Having Boundaries Means Taking Responsibility for Our ChoicesNov 30, 2017
Any time is a great time to take stock of boundaries in our lives and renew the desire to take responsibility for our choices. This leads to the fruit of “self-control.” A common boundary problem is disowning our choices and trying to lay the responsibility for them on someone else.
Think for a moment how often we use the phrases, “I had to” or “She (he) made me” when explaining why we did or did not do something. These phrases betray our basic illusion that we are not active agents in many of our dealings. We think someone else is in control, thus relieving us of our basic responsibility. “I really need you to watch your nephew,” Tiffany said.
“What does she mean by ‘need to’?” Kyle thought to himself.
“Adam has been out of town for work. I’ve got a million things I’ve got to do, and I think you should help me out here. I’m you’re sister, and you should do this for your nephew!” “Look, Tiffany,” Kyle said. “I’ve got plans with Stacey. You know I love my nephew, but we’ve had this date night planned for awhile.”
We need to realize that we are in control of our choices, no matter how we feel. This keeps us from making choices to give reluctantly or under compulsion. Making decisions based on others’ approval or on guilt breeds resentment, a product of our sinful nature. We have been so trained by others on what we “should” do that we think we are being loving when we do things out of compulsion.
Setting boundaries inevitably involves taking responsibility for your choices. You are the one who makes them. You are the one who must live with their consequences. And you are the one who may be keeping yourself from making the choices you could be happy with.