It was raining outside, and we were doing our best to hit as many puddles as possible on the way to school.
“Pastors must not have taste buds.”
“That was random. Any chance that you are going to fill me in as to why you’ve decided this?”
“Because every time we have a potluck at church, you eat everything on the table…even the things that NO ONE ELSE WILL EAT because they taste so bad. Therefore, you must not have taste buds.”
It is in our human nature to want to make sacrifices in order to keep from hurting the feelings of the people that comprise the significant relationships in our lives. To a certain degree, those sacrifices are normal, healthy, and even expected within the boundaries of healthy relationships. However, those sacrifices can quickly become unhealthy, damaging, and destructive when we begin to feel forced to make them for the sake of maintaining peace, avoiding abuse, or continuing the relationship.
Healthy boundaries are important. They are important for a healthy lifestyle as much as they are important for maintaining healthy relationships. When we regularly allow people to cross our boundaries for the sake of maintaining peace within the relationship, then we have made a habit of teaching people that it is okay to treat us with less value and respect than we deserve.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, unloved, and disrespected, then ask God and visit with your minister about what setting healthy boundaries would look like in your life. No one will set those boundaries for you, nor will many even recognize when they have crossed them. Nonetheless, those who truly love you will respect the healthy boundaries that you have set, and will work together with you and with God to keep you accountable to the kinds of boundaries that bring life.
Although it can seem overwhelming and intimidating to think about, if you begin to set healthy boundaries in your life, (and you do so together with God and your support system) you might be surprised to find that your outlook on life improves dramatically.