Psalm 16:5-6 (ESV) The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
As my nest begins to empty, there are two teenage girls in our home. They are sweet girls who love the Lord. Diligently trying to serve Him, the hard lesson of the hour is how to set proper boundaries without creating barriers. Relationships are a part of life and the binding force of Kingdom. Jesus has instructed us to love one another as He loved us even to lay down our life for each other. I guess if everyone was perfect – the task would be much easier. Maybe if experience had created trusting heart and bared souls it might be a way of life. There is a fine line between boundaries and barriers that must be clearly identified to maintain unity and security at the same time. Paul tells us that all things are permissible but not all things are beneficial. After five decades of breathing, I am still trying to distinguish clearly between the two. The enemy wants to create barriers among believers when the Lord only calls for careful and thoughtful boundaries.
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup. You hold my lot. Before I can give myself away and engage in healthy relationships – I must know and understand who I am and more importantly WHOSE I am. I belong to Jesus. He is the Lover of my soul and keeper of my inheritance available only through Him. He maintains the relationship that I have with God the Father as an open gateway in and out of His Presence. It is not enough for God to choose me or Christ to die for me, but I must also choose the Lord and to crucify my flesh to become one with Him. It is the covenant of love between us that makes me His Bride. Not only must I choose Jesus, but I must put my full expectation in Him. I must allow Him to fill the voids and heal the wounds of my past and even present relationships in order to create healthy and whole hearted connections in the future. To love unconditionally and completely is the goal. It requires boundaries. Boundaries that determine the parts and portions of my life that belong to Christ and can only be fulfilled with intimacy through Him. Just as a marriage sets boundaries in all other relationships, so does our love affair with Christ. He gives His Love freely and unconditionally filling us to overflowing so that we can love others just the same without expectation or requirements.
Barriers are created where insecurity lingers. A lack of constancy in Christ will cause boundaries to become barriers in our relationships. Bitterness fortifies barriers when we allow insecurity to feed our hurts and betrayals when Jesus offers healing and wholeness instead. Barriers limit love that could be transcending. Sometimes boundaries are necessary – not to keep people out but to keep me secure.
Psalm 16:7-10 (ESV) I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
Imperfect people cannot build perfect relationships. Perfect love casts out all fear. There is no greater love than to lay our life down for someone. We need God’s Counsel to love properly and set appropriate boundaries because of human inadequacy and weakness. God knows our heart. He instructs us through His Spirit and guides us along the way. He is the Gate. We come and go freely. However, if we do not set the Lord before us and let Him be the center of our world and focus of our affections – all other relationships will fall short.
We have not promoted “dating” in our home. I feel that it is important to know the Lord and ourselves before engaging in relationships. Early dating creates soul ties. It can produce a cycle that causes breaches in the innocent hearts of young people. I am not saying that my preference or approach is God’s or should be anyone else’s for that matter. What I am saying is that before my children give their heart to another, I want it to be firmly established in Christ so that they know their worth and value and do not give it away without careful consideration. The Lord holds us. He keeps us close to Him because we are His Treasure. My heart is glad. My whole being rejoices. He is at my right hand. He pursues me with unfailing love and overwhelming goodness. It is in this constant envelopment of security that I can love without limits from this place of completeness. When my heart is secure in Christ, loving others is not a risk.
Psalm 16:11 (ESV) You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
A boundary allows us to create an access point. A place of entrance and exit that is decided by God and His Plan for us. A barrier is a wall. Boundaries do not limit our accessibility but rather allow Christ to be the gateway. He will be the One who defines our relationships and gives us love, grace and mercy for others. He is our Security. He is the Keeper of our Heart. He is the Lover of the soul who will always protect us and keep us secure in Him. It is important as a parent to set boundaries for our children so they can learn while they are young how to manage their life and live in Christ. It is important as adults to constant inspect the borders and boundaries of our heart to ensure that hardness and unforgiveness has not made a barrier instead. I could spend my whole life continually inspecting my own heart and mind then never have time to judge others. Perhaps that is the path of life that the Lord is calling us to. He has placed us in pleasant places. It is our inheritance to live and love in Him because relationships are the Kingdom of God. To live in His Presence means we must learn to love the Lord and others the same way. He allows us proper boundaries to do so and even promises to be the Gate. Those who do will live in His Presence and experience pleasures forevermore.
John 10:7-10 (ESV) So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.