Thursday, July 19, 2012

Boundary Markers

If you are joining me today from my¬†Proverbs 31 Ministries devotional “Boundary Lines” welcome!

In the culture we are living in, boundaries between right and wrong, safe and unsafe, wise and unwise have begun more and more fuzzy. As parents who love their children, our desire is for our children to grow in maturity, yet do so in the safest environment possible. Boundaries help to do that.

They always say “hind- sight is better than fore-sight.” No place is that more true than when it comes to deciding where those boundaries are placed. I wish I had consulted more parents with older children so I would have known what safe guards to set; it is easier to set rules before the fact than it is after.

Raising wise children is not just a matter of creating a list of rules and going through these now and then. I make a point to share with our kids stories as often as possible. Stories of those who made wise decisions and those who have not. Positive consequences for good choices and negative outcomes of bad. Stories can make an impact that a list of rules never can and they can casually be shared during the dayt

Greg and I have developed some boundaries for our family. I’d put them in a document and would love to share these resources with you for free! Just click on the “freebies” tab on my website (www.LynnCowell.com) for our His Revolutionary Love heart & body covenant and our Family Purity Code

What boundaries are important to your family? Let’s share our wisdom with each other! I’ll be choosing from one comment today someone to receive an autographed copy of my book for young women “His Revolutionary Love” as well as my CD message, “Building a Bridge to Your Child’s Heart”. I’ll be back from She Speaks on Monday and will post the winner then!

 

 

Lynn

Comments

  1. Our children are younger…we have taught the children to not cross the boundary of another’s feelings…and when they do you must go beyond simply saying “I’m Sorry” by also asking for forgiveness. We have 5 daughters and your book would be extremely beneficial with our oldest!
    Blessings, Mary

  2. Rebecca says:

    Thanks for these reminders about boundaries. I really like the idea of sharing stories…..so much more practical and down to earth than just presenting them with a list of “do’s and don’ts”. My children are still young (9 & 12), but I am definitely seeing a change in their attitudes and actions. I am definitely searching for Biblical wisdom and experience as we enter this new stage of life with them. Thank you for the encouragement to keep consistent with boundaries.

  3. Katrina says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to win your book: my daughters are 11 and almost 5 years old, and we definitely need to work on attitudes, on setting and keeping the boundaries. We also have 2 sons…8 and 6 years old, too.Thank you for your encouraging words!

  4. Thanks for the wonderful reminders. I understand the idea of boundaries, my parents did a good job with them. I’m just having a a hard time focusing on the fact that I am working toward those types of boundaries. I have a 1 year old girl and almost 4 year old boy and our boundaries are a bit different for now. :-) But I know it’s the same principle. Thanks again for your words!

  5. Your post on Boundaries was just what I needed first thing this morning. I am a grandmother raising a 16 year old granddaughter. I pray daily for strength to stand my ground when I am reminded my ideas are so old fashioned. I refer to the Bible to show her that they are based on God’s laws of love for all of us. As she gets older, the temptations are greater and higher. I understand her desire to fit in with her peers, but I try to remind her that with the right peers she will fit in by following God’s standards. We are in a difficult situation right now, so your words this morning coupled with God’s Word is just what I need to start my day. Thank you.

  6. mary beth says:

    My children are all in their 20′s now. Setting boundaries when they were younger sometimes hurt me more than it did them but it is so necessary in parenting. When they were teens we always talked about making wise decisions before the children went out with friends. Last night as my youngest, at 20, text me to say she was spending the night with a friend I have not met and going to Atlanta the next day shopping I had to again talk about trust and wisdom. This morning I woke up with an uneasy feeling about it and prayed for God to protect her and help me trust Him. I felt your Proverbs 31 post today was an answer to my prayer. I was immediately comforted by the paragraph about when they are adults they set their own boundaries. I can also feel comforted that I raised them as God called me to. I too pray for my children daily. They are still definitely works in progress but I know God has a plan for each of them and is surrounding them with His love.

    • Mary Beth, I, too, have a 20 year old. In some ways, this is the hardest! You see the decisions they make and so want to make them for them (as if we could!) Trusting Jesus is my only hope. He loves them more than we do!

  7. Deb Hileman says:

    Thank you for your post on boundaries! Our daughter is 14 and starting high school in the fall, she is very active with sports and church. I know things and people will change, but boundaries do need to stay in place. Thank you for your resources, a place I can come to to get ideas. I know the answers are in the Bible, but it’s nice to get some insight from a Mom who is pursuing God.
    Thank you for your blog! And the reminder to keep boundaries with Love!

