How many time have you told the kids to clean their rooms, your 25 year old son won’t get a job and plays video games all day, or you have a family member that continually gets angry and yells at you even when unprovoked?
Do you tell them to stop but feel like your words are falling on deaf ears? Do you feel disrespected and ignored even though you set boundaries all the time?
Here’s a big piece of the puzzle, “You teach people how to treat you!” Think about it. If you continually allow people to trample over your boundaries, haven’t you taught them that it’s okay? Haven’t you established that they can do what they want and you will do nothing about it?
Maybe you’re thinking you don’t allow it, they just do it. Yes, it’s true. Kids, people, even pets will test the fences like the raptors in Jurassic Park to see what they can get away with. That can’t be avoided. So how do you stop it? Your boundaries often need a time frame and almost always need consequences!
-If you don’t clean your room by lunch time we are not going to the park today.
-If you don’t get a job in the next 60 days you will have to move out.
-If you yell at me I am going to hang up or leave and will not talk to you until you speak to me calmly.
Did that sound harsh? It’s not. Boundaries are a loving way to prevent someone from sinning against you. Jesus is patient and loving, but never condones sin. Don’t enable bad behavior by doing nothing. Embrace the fact that you deserve to be respected and then act on it. Once you set you consequences, you must follow through or once again they will carry no weight to them. If you have been that person that has had a lifetime of empty words, then it will take time to reestablish that you are serious and will enforce what you say, so stick with it. Let your yes be yes, and your no be no.
Remember: Boundaries/Time Limit/Consequences/Enforcement