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Updated: Jun 24, 2023

As humans, we were created for relationships. However, not all relationships are created equal. In fact, some relationships can be downright harmful, causing us to experience trauma and disrupt our ability to live an abundant and healthy life in accordance with Scripture. The good news is that establishing healthy boundaries based on Scripture can provide the key to healing from these toxic connections and embracing the peace and joy offered by God.

As believers, we can look to the Bible for guidance on the healthy boundaries that are needed for healthy relationships. One such example is found in the Book of Proverbs, where it is written that "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." (Proverbs 4:23, NLT). This verse speaks directly to setting healthy boundaries in relationships, which can help us to protect ourselves from emotional harm, as well as orient us towards a more fulfilling and biblically ordered life. Boundaries are part of obedience that result in blessings.

In order to apply this principle, it is important to first identify the unhealthy relationships that are causing harm. This can include relationships with individuals who are verbally or physically abusive, manipulative, or encourage destructive behaviors that are contrary to God's word. Once identified, it is essential to start setting healthy boundaries in order to find healing from the trauma caused by these types of relationships. Boundaries are what is in the best interest of the other person involved as well. By maintaining healthy boundaries, we teach others what is and what is not acceptable.

Some examples of healthy boundaries that can be based on scripture can include:

1. Practicing self-love: We are commanded to "love our neighbors as ourselves," (Mark 12:31), which means that we must first love ourselves properly. This can include prioritizing self-care and setting clear boundaries around the time and energy we are willing to give to others.

2. Being Mindful Of Who We Take Advice From: Proverbs 13:20 tells us that we should "Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm." This can be applied directly to the relationships we keep and the advice we take from others. Surrounding ourselves with people who encourage us towards our biblical goals can help us to create a foundation of accountability and support that can help us stay true to our boundaries.

3. Setting Limits: Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:37 that "Let your yes be yes and your no be no." This means that when we set boundaries, we must not compromise them or let others convince us otherwise. Establish clear limits in your relationships, and stick to them.

Job 38: 8, 10-11

“Or who shut in the sea with doors,...and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?

Healing from unhealthy relationships and finding true peace and joy again, requires us to take active steps towards creating healthy boundaries in our relationships with others. By doing so, we create a foundation for growth and healing in which God's word and love can thrive, freeing us to live a more abundant and fulfilling life.

REMEMBER….We are called to be holy, not "nice."

  • Some helpful books on the subject of Boundaries

    • Good Boundaries and Goodbyes by Lysa Terkeurst - "Boundaries aren’t just a good idea, they’re God’s idea."

    • Boundaries by Cloud & Townsend

Connie Diffenderfer, BNS, RN, NC-BC, BC-MHC


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