  8. Susan Ruffalo says:

    Some if the boundaries that are must important to me as a mother have to be the outside sources that try to rattle our young. Tv and movies especially…

  9. Jacqueline Russell says:

    We have a 4 yr old boy and a 1 yr old little girl:) Thank you for this post, it is everything I want to share with our children, I am teaching my son a little about boundaries, but still have a few more yrs with my girl. Boundaries are so important, I did not have them when I was growing, they were never told. My teenage years could of been a lot worse for sure! But it has brought me to a place where boundaries will be stated and shared along the way, thanks for the idea about the stories:)

  10. I am a new Christian and 46 years old. About 3 years ago, my significant other of 10 years and father of my child left us for another woman in another state and moved. During this time in my life, I found God. We have a no contact order in place. My daughter is now 8, and sometimes misses her Dad. I don’t talk bad about him, but tell her he is just lost and needs to do some things before he can see her. Setting these boundaries with her are difficult along with the other boundaries I have been trying to establish for her. It’s hard for her to understand why I won’t let her see her Dad. He drinks, smokes cigarettes, and pot, lies, manipulates, and is very far away from God and I am trying to give her a life with God which is something I did not have until recently. I know that by teaching her to put God first in her life, her life path can be very different then mine.

    • Lisa, I cannot imagine how hard this is! Lord, pour in your strength and fill in the gaps for Lisa and her girl. Amen!

    • I am praying for you, Lisa. I totally understand what you are dealing with. Mine left 8 yrs ago. My oldest is almost 17 and commented last night that he has missed out on half her life…and said what do I have to do to get his attention. He is an alcoholic, married the other woman, and goes weeks without even talking to the girls. I am so glad that you have found God…and Lynn! Blessings, my friend.

  11. Constance Rene says:

    I thank you for your encouragement. I am a single mother of a pre-teen daughter and it has not been easy keep these boundaries clearly demarcated. I have been getting her involved in extra curricula activities that are christian based from dance to biblestudy and prayer meeting. whenever she comes with something from the world I take her to the Bible and allow her to read whet the Boble has to to say and we discuss it. So far, she has shown great faith and enthusiasm for God. Her teacher even called me in to inform me of that. I thank God that she won’t be a statistic and I trust Him to take care of her. I do her devotions with her and we talk. like you said I use examples of right decisions and wrong decisions and the consequences of these respective decisions. In the end it’s a matter of obeying God and leaving the consequences to Him.

  12. God has definitely been revealing to me the need to be more consistent in setting and sticking to boundaries with my kids, recently. They are still young, but that’s when it has to begin and I’m definitely weak in this area. Your Proverbs 31 devotional and your blog have some very practical insights that God used to open my eyes this morning. Your book and CD would be very useful for me, too. Thanks being willing to be used by God!

  13. Jessica says:

    I love this! I have two daughters, one is 5 and the other 7 months and my husband and I already dread the boundary lines being fought when it comes to dating. We have already set time limits on her computer use, which is a great feature. I really appreciate the printables especially the 9 day prayers with scripture behind them. I know it’s never too early to start praying!

  14. Loralie says:

    Ms. Lynn,

    Thank you for your obedience to use your talents and wisdom to write and share with us! Your devotional was a reminder to me to “keep the faith” and “in balance” with my daughter (almost 13). We have a great relationship and she is trustworthy. I truly want to keep it growing and so need His wisdom and not just a bunch of rules. I so want to help her learn to process through decisions and yet I know sometimes situations may require a parental stand. I would thoroughly enjoy reading your insights and look forward to gleaning some application for our mother/daughter relationship. Blessings in Christ!
    Loralie

  15. I have three girls ages 12, 10, and 7. One boundary line we have in our home is modest dressing. My girls know that their bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. I have to be careful about what I wear and what I allow them to wear. It is hard in our society to shop for them. Everything is tight and very revealing, even for my 7 year old. We ladies have a responsibility to our brothers in Christ to not be a stumbling block to them. We can still dress in style without being immodest.

  16. Margaret says:

    I’m a grandma of 4, 3 boys, 1 girl. The two 16 year olds, boy & girl just spent four weeks with us and I must say I wish I had found you and your website then because while we had conversations about the importance of trusting God and leaning on Him for guidance, we struggled with the topics of how to make good choices without being “preachy”. We had great dinner conversations about many topics that we hope will stick with them. We set boundaries around chores, work behavior ( we had them volunteer at a camp and hospice thrift shop) and established consequences for not following through. I’m sure your CD would have helped guide us through the thin line of being a loving grandparent and a taskmaster. I’m also hoping it will guide their mothers to keep up the boundaries we established. I look forward to learning more from your website that I can share.

    • What an amazing grandma you are, Margaret! May the Lord allow you to see much fruit from your investment!

  17. Boundaries are easy to make, but difficult to keep. Thank you for the reminder to be consistent! We have five girls in our household, the oldest just turned 20 and the youngest just turned 7. I would love to have one of your books or CDs! Thank you for your words and for this giveaway!

  18. r walker says:

    I need to quit letting my weariness hinder my boundary setting. Thank you!

  19. Christine says:

    Lynn, i want to thank you for this message today. It was very well timed for me personally. I really appreciate the word picture you create “boundary markers”. We are raising 2 boys and the football analogy resonates completely with our whole family. It is very easy to get distracted with day to day life and allow the boundary lines around TV and other media to get blurred. I also appreciate they tools you have shared to help create our family’s personal code. Smiles and Blessings!

