Christian Boundaries – 7 Reasons Why Setting Boundaries Is Difficult for Christians

Having good Christian boundaries is something we need to work on all the time in every area of our lives, yet setting boundaries isn’t easy and is a cause of confusion in our relationships. These are the seven reasons why it is difficult for many Christians to set boundaries:

We feel responsible for other people’s choices.
We are afraid of losing the other person’s approval.
We are afraid of losing the relationship.
We are afraid of the person’s reaction and retribution.
We don’t really know what we want and need.
We believe we shouldn’t have boundaries, because the Bible tells us we have to give up our rights in relationships.
We believe we should adjust and compromise to keep the peace to be Christ-like.
A boundary is simply what you will and won’t do. It is not about making someone do what you want. You can state what you want, need, or prefer someone to do and what you will or won’t do in response, but it is the other’s person’s right to choose whether or not he/she will do what you have asked. You cannot control the person’s choice. We won’t be able to set strong boundaries in our relationships until we work through each of these 7 reasons why it is difficult to set boundaries.
A woman I know has recently discovered her husband was having an affair. She knows that the affair is unacceptable but she is struggling with setting boundaries on reconciling the relationship. She is clear on some of her needs but then is confused when her husband refuses to meet those needs, as she wonders if she is being reasonable or unreasonable and then gets fearful of his reaction and whether pushing a particular boundary will result in the loss of the marriage. She is also struggling with what she believes to be God’s desire for her to forgive and to sacrifice to keep her marriage together. She will need to confront these seven reasons that make setting Christian boundaries difficult in order to deal with this problem.

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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.

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