This Is Us:  Setting Boundaries

Matthew 5:17

What is a Boundary?  A property line that separates you from another person.

  • Boundaries define your space and also protect your space. 

God set up the world with certain boundaries ( limitations ) 


  • Separated darkness from light .   (Genesis 1:2,4, 5)
  • Separated water from dry land .  (Genesis 1:6-9)
  • Set boundaries on reproduction.  (Genesis 1:24,25,27)
  • Set a boundary in the Garden of Eden.  (Genesis 2:16,17)


  • Abraham and Canaan – limits to the land he would inherit.
  • Moses: 10 Commandments – limits on certain behavior. (Exodus 20)
  • Jesus sending out his disciples – limits on how, what  and who.  (Matthew 10)

God’s own Boundary  (I Peter 3:9)

Personal Boundaries

  • Trespass : when we cross a line which hurts others and God.
  • When you set a boundary there is freedom.   
  • Setting a boundary is an exercise in self-control.

Setting Boundaries

  • Two Words:  Yes & No.   Matthew 5:37
  • The Law of Individual Responsibility  — you are responsible for your life.

Jesus: the Master Boundary-Setter

  • “Yes” to becoming human, to teaching, healing and ultimately to the cross. “No” – to temptation ,  to misguided requests,  and to pressure.   

God wants you to walk through life with clear understanding of who God made you to be, and to let your yes be yes and your no be no.

Recommended Reading:  Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

Two Kinds of Boundary Problems:

            People who are compliant.   

  • Say “yes” all the time – generally like to avoid conflict.  

            People who are controlling.  

  • Don’t respect other people’s boundaries – Don’t hear their “No

The antidote:  I must get clear about who God made me  to be, and about fulfilling God’s purpose for my life.