Have you ever experienced a relationship that you felt was toxic, but you didn’t know what to do about it? Have you ever tried to set boundaries, but it seems like you can never keep them? Do you allow the other person who you may have set boundaries with, to manipulate you and make you feel guilty? These questions could go on and go, because we have all been there and experienced these things at some point. Boundaries are not un-Christian and they are necessary for our well-being. This is why I want to recommend an excellent book on this topic and that is Good Boundaries and Goodbyes by Lysa Terkeurst.
I have always loved Lysa’s books, but I think this may be one of my favorites because she does such a great job, not only sharing some of her own personal experience, but quotes from her counselor and of course scripture to back it up.
Here is a note from Lysa about the book:
Relationships are wonderful…until they’re not.
Have you ever thought, I can’t keep doing this—something has to change?
Or, I’ve tried everything to fix this relationship but nothing is working—I fear I’m becoming someone I don’t even like?
Or even, I love this person, but this is starting to feel impossible?
You’ve listened to all the advice. But you’re beginning to realize if the other person doesn’t want to change what’s broken in the relationship, you can’t change it on your own. So now what?
For years, I’ve struggled through these questions and more. I understand this dance with dysfunction on a deeply personal level. And though the details of your situation may be different form mine, I want to be the friend who comes alongside you with compassion to show you that it isn’t unloving to set a boundary, and it isn’t un-Christian to say goodbye. In fact, these may be the missing pieces you need to fully embrace in order to love people well and not lose yourself in the process.
I think you’ll be relieved to learn that boundaries aren’t just a good idea, they’re a God idea. And I’ll be with you every step of the way as we navigate these hard topics together.
There are so many quotes I love in this book and I don’t want to spoil the read for you, but here are just a few so you can see why you need to order this book:
- “When people aren’t respectful of our limits, we can set boundaries, or we can pay the consequences.”
- “People who are irresponsible with our hearts should not be granted great access to our hearts.”
- “Someone else being disappointed doesn’t make us a disappointment.”
- “Other people don’t get the final say about who we are. God does.”
- “Boundaries aren’t going to fix the other person. But they are going to help you stay fixed on what is good, what is acceptable, and what you need to stay healthy and safe.”
- And the one she used in her note above, “Boundaries aren’t just a good idea, they’re a God idea.”
Now you see why I love this book and it will be one I will pull off the shelf many times as a reminder as I go through life and ministry relationships.