  20. Leslie Shelley says:

    I am a 50 year old mom of 3 children, ages 25 to 17. Being the boundary setter is exhausting, physically, mentally, and emotionally. The surprising thing to me is that I had this strange idea that my children would reach a certain age, and some switch would come on, and I would be through, I could wrap myself up in the knowledge that I was through, it was done. They knew all that I had to give. But, not so, we are all constantly changing, and growing, and the boundaries grow with us. The longer I live life, the more I am convinced that God has a great sense of humor, and universal patience. He is our boundary keeper, loving us enough to go on and on and on. I pray that I do the same, run the race of life as a wife, mom, and daughter of zion, facing each new day, embracing God’s boundaries.

  21. Sheila Holifield says:

    Thank you for the devotional at Proverbs 31 Ministries. God’s timing is PERFECT! I NEEDED this message so badly. My husband and I have been married for 4 years and we have full custody of his two children from a previous relationship (ages 10 and 8). We also have 2 children together so to say the least, our household is a busy one. Just like every other family, we constantly are refreshing boundaries in our children’s minds and in their every day actions. We understand the importance of instilling good values at a young age. However, sometimes it is downright hard, sometimes defeating. On Sunday, the older two kids just came back from spending 2 1/2 weeks with their mother. Needless to say, Monday was a tough tough day. I learned about all the things they did NOT do and I was instantly discouraged. We have had full custody of them for 3 years now and it seems like we go through these same ups and downs every other weekend. It is tough. I admire your open-ness and how you explained the thoughts that cross your mind about repeating boundaries and thinking for a second that you don’t have to because they already know. But, then the Holy Spirit nudges you and has you repeat them. I feel the same way, we have told them over and over again, they have lived it every single day, so when they spend 2 weeks with their mother why would it be different? Obviously the person who said it takes 21 days to break a habit and 21 days to create a habit was WAY wrong! In the world of a child, habits can be broken instantly! Yesterday, I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me and my thoughts in the direction of understanding what happened while they were gone. It really helped me to step outside the situation and look at it. As a child if you don’t have anyone telling you to wake up, would you wake up before noon? If you don’t have anyone telling you to brush your teeth before bed, would you? If you don’t have anyone telling you to wash your face, would you? If everyone is offering you koolaid and soda, why wouldn’t you drink those things instead of plain ole’ water? Wouldn’t you rather have candy and junk food then fruit and yogurt? REALITY CHECK! Yesterday, the Holy Spirit helped me to understand that I was probably over-reacting and today, with your devotional, you confirmed that. I can’t blame them for not doing those things while they were gone, they are children, and nobody was reminding them or nudging them in the right direction. We must not become weary in setting these boundaries and training a child up in the way he should go. There is never a wrong time to do the right thing, and these choices are the ones that measure our lives. I, like you, hope that one day my children will see the importance of this and be thankful. Lynn, thank you, you are truly a blessing in my life.

    • Thank you Sheila! Like every mom, I get really tired of “chalking in the lines”. One day, soon in the case of the two girls still at home, they will be gone. Then, the world will test their boundaries. I pray that they will chalk them in themselves and if they fail, after wiping off the “grass stains”, they will choose God’s best inside of what they perceive the best to be.

  22. Abigail Schoeff says:

    My 3 children are ages 1, 2 and 4. Right now, their boundaries are fairly simple, pray before meals and bedtime, keep hands and feet to themselves (no hitting or kicking), share toys, tv time is limited and so are the programs (only educational or Veggie Tales), bedtime is 8:30. If any of the guidelines are broken, our children are placed in timeout, (1 minute for every year). For example, last night our 2 year old shoved our 1 year old off the couch. She received a 2 minute timeout in the kitchen facing the wall. The time didn’t start until she stopped crying and yelling. When the timeout was over we asked if she knew why she was in trouble and she said yes. She was then sent to apologize to her sister and give her a hug and kiss. They played well together for the rest of the evening.

  23. Sherrie Galambos says:

    Amazing insight! Like curbs and sidewalks, boundaries are for our protection. Like the lines on the football field, boundaries are an integral part of the rules of life. In our family, “we don’t call names.” Name calling is hurtful and not love. And, we don’t prank text. We don’t have TVs in bedrooms. (Not for everyone, but just one of our boundaries.) Parents may look at phones, iTouch, computer at any time. We are accountable to each other. I don’t have passwords on my phone or computer so that I can teach the children to be open and accountable. Secrets usually result in sin. Thanks for putting your wisdom in a book that we may share and grow.

  24. My children are still young but I really feel that boundaries have to be started early on & then tweaked as needed depending on the child & the age.

    For now, we have a set bed time (which they don’t always appreciate:) but they feel better & are much happier if we stick with our routine. I plan on, Lord willing, having this be the basis for a curfew as they grow older.

    We also have boundaries as to what things are appropriate in regard to the treatment of others (especially sibling to sibling). I pray that the boundaries my husband & I set now will help the boys to see that boundaries are a good thing & can keep them from much trouble & sorrow now & as they grow older.
    One other thing is that there are certain things that are never appropriate at any stage/age of life & those things will never change because they are based upon God’s word-such as lying or hurting someone with our words and/or actions. I pray that legalistic boundaries never happen in our home & that the only boundaries set will be for the glory of God & the betterment of our children.
    ~Blessings

  25. wow, actually this blessed ME today as i have been struggling with Boundary lines GOD has given me. I was thinking this morning and i read this. Mainly with being unmarried and no kids. Sometimes God doesnt bless you the way you think He will and His boundaries are placed their for your own good. Sometimes the NO hurts but in the end its nice to Know GOd isnt up there like ‘i just dont want you to have a blessing’ i used to think He mean like oh I just dont want you to be happy, now i realize its in His love He gives me boundaries sometimes i dont get it tho and wish i knew why He keeps stuff from us.

