“Relationships” Session 6:
The Need for Boundaries
Read Chapter 8 of Keep Your Love On before beginning this lesson.
Access and Intimacy
You should not give everyone equal access to you. If you are in ministry, you might feel the pressure to serve those around you, even at the expense of time with your family. However, you must remember that life without boundaries can have devastating effects on you, your family, and those you minister to. Even Jesus prioritized his relationships. This is illustrated by the amount of access the Disciples had to Jesus that the crowds that surrounded Him did not.
Jesus modeled the appropriate levels of intimacy that we are capable of maintaining in His relationship with His Disciples. Jesus had twelve Disciples who had almost constant access to Him. However, we learn that He was especially close to three - Peter, James, and John. Of these three, only one— John—identified himself as the “Disciple that Jesus loved.”
Activity: Refer to the diagram on page 126 of Keep Your Love On. Try to fill in the blanks with the people who occupy the concentric circles of intimacy in your own life.
1. Consider the amount of access that you give each of these people to yourself. Does the level of access you give them match the level of intimacy that you share? If not, consider what changes you might need to make in order to bring balance into these relationships.
“Yes” Means “No”
Boundaries: Saying “yes” to something means saying “no” to everything else. Think about the “yes’s” you have in your life. If you are married, you have already said “yes” to a lifelong relationship with your husband or wife. If you are a parent, that means that you have said “yes” to the call of raising your kids. Now, think about your relationship with God. Is He truly at the center or your life? If you start to put people in the highest place in your life, you will soon see the destructive force of this unintentional idolatry.
Remember that God doesn’t want to compete with your relationships with others. He wants to empower and enrich them as you say “yes” to Him.
1. Discuss these “yes’s” in your small group and what “no’s” you might have to say in order to protect these relationships.
2. Take some time to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show you how you can reorient your life around Him and the most important “yes’s” in your life.