For each will have to bear his own load.Galatians 6:5
A boundary is a physical or imaginary line that keeps things out or in. If you create a boundary around your house with a wall, you tell those on the outside that any space inside your walls is your property and must not be crossed by intruders.
It is an inaudible or non-verbal message you send to others at all times to let them know that any intrusion or infringement on this boundary is not welcome. It also tells you the extent of control that you have around your house. Another analogy you can use for this is having children or being responsible for children.
It is important to know all the boundaries to place on each and every child by knowing what they are capable of doing. If you have a child who cannot be trusted in the kitchen then you need to find ways of keeping them out of the kitchen. If one of them is addicted to the screen and does not focus on their studies then you have to find boundaries that will help that child and get the best out of them.
Your emotions are like your children. You are responsible for all your emotions and must set boundaries that your feelings can handle. Your emotions control your actions and they must be kept in check so they do not get you in trouble.
Just as you keep your problem child from danger by creating boundaries for your child, you must know and understand the limits of your emotions so you do not expose them to situations that may cause you to act in a very concerning or derogatory way. It is very much as the Bible text says, to bear loads that you can carry.
Do not put anything on your shoulders that may be too much for you to handle. Sometimes preempting measures are more critical and necessary than corrective measures.
“Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man,Proverbs 22:24.
You have to know your limits. Understand who you are and what your emotions are. Ask yourself questions like, am I easily provoked? Do I get anxious over difficult situations? Do I often regret my actions? Do I put the needs of others before mine? Do I take on more than I can handle? Am I mentally stable? Do I have a need to be liked by everyone?
Am I too anal-retentive? Am I tightly wound? Do I have body image issues? Am I a confident person? Do I worry too much? Do I get worked up over nothing? The answers to these questions will tell you what boundaries you must place on your emotions.
The world is full of elements that must exist apart from each other, elements that must exist together, and elements that can do both. When you put petrol and fire-causing elements in the same room, you are basically asking for trouble.
You may not necessarily cause a fire outbreak to occur but the risk will forever exist until you separate those elements. The warning signs that are put on vehicles that carry dangerous goods and substances are to warn other users of the road of the dangers that exist and that can happen if the proper boundaries are not set and maintained.
During war times, certain explosive materials are stored under strict and careful environmental conditions. Temperatures are kept within tolerable levels because the moment those levels are exceeded or breached, there could be disastrous consequences.
In the same way, there are certain things that must not be allowed to come close to you because they might create a risky or volatile situation that will get you in trouble. As a Christian, you must emulate Christ. Learn about how he dealt with adversity and try to behave as such.
How To Set Emotional Boundaries
Carry what you can bear
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.1 Corinthians 10:13
If you have limitations in expressing emotions then only accept what you can take on. Do not bite more than you can chew. Do not take on other people’s emotional problems when you know that you can’t even handle your own. If you are easily stressed out by certain situations such as examinations, or tests, do not put a lot on yourself at once.
Find a way to manage your workload in a way that does not stress you out completely. It is important to note that half of the problems we cause ourselves are of our own doing. Sometimes simply walking away or saying no in a situation can make you void a lot of stress.
Avoid toxic situations
Do not be misled: ‘bad company corrupts good character’.1 Corinthians 15:33.
Avoid toxic people. If there is anyone who does not inspire positivity in your life then find a way to cut them loose or cut ties. Do not forget that nobody is perfect and people will try to take their own frustrations and imperfections on you because it makes them feel better about themselves.
When someone is constantly bringing your mood down, you have the right to set boundaries with that person. Let them know right away that you are not their punching bag or their emotional dumpster. Do not walk with people who are easily provoked.
If someone cuts you off on the road, take three deep breaths and leave that situation as soon as you can. Do not linger and make them provoke you even further.
Control your emotions
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.Galatians 5:22, 23.
Your emotions are your responsibility as we have already seen. When you know yourself and how your emotions get in respective situations you have to find ways to cope so that they do not cause you to do anything that you regret in the future.
If someone who normally annoys you comes around, do things that cause you to ignore them and divert your attention from them so they do not get to you. Managing your emotions is a huge part of staying out of trouble.
A lot of conflicts and fights are avoidable if the involved parties take a step back and just ignore each other. Some people listen to calm music when something annoys them. Others allow days to pass and don’t act on their anger as a way to determine if what is causing it is still worth getting angry about after that time.
Whatever works for you, just do it. Repeatedly applying this coping mechanism causes you to set boundaries and train your emotions to obey you rather than the other way around.
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.1 Corinthians 16:13, 14.
Do not shift your boundaries for any reason. Just because someone is family does not give them the right to cause you emotional discomfort. Far too often people are driven up a wall by family members because they feel they have some sort of natural close proximity to them.
Emotions do not respect family or foe. How you feel within you will not change based on who is saying it. The words that hurt people have no signatures on them, they just hurt them. If someone is not comfortable hearing something from you, it doesn’t matter whether you are their family or not, it is still going to hurt them.
Do not compromise on your emotions by allowing people to push you just because they are family. These people are full of imperfections as well and they may be using you to feel better about their own lives. You must draw the line no matter who the person is.
Focus on your energy first
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.Proverbs 19:8.
On airplanes, you are advised to first put your own oxygen mask on before you attempt to put one on your child. This is because without your own physical and emotional stability you will not be able to help your children with your full strength. In the end, your oxygen deprivation will cause you to pass out before attending to your kids who cannot do it for themselves which will cause fatalities for all of you.
However, once you fix your own oxygen mask, you will have the strength and stability to care for your child or children and make sure they are all taken care of. In the same way, you must first ensure your emotional stability before you attempt to help others.
If you are not of a sound mind, you will not be able to help other people so do not let them put their burdens on you when you are not stable yourself.
Pray for guidance
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.John 16:13
Pray to the Lord for guidance at all times. God is our comforter. When you feel like the walls are closing in on you, put your burdens on the Lord. Pray in faith and let him know of your struggles and emotional instability. He knows you more than you know yourself and He knows all that you need.
Lay your troubles on the Lord and let Him deliver you from them. Do not attempt anything with your own strength because the strength of man will always fail.
There is nothing that is too difficult for the Lord. No matter what you are going through, He can relieve you of all your burdens and make you free. Do not let your heart be troubled, but in everything in prayer and supplication let your needs be known to the Lord and He will deliver you always.
By acknowledging your emotional needs, communicating effectively, and implementing self-care practices, you have the power to set healthy emotional boundaries that protect your well-being. Although it may take time and effort, the benefits of setting emotional boundaries are immeasurable – enhanced relationships, reduced stress, improved self-esteem, and overall emotional wellness. So, make the commitment to nurture your emotional well-being today, and embark on a journey of self-discovery and growth.