  26. Thank you for your P31 Devotion and blog post today. They were the encouragement I needed to stick to the boundaries we have set for our children. Our children are 5 & 8 and don’t appreciate the boundaries we have placed of early bedtime and only able to watch certain channels on tv. We are beginning to work on boundaries with friends. As my oldest is beginning to meet kids from families with different moral and faith beliefs we are having to set boundaries with friendships. It is very hard for him to understand. Thank you for the encouragement to remainful faith to the boundaries we set. Praying for you and the P31 team this weekend at She Speaks.

    In His Calm,
    Mary

  27. I would love a copy of your book for my daughter. She will be leaving home for college soon. I pray that she will remember the boundaries I tried to instill in her.

  28. Your Proverbs 31 post was very timely this morning. Our oldest daughter is 9 going on 19, and her job seems to be to test where every. single. boundary lies in our family. It’s quite frankly exhausting to be her mom, but we’re pressing on towards our goal or raising godly young ladies!

  29. This blog was a good reminder to stick to my boundaries that I have created for my child. Although my child is still young, we started setting boundaries for her, like a set bedtime, tv shows/channels she could watch, etc. She has learned that living within those boundaries is easier than living outside of them. However, now that she is getting older and making new friends through school, I have to start rethinking my boundaries and setting different ones. I don’t want to restrict her from everything, I feel that she should have exposure to different ways of life. However, if I feel a situation is not in the best interest of my child being it physical, spiritual, etc., I will set the boundary on that and try to explain to her in the best of my ability why. Sometimes she doesn’t understand fully why I do this, but in the end she seems happier.
    I appreciate the encouragement and the reminders that we need to do these things for our children and to remain faithful that He will guide in the directions we need to go. I think we can all use His guidance when it comes to our children, it is a difficult world out there these days.
    Blessings
    Dawn

  30. Veronica says:

    We are in the midst of setting boundaries for our 7 yr old daughter, yet it seems to be more of the bad parent, good parent situation. I am home all day with her and therefore I am the one setting all the boundaries, dad comes home and he is tired, stressed from work and the commute, and he feels that I when continuously set boundaries or remind her of them, that we are “arguing”. So we then have the issue of parents correcting one another, instead of the child. How do you overcome this? What approach should I be taking as to not offend my husband, but to enforce the boundaries with our daughter?

    • Veronica, I can see both of your sides. He is tired from working outside all day and just wants peace. You are trying to be consistent. Maybe you could try having a discussion with your husband on a day when he hasn’t been working. Begin with your appreciation for all he does for you and your family; thankful for him. Share with him that you want to be one; on the same team in every area, including boundaries with your kids and would he be willing to talk about what that looks like. Hopefully you can then have a productive conversation. I hope it works!

      Recently my daughter told me that she knows that if one parent has said “no” to not even bother going to the other because we are on the same page. It’s not that Greg and I agree on everything, but we do believe it is important that our children see us as a united front.

  31. Jayme Baxter says:

    Thank you so much for your encouragement today. It is really hard to go against the grain with what is considered “OK” in this world. Sometimes I feel all alone when I check each song my son is downloading off iTunes. And asking him what he’s watching on TV. Some think that I am just paranoid and not letting him grow. However, I think deep down he knows that I deeply care for him, and a part of me is protecting him from the yuck in this world. He’s only 10, but his younger brothers and sisters see the boundaries being lived out and established. Not that they aren’t going to test them one day, but they see them being put in place.

    One boundary that I have put in concrete in our house is: Lying. Man! It has been so hard to teach that! But my ten year old gets it, finally! He has a friend that constantly lies to him and he sees and feels the hurt it causes. Nothing speaks louder than life lessons, and I see that the more boundaries I set, the more life circumstances he sees.

    Great encouragement today! Thank you again!

    Jayme

    • Jayme, You are so right! He does see that you care…even if he doesn’t like the way you are showing it right now. Keep it up!!

  32. As a single mom of 3 daughters, I desperately need God’s help to raise them. I don’t want them making the same mistakes I made as a teen, and want them to truly know how much God loves and cares for them I appreciate all the truth that has been spoken into my life through Proverbs 31 ministries. Blessings, Janet

  33. I have just been introduced to the Proverbs 31 devotionals. What a blessing they are! I am the mom of 3 children(ages 14, 12, and 9) and setting boundaries is such a difficult task, especially in a world that has no boundaries. Thank you for reminding me that I have to keep this truth at the forefront of our lives daily.

