What is a Healthy Boundary?

I've received a multitude of books on boundaries over my thirty years...

My first boundaries book was given to my mom for teenage me. To my knowledge, I never read or worked through it, but I received it.

The second book was assigned to me by a missions organization I was planning on going to South Sudan with. Don't Let Emotions Run Your Life Workbook by Scott E. Spradlin. I did work through most of that and found it helpful.

Then my mentor gave me Changes that Heal by Dr. Henry Cloud. I read a few stories in but never finished it.

When I was in my early twenties I went to Al-Anon (for family and friends of alcoholics) to support a family member and found the best training on boundaries I think I've ever received! 

"I am only responsible for my actions, not the reactions of others. They are responsible for their action, even if they blame me."

It really did make a huge difference in my life!

I bought for myself Boundaries with Kids also by Dr. Henry Cloud and again, only read a few chapters and called it good. After that, my church did a small group study on boundaries, which I was grateful to see I had learned most of the healthy boundaries that were covered in the study.

Now, WHY did I receive and buy SO MANY books on boundaries??? Was I that unhealthy? Well, yes, I was. I grew up in a chaotic childhood due to parent illness and I actually prided myself on having no boundaries.... clearly everybody else didn't think that was a point to be proud of, hence all the books. 

But no matter what childhood or upbringing BOUNDARIES ARE SO IMPORTANT. Not the boundaries that isolate you and are really walls that keep you alone as you attempt to keep from suffering hurts due to normal relationship blunder, not those. Real boundaries, HEALTHY boundaries! Healthy boundaries by definition are healthy and for health. I would phrase it as:

"Healthy boundaries are a set of expectations and standards that PROMOTE relationships that are joyful and mutually beneficial." 

Unhealthy boundaries are those that DECREASE relationship and/or enable those you have relationship with to treat you poorly...

Healthy boundaries creates a platform for healthy relationships, and isn't that what we all truly want for our family, our friendships, our kids! As I learned and grew in health and in turn, healthy relationship, I grew more and more passionate about teaching my kids healthy boundaries so they could benefit from the freedom that comes from healthy connection with others. 

I want emotional health for my kids! I want healthy boundaries for my kids so they can walk in joy and freedom in their relationships. Dear Mama, healthy boundaries breeds freedom and connection. Take the time to grow in relationships that are emotionally healthy so that your kids can as well.

If you would like practical ways of teaching and implementing healthy boundaries to your kids, please comment below and I'll write more on this topic.




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