“Just as land has property lines, we need to set mental, physical, emotional and spiritual boundaries for our lives to help us determine what is our responsibility and what is someone else’s. We need the ability to set appropriate boundaries at the appropriate times with the appropriate people or it can be very destructive.” - Cloud & Townsend, Boundaries
This post is not so much about defining what boundaries look like, but more about why we struggle with maintaining them once we have set them. Through the years, I’ve had a great need for setting healthy boundaries, and I’ve had a sincere desire to establish them, but I discovered, desire alone was not enough for me to implement & maintain them. “Trying harder” to keep the boundaries wasn't working. Heart-healing is what opened my eyes to see, my mind to understand & my heart to embrace the value of healthy boundaries. Heart-healing not only gave me clarity on what healthy boundaries look like, but it also empowered me to implement & sustain them.
I was not able to execute or sustain healthy boundaries for my life, because of 3 key areas of unbelief:
My view of God was small as to what He can do.
I hadn’t truly grasped the Gospel and what it accomplishes for me daily.
I was not deeply acquainted with the character of God the Father.
Unbelief was the common thread … I didn’t believe He was big enough, I didn’t believe the gospel & I didn’t believe the true character of ‘Father God’ as good, loving, gentle, kind, patient, tender with my weakness & ridiculously giddy, over the top in love with me. Heart healing has been extremely helpful to resolve my unbelief.
“So search your hearts every day, my brothers and sisters, and make sure that none of you has evil or UNBELIEF hiding within you, for it will lead you astray, and make you unresponsive to the living God.” (Hebrews 3:12 tPt)
Inviting Him into my pain allowed Him to expose & resolve my unbelief by experientially receiving His truth directly from Him. One simple encounter with Him, truth shines forth & unbelief bows.
Unbelief #1: God’s Omnipotence
Heart-healing expands our perception of how big and powerful He truly is. By allowing Jesus the opportunity to experientially meet us in the painful places from our past, or in the confusion, chaos & uncertainties of our present, we can experientially encounter Him, receive His truth & wholeheartedly believe in His true character.
Unbelief #2: The Power of the Gospel for You Daily
Secondly, when we encounter the healing power of Jesus, we gain clarity over what He accomplished for us on the cross. At that point, our hearts are able to receive, accept & wholeheartedly believe the truth that He is the first one who established boundaries and it was unto life. Ex 19:12
“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10) This was spoken by Ezra to the children of Israel after they had returned to Jerusalem from exile. They were overwhelmed with grief as the law was being read to them. All they could see were their mistakes. But they were told to celebrate the Joy of the Lord instead of grieving. He had been separated from them for so long, all He could feel was the joy of their reunion. Discovering this truth is what strengthened them in their spirits. They had believed He was angry, but He was actually filled with JOY. They encountered the Gospel even in the Old Testament. So, therefore, every time we experience an encounter with Jesus in which His love and character (the Gospel) are able to truly penetrate to the depths of our hearts, the more capacity we have to embrace, grasp and retain HIS joy-strength.
Unbelief #3: God’s Goodness Towards Us
Third, heart-healing not only heals our wounds but also exposes our false beliefs about the Father’s goodness. When the lies we’ve believed about Him are finally exposed, they can be resolved by His truth. Encounter by encounter, His goodness as a Father becomes more deeply established through experiences with Him -vs- teachings or information about Him. Jesus, being the very reflection and exact representation of the Father, is fully aware of our weaknesses. He longs to increase our joy and grow our capacity to believe Him at his Word. His mercy and His kindness are what draw us to Him. He knows how important it is to gain our trust. This is why it is crucial that our accusations toward Him are acknowledged, processed with Him, and resolved.
If we view God as big enough for each and every person around us, we will be less tempted to pick up the slack and be God’s “little helpers”. If we truly grasp the Gospel and what Jesus has done for us on the cross, then we have a keen awareness of our worth and can allow our yes to be yes and our no to be no. If we know the true character of the Father, we will know His heart for us. We will be more alert not to place ourselves in unhealthy relational situations and less likely to remain in one’s we’re in.
Heart-healing addresses unbelief in each of these 3 ways:
It helps us become aware that unbelief stands in the way of an intimate relationship with Jesus
He does not focus on our failures, He’s not disappointed & desiring to punish. He longs for reconciliation and a relationship with us… He celebrates us, He wants us to receive His celebration over us, which fills us with inexpressible joy. Inexpressible joy overrides shame, guilt, or fear EVERY TIME!
Unbelief hinders us from intimately knowing our value in order to gain the capacity for implementing & maintaining effective boundaries in all our relationships.
Practice Hebrews 3:12. Ask Him to reveal any unbelief daily that is blocking your ability to hear His voice and experience His love for you. Ask Him to show you who you need to forgive for teaching you the lie -or- show you where you came to believe that lie. Ask Him what the truth is. Then, forgive the one who came to mind, bless them, and release them. Break agreement with the lie and thank Him for the truth He just revealed to you.
Pursue heart-healing at every opportunity. Especially when you can’t determine on your own what is behind your unbelief. When you hit a wall or have a button repeatedly pushed, then this is evidence of a belief you established long ago amid a painful moment. There is no shame in inviting someone to help facilitate an encounter between you and Jesus.
Read the book Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend and other books recommended under the INNERROOM’s Resources page (click here).
Write out and journal a scripture pertaining to the Gospel each day in order to keep fresh what Jesus did for you on the cross. A good tool would be Keeping the Blood Warm by Peter Louis.
Take a class on boundaries (click here to see what classes are at the INNERROOM)