  34. Tracy Lynn says:

    Thank you, Lynn. Always good to be reminded we’re not alone on this mom journey, especially as a single mom. Lately, I’m going with the four on the floor rule. Now that I have a teenager and we often have mixed company, I had to make sure the kids know that in our house there is no laying down, no lounging on each other. It’s inappropriate and unnecessary. The kids seem to think this rule is old fashioned, strict, and even unnecessary but they’re following it. ;)

    • I’ve been told that a bunch of times too, Tracy! Guess we are doing our job :) Keep it up!! I can’t imagine how hard it is. The Lord is proud of you!

  35. michelle h says:

    it is exhausting to continually ‘chalk the lines’ – but your post encourages me that it’s worth it! my kids are 8, 5, and almost 3 so they aren’t at the stage of thanking me for the boundaries!

  36. Someone once told me about a researcher who watched students’ behavior on a playground when there were no fences versus fences. When there were no fences, children played toward the middle of the playground. When the fences were there, the children played all the way to the fence. I feel this is true with boundaries for our children. They are there for them to push against to learn valuable life lessons in the safety of our boundaries. Boundaries are so hard to keep because children continue to test them. However, the hope is that someday your children see that boundaries were set for their benefit. Thank you for your wonderful thoughts on boundaries. It is a good reminder that even though it is hard, it is worth it to be the parent God called us to be.

  37. My 13 year old son has the tenacity of a pitbull but the patience of Job when he wants his way. Enforcing boundaries with him is utterly exhausting, bottom line is I cannot do this on my own. I cannot do it without the strength of God. So yes, I make a decision in my heart and mind to stick to my guns and enforce the boundaries, but then I go in to my room and ask God to give me the strength to do it. With God all things are possible.

  38. Linda P. says:

    What a wonderful devotion this morning and excellent reminder that we need to keep setting those boundaries. My children are 7 & 5 and I am still in pretty good “control” now, but I know as they start meeting other kids at school and such, that they will want to start doing other things. I would love to win the book and cd – in prepping for when my daughter gets a bit older.

    Blessings to you!

    Linda

  39. Stephanie says:

    Thank you for this wonderful reminder.

    I always say that the kids may protest now but they will appreciate it when they are adults.

    Boundaries and Prayer!!!!

  40. Thanks for sharing on boundaries today. I have two daughters 17 and 21. would love to read your book. I’m still learning about boundaries. thanks

  41. I’ve never really thought about the boundaries I set for my children, as they have just come naturally I suppose. As a single mom with a 7 and 2 year old, boundaries are a must! We have a set bedtime so that they are better morning people, and my 7 year old daughter has thanked me for it many times because she knows she is more rested. I limit how much TV they watch and WHAT they watch. We only watch PG or G movies, and I feel like this keeps them from seeing a lot of the “junk” that is made now. They may bicker from time to time, but I stick to my guns because I know that I’m doing the best for my kids. I pray that when they are older, they can look back and be thankful for a mom that always looked out for them and praise the Lord for blessing us so much!

    • Angela, my kids are now 21, 17 and 15. My 21 and 17 like to joke around about how they don’t know half of the things that kids are talking about when they speak of the things they watched on tv, songs on the radio, etc. from childhood. They love to exaggerate about how strict I was, but I also often hear them say they wouldn’t have changed a thing!

  42. Love your words of encouragement. My daughter is entering high school in the fall where I know the boundaries will really be needed. My daughter is very solid in her faith, so the best way to enforce our boundaries is to remind her we are in this world and not of this world. When she steps back and looks at a choice/decision with that in mind, she understands why we have set the boundaries…even if she doesn’t like it :-)

  43. I was so encouraged today to read my email from prov 31 min that I continued in further to the web site to search out more advice, encouragement, support, tips on parenting. We are blessed with four kidos and had them in a span of four years. The oldest is 7 and youngest 3. Three boys one girl. Nuff said! They are a whirl wind of activity and hourly I pray for perserverence and courage and direction. Most of the time I feel as though I’m talking to my self when reminding them of their boundaries, but was encouraged to hear your curfew story, As a reminder they are listening and do so desperately need me to guide and love them through Gods grace. Thank you Lynn! Blessing on you.

    • Alisha, I once read that as parents we are putting stuff in the “trunk” of our kid’s lives. Advice, wisdom, boundaries. There will be times when they struggle, disrespect and ignore the truth that we are pouring in. We need to be faithful to do our part of raising godly and wise children and trust the rest of it to Jesus!

  44. I am excited to ready your book with my daughter. We live in a community that is over the top with materialism, wealth, and self-centered and entitled attitudes. We are moving to another state this month and I am praying for a fresh start for my daughter and me. Though I know that every place has its challenges, I pray that our new church and school community, along with this study and prayer, will give her a foundation of encouragement, fulfillment and love in Jesus, not things and activities. Thank you for sharing this visual with us.

    • Jesus, thank you that you go before Jean and her family as they move. I ask that you will set in place good friends who love you in both church and school. Thank you for giving Jean a heart for the best for her girl. Empower her to stand up for and beside her girl in the years to come! Amen

  45. As a former high school teacher and librarian, a parent of three, and now a grandmother of 6, your message rings so true. As adults we may tire of repeating the same cautions and boundaries, but each day brings a need for them. I loved the football analogy.

