top of page

Two-Edged Boundaries

So I started this week writing about a two-edge sword from Hebrews 4:12. If you missed it, I would encourage you to go back and read it right HERE ! Then, I wrote about forgiveness and how important it is to understand the dual sides to saying that you are sorry. One side of the sword is genuinely apologizing for the way your actions have wounded another person and God. But the other side, very rarely spoken about is that with that apology is the intent to never do what you did ever again.

Some people think that they can just continue to have hurtful behavior towards another and expect that person to accept their apology over and over again.

While the Bible does tell us to forgive as many times as asked, it does not tell us to allow them to continue wounding us. Forgiveness does not mean you have to let that person continue to hurt you.

That's why God created boundaries. He established boundaries at creation, in the garden of Eden, and boundaries of ownership of land. Boundaries were property lines that gave reference to where one thing began and other thing ended.

Boundaries in relationships show where a person begins and ends, and where some are simply not allowed in. Boundaries cannot be placed on another person. They must be placed on yourself. By way of example: if someone is cussing you out, you can't make that person stop. But what you can do is explain that when they speak to you like that, it is very hurtful and you are going to remove yourself. You can then tell them that you will go get ice cream and when they can calm down and talk in a respectful and honoring way, to let you know. That is a boundary placed on yourself as a way of protecting yourself. Just as a fence protects your home from unwanted guests, our emotional and relational boundaries protects our hearts from those who would hurt us.

Boundaries are safeguards in relationships.

If a person has repeatedly wounded you in the same way, asked forgiveness, but continues to do the same hurtful things, you must forgive them (by giving them to Jesus) and then set a boundary with them. The boundary says, "You no longer get access to this area of my life or this area of my heart, because you have continually hurt me, with no change after your numerous apologies."

Again from the post on forgiveness, when someone says that they are sorry, it is supposed to be said with the intent to never do that painful thing ever again. If they continue the bad behavior, it causes pause to question if they are genuinely sorry, and if they genuinely care about and love you.

If someone says that they love you, but continues to do things that you have asked them not to do, or continues not to do the things you have asked them to do, love would definitely be in question. Do they know what love is? Do they know what love looks like? When someone you care about asks for something that would benefit the relationship, and you absolutely refuse, or when they ask you to stop doing something and you absolutely refuse, that is definitely not love.

King Solomon said it best: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Put a boundary around your heart. Those people have lost access to your heart. They will have to do some thing's differently and consistently to gain access back in.

And let me say that there is a difference between a boundary and punishment. If you refuse to be friends with someone because they didn't invite you to their party and you give them the cold shoulder every time you see them, that is you trying to punish them. Or withholding sex because your husband wouldn't buy you the car your wanted. That is punishment and manipulation. A healthy boundary is limited access until a person is willing to make things right and do things differently. It is not out of meanness or spite, but rather the only means by which the relationship can survive. It may feel mean, but it is actually the most loving thing you can do to salvage the relationship.

So the two sides to boundaries are that while they protect Your heart from further wounding, they provide a hope that if the wounder can change, the relationship can be restored. And let me just say this also: sometimes the relationship cannot be restored. Sometimes it doesn't NEED to be restored. But in many cases, it can be restored if the boundaries are set and the people involved will work at it together. We tend to be a lazy generation in the relationship area, giving up on people and relationships way too easy. All I can say about that is that I sure am glad God didn't give up on me too easily.

You are loved,


72 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page