My wife and I recently bought a home in our community. The property has a good backyard, but the wooden fence is in terrible condition. Time, weather, and termites have taken their toll. If we don't take action to replace the fence, it will soon fall, leaving the property without the protection of the boundary.
Like a fence around my property, I need borders in my life. Boundaries are essential for several reasons. They clearly identify what belongs to me. They outline areas that are permissible. Within the limitations, I have accessibility and freedom. Boundaries also protect things that might bring danger or harm to my life.
When I was growing up, my parents provided the necessary boundaries for my siblings and me. As a teenager, I sometimes chaffed at their guidelines. I couldn't understand why they would say no to an opportunity or event. I didn't think their curfew was reasonable. It didn't seem fair that other kids were given freedoms that I was not. At this point in my life, I now see the wisdom of their boundaries and provide them for my children as well.
God's Word provides boundaries.
While we like the idea of scriptural guidelines, like teenagers who are resistant to parental restrictions, we often rebel against God's boundaries. The willingness to submit and surrender to God's truth comes down the issue of the lordship of Jesus Christ.
It can seem that God is an overcontrolling parent who is trying to keep us from having fun. Why is He so strict? Why is God concerned about what we do and what we don't do? Doesn't He have better things to do?
As we mature in our faith, we begin to understand the importance of God's boundaries. He is a good Father who loves His children. He knows and wants what is best for us, even if we can't see it.
Consider this truth: God's boundaries don't restrict our freedom; they give us freedom.
So often, the things God's Word prohibits lead to bondage, not freedom. We can easily buy into a lie, thinking the ability to make our own decisions leads to freedom, without realizing so much of what this world offers leads to confusion, pain, addiction, and enslavement. As a good Father, God wants to protect us from this bondage and provide boundaries that bring true freedom.
The guidelines of Scripture lead us to two kinds of freedom: freedom from... and freedom to...
With this in mind, consider some of the boundaries God's Word provides. Instead of viewing them as restrictions, realize they are actually providing us with freedom.
So, let me ask you a question? How is your fence? Is it in good repair? Do you need to restore some boundaries in your life? Have you wandered beyond the borderlines and found yourself in trouble?
Recognize the blessing of having a Heavenly Father who provides safety and freedom by calling for us to live within proper boundaries. Learn to live within the guidelines God has established and enjoy the freedom they provide.
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