    Our oldest granddaughter is almost 11 and your book would be a welcome read for her grandmothers who love her deeply and for her parents who will face challenges ahead.

    • Sue, “His Revolutionary Love” would be a great book for your granddaughter, giving her a great foundation for the teens years around the corner!

  46. Staci Dunn Silva says:

    Hi Lynn – My name is Staci and I have two children – a boy, Caue and a girl, Hannah. I really enjoyed your post today about boundaries. Actually, I get your Wednesday wisdom tips and was reading the one you sent yesterday. I even shared it with my husband today during lunch because it really impacted me. It made me remember about when my son was four years old. We would go to the grocery store and he would go straight to the section that has toys. We would let him choose one to walk around the store with but told him that we couldn’t take it with us and that it had to stay in the store when we leave. The first few times that we got to the check out he would freak right out and have a melt down screaming and crying all the way out to the car, but we wouldn’t give in and buy it for him. Now we have no problem at all. He goes into the store, chooses a toy to walk around with, and when we get to the checkout he leaves it there with no problems at all. Same thing with making his bed. He used to put up a fuss in the beginning, but now I tell him it’s time to make his bed and he does it without any fuss. The secret lies in sticking to it and not letting in. It can be soooo tough sometimes, but it’s well worth it. But it’s just as you said in your post ‘it is easier to set rules before the fact than it is after.’ Thanks again Lynn. Be encouraged that your writing is an encouragement and super helpful for moms. Blessings.

    • Staci, I have had a harder time with some boundaries than others. You are so right. If we can just stick to them and not give up, our kids will get it! Now…if I can just stick to keeping their rooms picked up :)

  47. Lynn,
    I was interested in the topic today thinking it would be about godly boundaries for me, as a mom, wife, and Christian. My kids are 7 & 9, and they are totally different in the way the react to the rules we have set before them. However, I have continued to be stern with them on certain words they can’t say, things they can’t watch or wear (who would have ever thought?!?!), and things they will do, say, and wear! I am already struggling with my 7 year old son with all these things for the same reasons you mentioned “everyone else is doing it” or “nobody else has to do this”- I gently remind them of the key verses in the bible that led me to this decision. I am seeing a little bit of fruit already- they know why they have rules, instead of just “because mama & daddy said so.” I am very interested in your book & other works- I’m glad to find your website- I need all the godly advice I can get!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Tabitha! Setting boundaries has to start early, doesn’t it? Every Wednesday I write a “Wednesday Wisdom Tip” that I would love to send to you! Just click on the envelop above to start receiving those!

  48. I really appreciate the parents who still believe in setting boundaries for their children. A lot of my friends think that I am too hard on my 16 year old son and 10 year old daughter. I have always set boundaries for my children based on safety, age, circumstance, etc. However, over the past 4 years, my relationship with Christ has become THE most important relationship I have. Now, I set boundaries based on what God says is right and wrong. My son will be a senior in high school this year, and I admit, that scares me a little bit. He will soon be graduating and on his own. I just pray that he continues to let God be his guide. My daughter is already saying things like, “I really like that outfit, but I know you wouldn’t let me wear it.” She’s got that right!!! No matter what my friends and family think, I will continue to use God’s Word as a way to set my children’s boundaries. I will not conform to what the world thinks is right for my children. Bless you for encouraging us to be involved, loving, and boundary fortified.

    • Treva,

      I, too, have a senior this year as well as a son away at college. It is scary. There are many choices they will have the opportunity to make and they will at times make the wrong ones; they are human. Just as God has been faithful to draw us to Himself, we have to trust Him that He will be faithful to draw our kids too!

  49. Having to “rechalk the lines” isn’t just with kids. It’s with anyone in your life esp if you have people who are boundary busters “steamrollers”. Also situations and circumstances change which has boundary lines moving like football “down lines”. My 19 yr old son just moved out of my home but lives in town with a friend of ours. It’s hard to know where the boundary is esp since my son doesn’t make his boundaries clear until you cross one and our friend is a “buster” with control issues. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    • Amy, boundaries can come from many sources, but I believe the primary ones are from God’s word. Displaying the fruits of the Spirit towards each other, showing self-control and not giving in to every screaming desire of our flesh. They also come from what we need to be healthy. I am definitely still learning what boundaries with adult children look like. One thing I do know, ones like respect need to be mutual.

  50. Angel P says:

    I believe in boundaries and have set them since birth. Yes I know that sounds crazy, but when Caleb cried, I made sure is was ok and if so , he could cry a few mins before I would return. I didn’t drop everything at his every whimper. When he started crawling boundaries were set again for safety. Now as he is four, he pushes those boundaries harder than ever and is very strong willed. I find it hard at items to stick with it, but on the days I manage to hold on things go much better. One or two hard days are far better than the struggle of inconsistency with him.

  51. Lynn my son is 17 and the big problem this summer has been learning when it is ok to talk on the phone or text. Our rule is when you are in someone’s home visiting it is. Of ok to text your other friends also we set in place a 10 pm shut off the phone. We feel that at 10 it is time for him to wind down and prepare for the much need rest which teenagers need.

