God made us social and relational beings, it’s interesting to know that no matter how introverted a person might be personality wise, they still desire and require a level of relationship and community with their environment and people in their environment. If God didn’t make us so, we’ll be lone wolfs, moving and doing things by ourselves and the results that are availed to us in unity will be absent, so often when I thank God in prayer and I get to community, family and friends, i’m reminded of what the world will look like without them and thank Him even more from a place of deep understanding.
Despite how amazing and beautiful most relationships are, family, friendships and romantic relationships alike, sometimes, they do encounter turbulent times, when either or both parties are hurt or left feeling unsatisfied after expecting more from the other party and the expectation falls short.
Over the years, I also discovered that most relationships fail because boundaries are absent. Asides family, I think it is important that a person has known boundaries and standards for every other relationship. Without boundaries, everything becomes lawful and permissive. There are a few things that boundaries do for a relationship and I’ve listed 3 below.
- Boundaries clarify expectations
When we define boundaries in our relationships and people are aware, it gives both persons an understanding of the expectation from the other person. If as a celibate young woman, your partner still thinks it fine to visit you at 11pm in the night, this violates boundaries and causes expectation to fall.
Some friendships that are still growing also need some boundaries if not, people may not be aware of how far is too far and when jokes become nuisances.
2. Boundaries make concrete our values
Most times our boundaries will be borne from our values, without values, boundaries just become rules without foundations. The more we share and stand on our boundaries, the more our values solidify in us. This is why a person must identify values they live by and make it evident in their daily living.
3. Boundaries eliminate abuse
People only abuse what they do not know or understand, when we fail to identify and convey our boundaries, abuse becomes inevitable. The other day I got a call by 1 am from someone I had met just a few days before that day and I needed the person to know that it was not okay to call me around such times so I left them a message and requested I be called later in the morning. I don’t know but he would’ve got the message that I would appreciate phone calls at more friendly times, especially because we didn’t have a phone appointment as we normally do due to the nature of the relationship which I see more as professional.
Most items in life come with manuals, how to use and how to preserve, really good ones also come with warnings, like for an electrical appliance, it’ll say clearly to keep away from water. Our boundaries do these for us subliminally, they are not out-rightly said sometimes but people pick them up in our speech, mannerisms and actions.
Most people free-style life and relationships and that’s how people get hurt, we need to be intentional about our living, even in building communities and relationships. Boundaries are either speaking for or against you by its presence or absence.