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Boundaries

In the Relationship Restart series, we are breaking some bad habits and building some new ones to love to people closest to me as Jesus has loved me.

Use this guide to lead your family.  In each guide, you will find a parenting affirmation to help you focus on God's call on you as a parent/guardian.  Then, you will find a Scripture passage from the New International Reader's Version of the Bible.  When you are done reading, there are discussion questions to help your family talk about what you read.  Feel free to add to or skip  questions as time allows.  At some point during the week, it would be extra special to plan to do the optional Family Activity.

Parenting Affirmation:  God sees and appreciates the work I do as a parent.  (Genesis 16:13, Proverbs 15:3)

Read Matthew 5:33-37.
33 “Again, you have heard what was said to your people long ago. They were told, ‘Do not break the promises you make to the Lord. Keep your promises to the Lord that you have made.’ 34 But here is what I tell you. Do not make any promises like that at all. Do not make them in the name of heaven. That is God’s throne. 35 Do not make them in the name of the earth. That is the stool for God’s feet. Do not make them in the name of Jerusalem. That is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not make a promise in your own name. You can’t make even one hair of your head white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ Anything more than this comes from the evil one.  Matthew 5:33-37

Discussion Questions:
According to Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend in “Boundaries” a boundary defines us.  “It defines what is me and what isn’t me.  A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership.”  (pg. 29 Boundaries)
Jesus is saying the same thing in this passage.  Promises don’t need to be made on anyone’s name or authority.  Yes or No is a complete sentence.
Let’s practice this:  Did you clean your room?,  Did you do your chores?,  Did you do your homework?  Did you buy groceries?  Did you go to work?  Did you feed the dog/cat/pet?
  • How did everyone answer those questions?
  • Is it possible there is a consequence to the answer to these questions?
  • What is the consequence?  Whose responsibility is the consequence?
  • Is that showing us where the boundary is?

Family Activity:  Make a boundary chart together.  It can look like a chore chart.  You can decide as a family if all the items on your chart need extra incentive (prize or punishment) or if the act of completing the item has enough consequence of its own.  Use it for a week and report back to each other on successes and failures.