  52. I have learned through experience to “not become weary in doing good.” I am emotionally drained after this week, but feel restored. I have six children. (Their ages are 30, 26, 23, 20, 18, and 16.) My three oldest sons had boundaries that were consistently enforced. Approximately 12 years ago after a daughter, another son, and another daughter were born and because of unexpected circumstances, I became weary. Occasionally my older sons would ask about the boundaries and consequences, but this week my third son could no longer hold in his thoughts and feelings. He spoke to his sisters and me. It was very difficult to hear, but every word was true. I had seen the changes slowly occurring, but ignored them. I have cried many tears this week over this sin in my life as I prayed for the Lord’s forgiveness and strength. I know that I cannot change the past, but I can move forward with the Lord’s strength. My family and I will not be changed over night, but we have a fresh starting point. Please pray for me that I am able to forgive myself. I pray that the Lord will heal my family and that he will change my mistakes into good. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

    • Melita, thank you for sharing your precious heart friend! Jesus, thank you so much for Melita’s son and his boldness. As she has asked, we pray and know that you have forgiven Melita, now may she forgive herself Jesus. Make them whole. You have said that your mercies are new every morning. So be it! Amen

      • Dear Lynn,

        Thank you so much for responding to me! Knowing that you read the message from my broken heart was an encouragement that I needed. I have already run into the will of my oldest daughter, which made me see how much more difficult this time around will be. Thank you for praying. Oh, that I had not become weary!!!

  53. Thank you for this timely post. As a mother of 5 (ages 17- 1), we are constantly looking and evaluating the boundaries we set. I have found that staying humble before my children and admitting (and asking for forgiveness in most cases) where we have ‘messed’ up has strengthen our family relationships.

  54. Diane Bare says:

    I am a SAHM of 4 girls ages 10 and below. The 10 yo is my step daughter. Our biggest boundaries are the way they treat each other. Things are different at our home then they are at my step daughters moms home, and that it a big challenge as well!

  55. Hi Lynn. I have just read your blog for the first time today and I really needed it right now. My family and I are really going through a rough time right now. My husband and I have 2 children together (and an angel baby) and both of us have 2 children from previous marriages, so total we have 6 children ages 9,8,7,6,3 and 4 months. I am a stay at home mom and have been home this summer with 5 of our children and man has it been tough. I want to raise our children up in a Godly home but I struggle with this deeply. With our children having completely different rules and boundaries at their other parents house it is extremely hard to keep boundaries at our home when our children are with us for a limited amount of time. I try leading by example but I allow the ways of the world and my sin to overtake me when I’m feeling overwhelmed. My husband isn’t really supportive when I come up with different ideas for punishment but we have to make changes, our home seems like total chaos at times. Our children are still young enough that we can start making positive changes before its too late but I really don’t know where to start or how to correct the damage that has already been done. I try having a bible study with my children when they are here and teaching them about the word of God but I don’t think I’m doing enough or have enough boundaries set. I would love to have a copy of your book so that I may learn how to better set and keep good boundaries in our home. I pray that we can become better parents and role models for all of our children. Thank you for your encouraging words. Blessings to you!

    • Shauna, I so love your vulnerability! I cannot imagine how tired you are – you have so much responsibility!

      How about taking just once step?
      Maybe choose to pray together at night before you go to bed. Just one step…
      Choose to read a short devotional together on Tuesday and Thursdays before bed. Just one step…
      Maybe put one boundary in place – say you monitor what they watch on tv. Just one step…
      Don’t try to change your whole home. Just find one thing, that you and your husband can agree on and do that one thing well. One thing, done consistently, can communicate unity to your family and bring encouragement that you are making progress!

      Jesus, thank you for Shauna. Thank you for her heart for you and her heart to raise godly and wise children. Speak to her one thing. Just one area where she can take a step, with her kids, closer to you. May she not see every area, but just one, that she can honor you in. Empower her Jesus! Amen

      • Oh Lynn thank you so very, very much! Thank you for your prayer! I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes. I feel so very overwhelmed and like such a failure as a mother at times. Thank you again and I’m going to begin one step at a time!

  56. Mary Lou says:

    Thank you for today’s devotion. My husband and I have 2 daughters–15 (almost 16) and 11. They are the joy of our lives, but sometimes I find it hard to keep chalking in those boundary lines. Sometimes it’s easier to give in or ignore the behavior or decide to discuss the situation tomorrow. Thank you for reminding me that I have to be diligent and intentional in reminding them of (and enforcing!) the boundaries.

    • It is SO hard not to grow tired of it, Mary Lou! I have more times than I can count and wish I had not. Lord…give me strength to be diligent and be the mom you want me to be!

  57. I don’t have a daughter but I think the same principle applies to raising boys. We don’t have cable by choice, in my house, he is not exposed to “inappropriate” TV shows and movies. When we listen to the radio, it’s on the christian station. I’ve even removed his access to YouTube on his iTouch because there are just too many crazy people posting sick things on there (just try searching Teletubbies and you’ll see what I mean).

  58. I am still waiting for my kids to come back…………and to say thank you. I KNOW one day IT WILL HAPPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And in the meantime……….He is watching over them and I trust Him !

