change

-ask God to give you a sense of confidence that he believe in good boundaries more than you do


What now: Tips

-when you react it gives control to others

-responding keeps you in control

-surrendering= you can’t give up more than God can give back

-I am responsible for what I want

-others are not responsible for my needs

-submission is a choice= not under law but Christ like relationships

-boundaries provide spiritual and emotional space

-God gives grace so you give grace to others

-do not conform to the world

-work is a partnership between you and God = find your work identity

-adhering to structures, boundaries, or rules can be very beneficial, but rules in and of themselves should not be your master, robbing you of the freedom to do good for others or yourself

-Be salt and light to reveal healing from God