Setting & Enforcing Limits & Boundaries
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"Courage is being scared to death- but saddling up anyway."....John Wayne
If I asked you what you think is the biggest problem in your abusive relationship, would you say the biggest problem is that there are no boundaries or limits? Well, if that's what you think, you'd be wrong.
You see, there are plenty of boundaries and limits in your relationship, and there always have been. The thing is, all the boundaries are one-way, and all the limits are on YOU. Are YOU free to voice your honest opinion, say whatever is on your mind, and do whatever you'd like to do? No? Well, your abuser is! Are YOU able to express your feelings of anger and upset, or to protest something you don't like? Of course not. But your abuser is! Can YOU let anything that pops into your head pop out of your mouth? No? Well, your abuser can!
Do you have to think before you speak? Do you have to walk on eggshells? Why? Your abuser doesn't! Your abuser never had the slightest problem making it crystal clear to you just how she expects to be treated. And that's exactly how you treated her. You wouldn't dare do anything else. But how come nobody ever has to pussyfoot around YOU?
See, there were boundaries and limits all along. Set by your abuser, on YOU and YOUR behavior. And without even realizing it, you've been simply toeing the line all this time, adjusting everything you do, say, think, and feel in order to pacify your abuser, without ever requiring anything in return.
Aren't you getting tired of always playing by somebody else's rules? Isn't it time for a two-way relationship with a little give-and-take? Are you ready to be an EQUAL player in this little game of dominance and control? Then maybe it's time to start having some requirements of your own, and to start setting some boundaries and limits of your own. In a balanced relationship, between equal adults, BOTH people share equally in setting the parameters.
And by the way, if you really want to know what the biggest problem is in your relationship, it's that the other person in your relationship is an ABUSER! Which means all bets are off. You can never expect anything normal and nice. Carrying on this relationship will be an uphill battle all the way. Still want to try? Well, then read on.....
Sister, did you know that God gave you the right to refuse to allow others to abuse you? Do you understand that it is not sinful or un-Christianlike to refuse to allow yourself or your loved ones to be exposed to destructive behavior?
You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise! In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or pushes himself forward or slaps you in the face. To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that!....2 Corinthians -21 NIV
Wow. Paul said that it’s okay with God if we stand up and defend ourselves from abuse! Does God actually want us to tell our parent or sibling that she is WRONG? And that what she is doing is EVIL? God not only wants us to speak up, he pretty much ORDERS us to speak up –
When I say to the wicked,'O wicked man, you will surely die,' and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself.....Ezekiel 33:8-9 NIV
Well, that seems pretty clear. But what if our relative won’t listen? Oh well, then he will have to suffer the consequences. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned….Titus 3:10-11 NIV. Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to take warning....Ecclesiastes NIV
Having been raised to be people pleasers, brainwashed into feeling unworthy of love, caring or consideration, and indoctrinated into sacrificing for our relatives while burying our own needs and feelings, we have precious little experience in setting limits on the behavior of others. Defining our boundaries, protecting ourselves, informing our abusers what we will and will not tolerate, enforcing consequences for offensive behavior, and standing up to evil does not come naturally. At first, it feels very alien, and we find that we have to force ourselves to go beyond our comfort zone to do it. But in time, with some practice and the glorious grace of God, setting limits on our abusers will come more easily. And one day, it will be second nature, and we will be able to do it without feeling anxious or guilty.
Yes, our families made us feel unworthy of love and caring, but that’s just another one of the devil’s lies. Do you know that your real Father considers you to be so worthy of love and care that he sent his precious Son to die for you? So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free...Galatians 4:31NKJV
Do you know that you belong to God, and not your birth-family? You are HIS child, not theirs anymore. Do you realize that God gives no man the right to abuse one of his children? Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so we,when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, 'Abba, Father!' Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. But now after you have known God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggardly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?....Galatians 4:1-9 NKJV
Sister, are you ready to claim the freedom that is your birthright as a child of God? Are you ready to stand by His grace? Are you ready to live in peace as HIS daughter, rejoicing in your inheritance? Our Father wants to set you free. Will you let him?
They have greatly oppressed me from my youth, but they have not gained the victory over me. Plowmen have plowed my back and made their furrows long. But the Lord is righteous; he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.....Psalm 129:2-4 NIV
I Am A Soldier In The Army Of God!
