I was talking with a friend at a Christmas party last year, and we both recognized our need for healthy boundaries and wished we had understood this principle sooner as we could have avoided some unpleasant experiences.
Healthy boundaries are vital because they help keep us on track with the important things in our lives.
We both agreed at times, we had given more attention to the needs of others than we did to our families and personal needs.
And out of my friend’s mouth came the final answer that I needed to secure everything I had been learning about boundaries. She said maybe this is what ‘entering the narrow gate’ means because the Bible talks about how easy it is to take the broad path and how hard or difficult it is to take the narrow path:
I sincerely believe the path to life is choosing the narrow path and for women that sometimes involves making tough decisions. It means putting boundaries in place that help you embrace your purpose, passions and interests, that in turn keep you aligned with God’s plans for your life.
There are three ‘do not enter signs’, that set the boundaries and keep us off the path to destruction.
The first involves the martyr syndrome.
I believe that the hardest thing for a woman to do is put herself first because she believes it is selfish. We basically sacrifice our own well-being for the well-being of others.
But it is unwise and unhealthy to allow ourselves to be pulled blindly in every direction by the needs of others. When that happens, we become, angry, resentful and start feeling more like a robot than a human being.
God has our best interests at heart, including our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being, which is why He gave the command to love our neighbors as ourselves. We need to properly love and nurture the image of God in us first, before we can properly love others.
The second boundary sign reads, forgive as you have been forgiven.
It involves forgiving others even as God has forgiven us. Forgiving others keeps us off the wide road of anger, resentment and bitterness, that leads to destruction both physically and emotionally.
The third ‘do not enter’ sign reads don’t compare yourself with others.
Not comparing ourselves to others keeps us on track with our own growth. It doesn’t matter what other people do, the only important question is are you growing, healing old wounds and embracing yourself as a unique expression of God to this world.
When we compare ourselves to others, we end up beating ourselves up and looking upon ourselves as failures.
Healthy growth will only happen as we put proper boundaries in place. God has a purpose for each one of us and obeying the ‘do not enter’ signs will keep us on track.
It will also be one of the most difficult things you do because as women, we often feel guilty when we say no.
But, it will be rewarding because these boundaries create a straight and narrow path that leads to life.