Personal Boundaries, What Do They Look Like?


“Do not remove the (personal) ancient  boundaries which your fathers have set.”  ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭22:28‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Some time back I read “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr John Townsend.  I heard this book referred to on the Dr’s radio show as well as the Dave Ramsey show.   So, I checked the book out from the library.
The read provoked some thinking about boundary lines in general and how they apply to this whole Stonebridge defining, identifying, building concept.  I posted several blogs at the time exploring various facets of this topic: Money, Personal, even geographical.

Boundaries Defined

A boundary is:
  1. a line that marks the limits of a geographical area; a dividing line,  “the eastern boundary of the wilderness”
  2. a limit of a subject or sphere of activity.  “a community without class or political boundaries”
synonyms:  border, frontier, partition, dividing line, divide, division, borderline, cutoff point
Boundaries define, protect and divide.  They can be artificial, unjust and even damaging when inappropriate or isolating.  What is healthy to one may seem the opposite to another, but this is not about perspective.  There is a truth to be found.

Ancient Boundaries

Personal Boundaries


Proverbs, a book of wisdom, clearly states to “not remove the ancient landmark”.  The word landmark comes from a word that means “a twisted cord” as in one used as a boundary marker;  A limit, a bound.

Thus, in this context boundaries are not only good, but to be embraced.  Here are a few broad areas in which the value of ancient boundaries are revealed:

Internal Boundaries:

  • within our spirit, soul and body.
  • within our soul:  mind, will and emotions.
When we confuse attempting to get one of these internal areas to do the work of the other, all kinds of issues emerge.  This  affects our inner life as well as how we relate externally.
We spend countless hours and resources in all kinds of treatment untangling these boundaries in our heads.  However, when clarity is achieved, lives are changed for the better.

External Boundaries:

  • with others:  spouse, immediate family, extended family, friends, co-workers, neighbors.
  • geographical:  property lines, personal property, public and community areas.
  • financial:  contracts, budgets, financial accounts.
  • personal and public safety:  rules of the road, airspace, public safety laws, even (gasp) the whole conceal and carry thing!
  • In our occupations:  Job and position descriptions, titles, and compensation
Have you noticed something?  This personal boundary discussion in the context of wisdom encompasses one common thread: relationship.  Relationship within yourself, with others, the environment and money.  In other words, with all  aspects of creation.
Boundaries are in fact a form of communication.  Apparently we need them, and secretly, we want them.

Personal Boundaries

My personal boundaries start with a set of core values I have articulated over years.  They center on the Word of God and my personal relationship with Jesus.  All decisions, large, small, one of a kind and routine, I endeavor to make through that set of values in light of that relationship.

So, when tested, questioned, or challenged, I revisit my personal boundaries:

  • examining the edges and evaluating the parameters in which I choose to operate in light of the current situation.
  • checking  for “drift”, that force that may have eroded or pushed me off center.

This is not to revise but to better refine and define “ancient boundaries”:  Those that should not be moved.  Only then, with reference to non-negotiables, do I consider moving or eliminating boundaries that are limiting, ill-fitting or just plain wrong.

Here is the good news:  In spite of how they may look at first, the “ancient” boundaries actually free and open up space to us rather than close us in.  They serve as a true north to keep me on course.

What purpose have your personal boundaries served?  Have you set those boundaries with intention?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section right after subscribing! 

I am a former air traffic controller, pilot, Aircoupe owner, married 42 years to a great guy. We live in a 125+ year old historic Victorian, enjoy cats, vintage anything, precious friends. My passion is Giving Lost Stories A Voice – Giving Found Materials Fresh Form and Purpose!

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