I am a soldier in the Army of God.
The Lord Jesus Christ is my Commanding Officer.
The Holy Bible is my code of conduct.
Faith, prayer, and the Word are my weapons of warfare.
I have been taught by the Holy Spirit,
Trained by experience,
Tried by adversity,
And tested by fire.
I am a volunteer in this Army,
And I am enlisted for eternity.
I will either retire in this Army at the rapture,
Or die in this Army;
But I will not get out,
be talked out,
or be pushed out.
I am faithful, reliable, capable, and dependable.
If my God needs me, I am there!
I am a soldier. I am not a baby.
I do not need to be pampered, petted, primed up, picked up, or pepped up.
I am a soldier.
No one has to call me, remind me, write me, visit me, entice me, or lure me.
I am a soldier. I am not a wimp.
I am in place, saluting my King,
Obeying His orders,
praising His name,
and building His kingdom!
No one has to send me flowers, gifts, food, cards, candy,
Or give me handouts.
I do not need to be coddled, cradled, cared for, or catered to.
I am committed.
I cannot have my feelings hurt badly enough to turn me around.
I cannot be discouraged enough to turn me aside.
I cannot lose enough to cause me to quit.
When Jesus called me into this Army, I had nothing.
If I end up with nothing, I will still come out ahead.
I will win.
My God has, and will continue, to supply all of my needs.
I am more than a conqueror.
I will always triumph.
I can do all things through Christ.
Devils cannot defeat me,
people cannot disillusion me,
Weather cannot weary me,
sickness cannot stop me.
Battles cannot beat me,
money cannot buy me.
Governments cannot silence me,
And hell cannot handle me.
I am a soldier.
Even death cannot destroy me.
For when my Commander calls me from this battlefield,
He will promote me to Captain and
Then allow me to rule with Him.
I am a soldier in God’s Army,
And I am marching to claim the victory.
I will not give up.
I will not turn around.
I am a soldier, marching heaven bound!
Here I stand! Will you stand with me?
...Written by B.J. Morbitzer
For more on this subject, please see the article the articles in this section on the left menu, also Reaping What They Sow- The Natural Consequences Of Bad Behavior in the Section on REBUKING, and visit the Sections THE SILENT PARTNER, REBUKING, THE ABUSER'S REACTIONS TO REBUKE, REPROBATES & CUTTING TIES, and HAPPIER HOLIDAYS .
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The Lord specifically called Sister Renee to minister to Adult Children, not their parents, estranged siblings or friends, abusive or abused spouses, or victims of other types of abuse, although what we write here can often be meaningful for those folks as well. Because of this, our ministry and website have a narrow focus which we will not be changing. We simply can't cover everything. In addition, it is not our purpose to help you re-establish contact with someone who felt it was necessary to cut you off for the sake of their own well-being. We do not keep a list of resources for estranged parents or any other type of abuse and suggest if you are sincerely interested in making amends with an estranged relative, you do an internet search for a website or group that will be more relevant to you. If you cannot find a group or site that you can relate to, we suggest you start your own, and bless other people in your position as well as find support for your personal issues.
For Adult Children and others as well, please understand that we cannot give you personal advice concerning your particular family relationships. We are not therapists or lawyers, we usually do not have enough information to form an opinion, and time does not permit us to give enough thought to each person's individual situation to do it justice. If you need personal advice, we urge you to contact the appropriate professional, depending on the problem you have- your minister, therapist, attorney, police department, local domestic violence hotline, etc. In reading this site, you acknowledge that nothing you might read here qualifies as or substitutes for professional advice. Please note we cannot recommend or refer you to a counselor and we do not have a list of therapists or recovery groups in your area. The only Counselor we recommend is the Holy Ghost, and we encourage you to read the Bible and learn for yourself what the Lord says about the issues we write about.
Our articles are strictly our personal opinions and testimonies and are not intended to give or offer any advice. All who access this site do so with the understanding that we are NOT professional counselors and we strongly recommend that you discuss your individual situation with your pastor or therapist and pray for the Lord's guidance before acting on anything we write on this site. Unfortunately, the abuse we discuss is all too common, inflicted on countless victims by countless perpetrators. All names and identifying details in our articles have been changed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty. Any resemblance to a real person or persons whom you might know is strictly coincidental.