Written by: Pastor Deon Malan of Coffee & Confetti
The necessity of boundaries are affirmed when we realize the spiritual significance thereof, because it adds Jesus to the equation of a marriage. When we have set boundaries it starts to mirror our relationship with Him being the epitome of love (Agape love), the centre point from which love flows. It is only when we reach this point that we start reshaping the internal beliefs with others and with God.
The greatest example we have on the spiritual significance of boundaries is Jesus. Jesus knew how important boundaries are. He knew His physical boundaries He became hungry, slept and took time to relax. Jesus portrayed ultimate obedience and also recognized inappropriate behaviour and dealt with it swiftly. Many times we have inappropriate behaviour in our relationships and we need to establish boundaries to deal with it, some of these behaviours include demands, manipulation and pride. Paul the Apostle writes to the church in Corinth and gives clear instruction on how the marriage should be and that there is no place for the mentioned behaviours.
Now as to the matters of which you wrote me. It is well [and by that I mean advantageous, expedient, profitable, and wholesome] for a man not to touch a woman [to cohabit with her] but to remain unmarried. But because of the temptation to impurity and to avoid immorality, let each [man] have his own wife and let each [woman] have her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights (goodwill, kindness, and what is due her as his wife), and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have [exclusive] authority and control over her own body, but the husband [has his rights]; likewise also the husband does not have [exclusive] authority and control over his body, but the wife [has her rights]. Do not refuse and deprive and defraud each other [of your due marital rights], except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote yourselves unhindered to prayer. But afterwards resume marital relations, lest Satan tempt you [to sin] through your lack of restraint of sexual desire. – 1 Corinthians 7:1-5
We can learn to set boundaries the Jesus way. Firstly, we need to realize that we cannot set boundaries without a sturdy prayer life. Matthew 6:6 says the following: “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Secondly, we need to be honest and direct. Don’t pressure people or try to get them to do things, as we read in Matthew 5:37: “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.” Set priorities, Please God and not people, you will see how this will impact your marriage or relationship in a positive way, due to the obedience to His will before your will.