GOD SET BOUNDARIES FOR HIS CREATION
The day is yours, also the night; you established the moon and the sun. You set all the boundaries of the earth; you made summer and winter. (Psalm 74:16-17)
When God created the earth, He set boundaries so that it would continue in a regular orbit. He positioned the sun and moon and established cycles for the seasons. Before He fashioned all the unique creatures that would inhabit his creation, He ensured the planet was welcoming by designing a beautiful garden.
God also established boundaries for the people He created. When they obeyed, they lived in harmony with God, the land, and the creatures. Sadly, Adam and Eve disobeyed and lost their right to live in that beautiful garden. The world was spoiled because of sin. Yet, not all was lost.
God provided a way to redeem the world and His people. His beloved son Jesus conquered death and evil through His death on the cross and subsequent resurrection. He secured our redemption because He took our place, paying the penalty for sin. One day, we will have resurrected bodies like Jesus’ and spend eternity with Him. Until then, we can still have a relationship with Him here and now.
BOUNDARIES ARE IMPORTANT FOR SELF-CARE
God’s commands are non-negotiable, but other boundaries vary from person to person. Have you ever thought that establishing boundaries can be a form of self-care? I knew about setting boundaries in my life but never considered it self-care until I looked over Chronic Joy’s Self-Care and Healthy Boundaries. This printable suggests that when we have clear boundaries, we realize what we are responsible for and what is out of our hands.
Self-Care and Healthy Boundaries also remind us that Jesus practiced self-care for His soul as He often retreated to a solitary place to converse with His Father. I, too, want to set aside more time alone with God. I know that through intimate prayer and focused communication with Him, my soul will be nourished, and I will be better able to face each day’s responsibilities.
I have also neglected self-care for my body when I’ve not set healthy boundaries. For instance, when working at the computer, I often forget the time. Before I realize it, I’ve been sitting for several hours. That is not good for me because my knee gets stiff, and my sciatica is aggravated. So, when I stand up, I must carefully move my knee until it coordinates with my leg and I feel balanced before walking.
USING PHONE ALARMS AS REMINDERS
I like to set alarms on my phone every hour or so to remind me to stand up to stretch and walk a little. It’s also an excellent opportunity to grab a glass of water to ensure I stay hydrated. Perhaps I can include a breath prayer (consciously praying a short passage of Scripture with each breath) and give my soul some self-care, too.
We might think it selfish to set boundaries for ourselves as a form of self-care. Yet, Jesus said that the second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves. How can we do that well if we don’t practice healthy self-care?
Dear God, help us to love You most of all. Enable us to follow Your commands. Please give us the wisdom to set healthy boundaries so that we can serve You better and love others well. Amen.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
- Why do you think God set boundaries for the earth and its inhabitants?
- Could your soul use a boost of encouragement? Self-Care for Your Soul is an excellent printable resource to encourage nourishment for your soul.
- In what area of your life might you need to set healthy boundaries?
I invite you to check out Self-Care and Healthy Boundaries. The healthy boundaries checklist and reflection questions have helped me see where I’m doing well and where to set better boundaries. Take a brave new step: check out the beautiful Healthy Boundaries Prayer and make it your own.
Chronic Joy® Content Coordinator and Prayer Team
A grandmother but young at heart, Gayl enjoys exploring creativity through writing, poetry, nature photography, art, crocheting, and piano. She loves coffee, tea, chocolate, and jeans. Gayl has been married to Steve for nearly 50 years, with 7 children and 14 grands (some have chronic illnesses, and one son is now with Jesus). Always learning and writing from her heart about life, her desire is to know God better, glorify Him, and encourage others. She is the author of Journey into Light and blogs at Words, Photos and Art.
Healthy boundaries (an important part of self-care) create an understanding of what we have responsibility for and what is outside of our control. The healthier our boundaries are, the greater our capacity to offer empathy and love to others. We are responsible for what happens inside us and for the ways we act and relate to others.