God and Boundaries

From Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend’s book, Boundaries:

“The concept of boundaries comes from the very nature of God.  God defines himself as a distinct, separate being, and he is responsible for himself.  He defines and takes responsibility for his personality by telling us what he thinks, feels, plans, allows, will not allow, likes, and dislikes.

He also defines himself as separate from his creation and from us.  He differentiates himself from others.  He tells us who he is and who he is not.  For example, he says that he is love and that he is not darkness (1 John 4:16; 1:6).

In addition, he has boundaries within the Trinity.  The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are one, but at the same time they are distinct persons with their own boundaries.  Each one has his own personhood and responsibilities, as well as a connection and love for one another (John 17:24).

God also limits what he will allow in his yard.  He confronts sin and allows consequences for behavior.  He guards his house and will not allow evil things to go on there. He invites people in who will love him, and he lets his love flow outward to them at the same time.  The “gates” of his boundaries open and close appropriately.

In the same way he gave us his “likeness” (Gen. 1:26), he gave us personal responsibility within limits.  He wants us to “rule and subdue” the earth and to be responsible stewards over the life he has given us.  To do that, we need to develop boundaries like God’s.”

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