46. TEN LAWS OF BOUNDARIES
Doctors Henry Cloud and John Townsend* wrote a book on Boundaries. Boundaries are personal property lines that mark where we begin and end. It’s about managing or taking our ownership of our own lives and becoming a person of dignity and integrity in the process.
“Law #1 The Law of Sowing and Reaping” The reality is the person who sows also reaps. For example, the person who abuses you or is behaving like a bully will most certainly reap the rewards he sowed.
“Law #2 The Law of Responsibility” This law is about being responsible; accountable to all your actions. Boundaries involve being responsible in a Godly fashion and encouraging others to take full responsibility for their own actions.
“Law #3 The Law of Power” It’s crucial to be accountable to yourself in order to overcome your past traumas. This law is about being able to admit and accept what happened. You will be powerful and accountable when you are able to recognize and release the bitter roots that were left behind. Left unhealed, those roots can lead you to a life a bitterness, resentment, reactivity and hostility.
“Law #4 The Law of Respect” This is about judging. Do you have a right to judge? What if others judge you? There is honoring and caring for others when their boundaries are respected; again we reap what we have sowed. Please recognize your need to love yourself first before being able to love others! Respect is about growing through life’s experiences instead of going through them.
“Law #5 The Law of Motivation” What motivates you? Place much forethought into this! When we choose a response that honors our personal boundaries, it is self-respect and awareness that motivates.
“Law #6 The Law of Evaluation” Can you see the cause-effect in your life? What you did, said, or how you acted and the effects and consequences of it. This law provides the means to be truthful and accountable while evaluating the effects of your own actions.
“Law #7 The Law of Pro-activity” Being proactive means thinking ahead and learning how to express yourself in a self-respecting manner. It’s about honoring others and yourself.
“Law #8 The Law of Envy” Your envy is a sign to you about you missing something. Ask God to direct you to understanding of what’s lacking and the reason you are resentful. This is crucial to deal with as envy leads to resentment and bitterness.
“Law #9 The Law of Activity” We create our own boundaries and they exist due to our own effort. They are not created for us in any way. They exist to protect and define us and to demonstrate to ourselves and others who we are in God. God has been knocking for a while! Please accept his invitation.
“Law #10 The Law of Exposure” This law is about where you start and end. It’s about your property line. It’s important to let others know of your personal boundaries. This will alleviate much of the anxiety and fear.
Boundaries are difficult to maintain when you are faced with challenges in your life. Your self-worth and accountability to yourself and others is connected to the boundaries you set and maintain. The choice is truly and fully yours to make and maintain.
Boundaries can only be built for you by you. When you model healthy boundaries of respect your own self-esteem increases - and your loved ones can model your trail-setting behavior. Bless you in your perseverance for the journey ahead!
In the next section you can begin to read or listen about the challenges ahead when others around you dislike the limitations you placed.
*Cloud, Dr. Henry, Townsend, Dr. John, Boundaries, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1992, p. 102