Do you struggle with setting Christian boundaries? Difficult relationships require you to set boundaries, yet the complicated relationship dynamics make setting boundaries hard to do. To make it worse, there are common misunderstandings about what the Bible says about boundaries that cause us to be too passive and willing to tolerate unacceptable things. You can use these five guidelines to help you set scriptural boundaries in your difficult relationships.

1. Boundaries should help you take care of yourself.

The main purpose of your boundaries is to protect yourself and to help you be a good steward of what God has given you. Romans 14:12 says, "Each of us will give an account of himself to God" (NIV).

2. Boundaries should influence the other person for good.

Your boundaries should encourage other people to make wise choices for themselves. They shouldn't be so harsh and rigid that they are impossible for the other person to attain, which will result in discouragement and hopelessness. Hebrews 3:13 says, "Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness" (NIV).

3. Boundaries should keep you from enabling.

Each person is responsible for the consequences of his/her actions and needs to learn whatever lessons those consequences are teaching. You enable when you step in to prevent the person from experiencing those consequences. Galatians 6:7 says, "A man reaps what he sows"(NIV).

4. Boundaries should keep you from getting hurt.

When you are deciding what to do and not to do for other people, one good measure to use is whether your decision will hurt you financially, emotionally, relationally, or physically. If it does, don't do it. Romans 12: 21 says, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (NIV).

5. Boundaries should keep other people from getting hurt.

Boundaries are needed when someone is being hurt or could be hurt by another person's actions or by his/her own actions. Romans 13:9b-10says, "'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" (NIV).

Setting Christian boundaries will be easier when you use these five guidelines.

Author's Bio: 

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Karla Downing is an author, speaker, licensed marriage and family therapist, and Bible study teacher. Karla's passion is to help people find freedom in Christ in the midst of their difficult relationships and circumstances through Biblical truths and practical tools.