Developing Healthy Boundaries in Marriage
Boundaries play a vital role in our lives. When clearly defined, they help protect us from overextending ourselves and protect the health of our marriage.
Many frustrating seasons in life often trace back to some boundary struggles. Boundary issues in your relationship can look like overworking, too much time on phones, too much emphasis on the children and not enough on the marriage, poor decisions where clearly defined boundaries are lacking, and more.
Boundaries Matter, and Here’s Why
Real quick, let’s consider this verse. “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” Proverbs 25:28. This verse and many others in Proverbs like it are all about boundaries, limits, and edges that define the difference between wisdom and folly.
Castle walls and gates were critical for survival and growth in antiquity. Without walls, the city and her people were vulnerable to attack. A city “left without walls” is destined for ruin.
Healthy Boundaries in Marriage are Important
Healthy boundaries in marriage are important because marriage without boundaries is destined for ruin. Boundaries are important for two reasons.
- They keep the bad things out.
- They keep the good things in.
The day you said “I do,” you drew a boundary around the two of you. The covenant you made in your vows became a wall that was meant to protect and flourish you. For example, some things you agreed to keep exclusive in the marriage (sex), and some exclusively outside of your marriage (divorce).
Create Boundaries that Protect Your Marriage
You can create practical boundaries to protect the marriage that keep you both on the same side of the lines drawn—The time boundary, the reconciliation boundary, and the transparency boundary. Let’s start with the time boundary.
The Time Boundary
The time boundary is making space for quality time and connection, which are two of the top issues couples face today. Spending time together is so important to the health of a relationship. With all the responsibilities of life, it’s one thing that’s often limited. Draw boundaries that block out wasteful or frivolous uses of time. One way to start is by turning off devices, date night, and carving out time alone.
The Reconciliation Boundary
Conflicts will happen in your relationship, which means you’ll need to reconcile. Create reconciliation boundaries you both can agree. These limits may include agreeing not to bad-talk eachother to friends, family, or co-workers.
Remember, counsel and advice are constructive, but venting is potentially destructive. Work together to resolve the conflict in a Biblical way that works within the boundaries you’ve set. Reconciliation is talking, repenting, forgiving, making-up, and moving on.
The Transparency Boundary
Set transparency boundaries in your marriage. That means, not keeping secrets. If you have a secret other than a surprise gift, something is wrong.
Lack of transparency opens the door for wrong behavior and hiding things from your spouse. Transparency in marriage helps to keep integrity intact. If you’re struggling with boundaries, have an open conversation and let your spouse in the issues.
Every relationship needs healthy boundaries to function properly and grow effectively. They allow us to engage in relationships from a place of strength. If you or your spouse is frustrated or confused about the boundaries in your relationship, seek help.
Do you have more questions about the role boundaries play in your marriage? We are here to help. Eagle Family Ministries is passionate about equipping couples to develop the marriage they crave through fun marriage retreats, conferences, relationship coaching, and premarital counseling. Call today! 479.464.4442