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“Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.” ~Luke 10:19
Since childhood, we have been taught about the need for boundaries. From staying within the lines while coloring, to staying within the lines of the driving. Boundaries are everywhere.
We put them up to keep people in and to keep people out. They limit distractions, keep a standard for others to follow, and even to determine where one thing stops and another thing begins. It is common to set boundaries to protect yourself.
We all need boundaries.
Our parents would give us boundaries. “Your bedtime is 10pm.” “You can only watch PG movies.” “You have to sweep and then mom.” Watch your mouth and tone!”
Board games and sports games have boundaries to determine the winner and to play fairly.
There are boundaries for kids while at school. Kids need to play in a certain playground so there is enough staff to monitor. They are given only one milk so that no one goes without. In the library, their voice must stay at a whisper’s level, for others to be able to study in peace.
Boundaries are for safety and the care of everyone.
I discuss boundaries in nearly every version of therapy, I conduct, with my patients. Boundaries are put in place to protect the relationships. For a business you have contracts to protect the finances. It can also protect the livelihood of the business relationship between owner and employee. In a marriage there are vows that the couple agrees to, protecting each other from heartbreak. Co-parenting boundaries protect the child’s relationship with both parents, whom they love. Kids have boundaries for their siblings, for not touching their stuff. If you have more then one child, you would agree with me on how nice it is when those boundaries are upheld.
Boundaries can feel limiting, until you understand their benefits.
One of the best examples of effective boundaries is within the relationship of a husband and a wife. Throughout my week, I see around a dozen couples who have broken their boundaries. I remind them that marriage is the hardest job to do It can also be the most rewarding, if the couple is willing to work. They are informed of Five Things That Can Make or Break Your Marriage. I even discuss with them the Five Love Languages.
When boundaries have been broken, they can be difficult to mend. Loss of trust, misunderstanding, different perspectives, and invaders all play a big role in the damage that can occur. Protecting your marriage means protecting the boundaries that were set when you said “I do.”
Below, I have created a list of guidelines for protecting your marriage.
Five things that can make or break your marriage:
- Decide on a boundary for spending; set a limit to how much either of you can spend without having to check in with the other.
- Review bank statements, budgeting, bills, and additional spending at least once a month, together.
- It is okay to have separate checking/savings accounts as long as you both agree to it, know the reason, and have access if an emergency arises.
- If either person lacks self-control with spending, it is okay to identify an “allowance of spending” for that person to help them to not be tempted to spend more.
- In-laws are not privy to marriage conversations, meaning you should not be sharing details about your marriage with your parents.
- Do not ever take your parents’ side over your spouse’s, you can discuss your difference of opinion privately with your spouse.
- You should represent your spouse well, as though they are your prized possession.
- Stand up to family members if they say anything against your spouse, even if they are correct.
- Communicate your decisions before sharing your thoughts in front of the kids so that you can be on the same page.
- Your spouse will always come before your kids so the kids may learn how to have Godly-order when they get married.
- You publicly praise and privately correct.
- Have “we” conversations with your kids. “Dad and I will discuss it, and we will get back to your with our answer.”
Sex and Communication can cause the most damage so take special care.
- Studies show that men think about sex, averagely, 19 times a day and women 10 times a day. When we think about it, we can’t help but want to have it. When husbands and wives are divided emotionally they will seek out emotional connection elsewhere. More often then not, emotional connection elsewhere leads to intimacy.
- Married couples should have sexual intimacy every 4-5 days, if not at least once a week.
- Intimacy is not just about the physical but about loving your spouse the way they best feel loved.
- Do not ever use intimacy as a weapon against your spouse.
- Give yourself a timeout, if you feel that anything that may come out of your mouth may harm the other person.
- Use assertive communication by stating what happened, how it made you feel, and what you think the other could do to help you.
- Schedule two different dates for you two: a flirty date, as though you are trying to get your spouse interested in dating you and a business date, having a specific topic list of items you would like covered while you are at a public place.
- Think of how your spouse would perceive what you would like to say, before you even say it.
This is not an extensive list of my knowledge but just a few tips to help strengthen the boundaries of your marriage.
You have authority over the enemy!
God has given every believer the authority to crush the head of the enemy. No attempt of his attack should leave a lasting effect on you, if you are determined to put up boundaries. Set God’s Word as your highest priority of the day. Start each morning seeking His wisdom for the approach you will need for the day. Satan will continue to attack until he believes he has won.
Create boundaries for your time with God, spouse, kids, friends, family, and work. The stronger your boundaries the more freedom you will have. Your freedom comes from knowing their is structure in place to protect and guide you in these relationships.
Stand up for what is important! Draw a line. Hold your boundary.
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