In our over 41 years of marriage, we have never had boundaries. No, we didn’t have boundaries about privacy when using the restroom. We are considerate of each other. If one walks in on the other, it’s no big deal. We would never get angry about this. We didn’t have boundaries with our parents. They knew they were welcome in our home whenever they wanted to come over. My 91 year old dad stops by often and unannounced. We have never scolded him about it.
Our children have never had boundaries either. We don’t just stop in at their homes, however. We wait for them to invite us. It’s just how we decided to be parents of grown adults. My children wouldn’t scold us if we stopped by unannounced. We do see them often, thankfully! We didn’t have boundaries for Sunday dinners as a family when my children were growing up. We invited others. We are an inclusive family.
What about boundaries with each other? Nope. We are both responsible for obeying God. I am not responsible for making sure he obeys God. If he wants me to hold him accountable for something, I do. If we feel the need to talk with the other about something, we do. I gave up trying to control my husband years ago, and it has brought such peace to our marriage.
Did we have boundaries for our children? We never considered them boundaries but rules that we expected them to obey. We lessened up as they grew and gave them up completely once they were adults. We tried to base our rules upon God’s Word so that when they left home, they would know that they were living in obedience to God, not us.
Boundaries are way over used these days and from what I have observed, they are a way to control others and get one’s way. The two greatest commands are to love God and to love others. We are also commanded to heap burning coals upon our enemies heads, meaning we are to pour love and grace upon them. If we are to do this with our enemies, aren’t we to do this with everyone?
What about women married to disobedient husbands? Does God command they put boundaries upon them? No, He commands they win them without a word by living in subjection to them with godly behavior (1 Peter 3:1,2). If a wife is being physically abused, she needs to seek a way of escape as soon as possible. If she is being emotionally abused, she needs to seek wise counsel from an older women and learn how to deal with it in a way that doesn’t cause her to lose her joy. She needs to keep her eyes on eternity and understand that she is fighting for her husband’s eternal soul.
What about dominating mother-in-laws or mothers? How are couples supposed to handle them? By pouring love and grace upon them. By saying “no” to them at times. By not allowing them to control their life. This is simply wisdom. Boundaries alienate people and make them feel unloved. I can’t see how boundaries are godly. The term was made up by psychologists. I am not a fan of psychology. I am a fan of God and His ways. Let’s begin to use biblical terms and live by His commands rather than the world’s ways. This may mean suffering and being inconvenienced at times, but this is how our Lord has asked us to live.
And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.