“RElationships” Session 7:
Rules for Setting Boundaries
Read Chapter 9 of Keep Your Love On before beginning this lesson.
Receive God’s Love
We must learn to fight for our connections, manage our levels of intimacy, and set healthy boundaries around our lives and relationships. The first way we must learn to do this is by taking care of ourselves. This starts with doing whatever it takes to receive the love of God. God never stops pouring out His love on us, if we can’t feel His love, that means that we are the ones who have changed, not Him. Two of the main obstacles to receiving His love, are bitterness and shame. These offenses in our heart can act as a “rain jacket” preventing His love from reaching us.
1. Have you allowed bitterness to become a stronghold in your life?
2. Take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit if there is someone you need to forgive.
3. Then ask Him if there is some form of shame that might be holding you captive. 4. Repent for believing the lies of shame, and ask Him to speak the truth over you.
Maintain the Garden Within
Once you are rooted and grounded in God’s love, it is much easier to set healthy boundaries to keep yourself healthy and thriving. God has given us all a garden to tend. This garden is our internal live, a life that requires constant tending. We cannot neglect this process of gardening or we will stop bearing good fruit. Tending your garden will enable you to grow healthy relationships. Remember that “healthy relationships grow between people who have embraced their individual responsibility to tend to their own gardens.”
1. Consider the example that Danny Silk uses about the oxygen masks on an airplane. Have you ever wondered why you are instructed to put on your own oxygen mask before helping anyone else with theirs? It seems selfish until you think of the implications. You won’t be able to help anyone else if you yourself can’t breathe.
2. Discuss this metaphor in your group. What implications does it have for your relationship with your spouse? What about your kids?
Protect Yourself from “Consumers”
Danny Silk describes people who take advantage of the goodness that God is producing in our lives without engaging in mutually beneficial relationship as consumers. If you cannot set appropriate boundaries with these people, you will get exploited. This is a fast track to bitterness, one of the main robbers of your ability to experience the joy of feeling loved. In order to set healthy boundaries, consider Danny’s 3 Rules for Setting Boundaries: 1. Learn to require respect in your relationships. 2. Tell others what you’re going to do instead of telling them what they have to do. 3. Remember that people believe your actions more than they believe your words.
1. Can you think of any consumerist relationships in your life?
2. Spend some time brainstorming in your small group about appropriate boundaries you should could set to avoid being taken advantage of.