The marriage situation is vulnerable to so many toxins that can eventually outweigh the joys of togetherness and erode the sweet memories of happiness and love. This partnership, the institution of marriage is one that demands work, patience and understanding. In order for success, two lives have to become one and for this to occur boundaries need to be established. Boundaries with each other, boundaries for structure, boundaries for others and more importantly, boundaries for one’s self.
I think of partnership as a play in basketball, the give and go. In order for the play to work, one has to have the trust to give up control and let his teammate make the decision to shoot or pass the ball back. In marriage if you want trust prudence demands that you give it. Trust is treating others as you want to be treated. Not hounding someone to treat you right, not constantly voicing your mistrust, suspicions and displeasures at your partner’s lack of consideration.
Trust is a long winding, meandering road that encapsulates faith at each step of the way. One writer has shared the notion that travel is not about the destination yet the journey. You have to be open, expectant for new wrinkles to occur on a daily basis and stay faithful and trust your partner. Two people have to become one and cannot remain separate in thought without understanding, yet they cannot become just like the other, if two people are the same they will cancel each other out. The difficulty in any relationship is trust, trusting how far to let yourself be lost in your partner and how much of yourself to hold back and retain your individuality. This is the crux of marriage. Partners need to embrace differences and change; their love will allow this to occur. Not only is love important but they must be secure in who they are individually and as a couple to express themselves with their partner and do so in a responsible manner so as to not alienate the other.
In setting boundaries, we are not trying to control others, but escort the notion of self-control into the relationship. If we are better in control of ourselves, we can be more giving of ourselves and respective of others. Something I find true in marriage and boundary setting, if lines are not set fourth at the onset of the relationship, things more than likely will stagnate, and any progress anticipated will be prohibited.
Again, the importance of boundaries cannot be under stated. When duties are outlined and understood, ownership becomes valid. It’s like picking sides to play a game; you know who your teammates are. It is important to remember that no one can make you do anything; we have to be honest in our acceptance of actions. This acceptance of actions brings responsibility back into focus. As partners we make the choice to be together, to grow to be one but we also retain or should retain a certain amount of freedom. Love is free and we were created to live free and live together. Christ died that we might live and live freely; therefore, who are we to enslave others?
I submit to you that a triangle of boundaries exists within the boundaries of marriage, those being freedom, responsibility, and love, each is connected and related. As love grows, so does freedom, leading to more responsibility and ultimately leads to more love. Lastly, we need to protect each other, and we need to protect ourselves from outside influences that can destroy our relationship.
The triangle of boundaries is much like a base, in any relationship and it allows for growth and sustainability. Along with the triangle comes self-control something very important and often times overlooked is our usage of words. The Bible tells us that the tongue has the power of life and death, what you think; words can do in a relationship. Lying can and will erode, destroy and crush any relationship. I have heard a saying that a person would rather be hurt by the truth then be demolished by a lie. The truth is the shortest distance to any result. The fallout of course from any non-truth is consequences of your actions and ultimately can lead to loss of the relationship.
With anything, making guidelines with each other we must follow a particular outline. Marriage can be the most rewarding thing you will ever do and toward this end I have outlined the Ten Laws of Boundaries:
*Law of Sowing and Reaping: Consequences
*Law of Responsibility: Responsible for each other and ourselves
* Law of Power: No power over others
*Law of Respect: Give it and Get it
*Law of Motivation: Free to be truthful
*Law of Evaluation: Evaluate the pain our boundaries can cause
*Law of Proactively: Take action to solve issues
*Law of Envy: Look within ourselves not others
*Law of Activity: Take initiative in setting limits
*Law of Exposure: Communicate our boundaries
I will leave you with this thought; a perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.