  59. Maureen says:

    It is so easy to push it just slightly a little at a time. We all need boundaries to keep balance. Thanks!

  60. Vicki Herrera says:

    My daughters are 14 & 12, they are beautiful, smart and know Jesus!! My husband & I have set boundaries with them since they were very little, but always set them in ways that they understood and had a voice to express how they felt about each boundary. As they are finding more peer pressure in middle school to be like everyone else, we continue to share stories with them and talk to them about situations they are seeing in school. Our boundaries have included dating, TV shows, music, etc. Your book has been on my heart to get as a tool to stay close to my daughters and for them to stay close to the Heart of Jesus!! Thank you for ALL your wisdom and encouragement!!

  61. Hi Lynn, thank you for your words, your commitment, your devotion to working with young girls. I have a step-daughter who literally fights every boundary I have placed before her for the past 5 years. We have 3 others behind her and I am about at the end of my rope. My fun, loving, growing in Christ home has turned into a house of horrors! If feel that I am in a no win situtaion, if I compromise she sees it as it is “ok” to do or not do something, if I stand my ground she is just a nasty, mouthy 16 year old. Would covet many prayers!
    Blessings,
    kareng

    • Karen, I’m so sorry! This age is so very very hard. One book that is really helpful with some practical “how-to’s” is “How to Have a New Teen By Friday”. It won’t fix everything, but some days you just need a little encouragement on how to handle that day!

      Lord, please give Karen an extra dose of patience and wisdom straight from the Holy Spirit. Give her discernment to see the “why’s” behind the behavior. May she love with your supernatural love that is literally above what she is humanly capable of. You are all we have, Jesus! We’re desperate for your help!! Amen

  62. What a wonderful reminder about God’s boundaries as well keeping healthy boundaries for our children. You are very wise and I look forward to learning more from you now that I have found your blog through the Proverbs 31 devotionals I receive.

    • Thanks for your sweet words, Karen! My prayer is that as mothers, with God’s word, we are becoming wise together!

  63. Jessica Engel says:

    I think I am much better with boundaries with my youngest child than I was with the first (I have 3 kids). I have learned that they actually appreciate when you enforce boundaries and even though they may not like it, they do realize (eventually) that the boundaries are out of love and for their protection.

  64. Adrienne says:

    My son is 24. There were times that we were inconsistent with some boundaries and he did cross them. When that happened, we reviewed the boundaries, discussed where we and he had fallen short, and let the natural consequences occur. He seems to learn the most now when he has those natural consequences. We are not there to see whether or not he is crossing boundaries that are now between him and the Lord, but we pray for God to fill in the gaps where we fell short so that he understands that boundaries continue to be for his best.

  65. So thankful for your post today. This has been one tough summer! I am so weary from the constant battles with my 16 year old daughter, that today I just felt like “throwing in the towel.” However, after reading your devotion on Proverbs 31 and your blog posts, (which are always so great!), I am encouraged to keep hanging in there and rechalking those lines! :) It matters. Thank you so much! Would love to have your book to read with my two pre-teen girls!

  66. I believe still that kids do not need to have cell phones. There are ways to reach us if there is a problem usually another adult will have a phone. I Also don’t think it is safe for children to have facebook accounts and other social media too many dangerous things out there for them to get into. I know my children do not agree but I stand my ground on these

  67. I have a 14 year old and would definatly like some more advise on this age because I know she thinks I am wrong about a lot of stuff.

  68. Lucretia says:

    I think the most important boundary I’m teaching my children is respect… Respecting their parents. By respecting us, they are learning the benefits of obeying the rules we ar setting for them. I would love help and guidance through a copy of your cd. Thanks!

  69. Kourtney says:

    Our biggest issue at this time is screens. The boundries we are working on include not only the amount of time using screens, but content. I hear a lot of ‘ but everyone one else… ‘ Thank you for they opportunity to win your work.

  70. My daughter in her early 20′s knows that while she lives at home “to be in by midnight” is one of our boundaries. This is to protect her reputation; so that she is not driving home late at night when there are fewer people out, when some people have idle time & are looking for some action – it could even be one other person in one other car who could torment; or when she could feel isolated if she had trouble with the car. Late evening is also the time when people should be home, cleaning their teeth etc, to end the day, making sure they have time to read their Bible or get ready for the morning. Just as she should not let others keep her from finishing the day appropriately, so she should not want to hinder others from finishing their day’s tasks.

    It’s not a boundary, but my 5 children learnt growing up what our family motto was: See rain, get washing!
    Keep up your good work. Liz

  71. Jamie W says:

    So good to know there is a place with some Christian guidance for moms of young girls (like 1… can never start too young!) Thanks for this!

  72. Anne Griffith says:

    Hi Lynn,

    With two teenagers and a nine year old we have had to set some boundaries on our TIME and schedule! One big boundary we have set is that we do not participate in competitive athletics on Sundays. It’s not always easy during some seasons but we have made it through! It’s so important to set aside of day of rest and our culture is making doing that harder and harder!

  73. Heather says:

    Our children are in the pushing boundaries phase. It is a constant struggle to stand firm.

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