We’ve been talking a lot about friendships in ministry and the unique challenges we face to find quality, trustworthy women to walk with. When I’m looking for friendship, I want someone who can be myself with. I want to go out for coffee, maybe go thrift shopping with, text funny memes with, and just share life with. I don’t want to hold back when I have a joke to share or tears to let go of. My hope is that I can find someone that I don’t have to have boundaries with. But I’ve learned that most times, boundaries are for my good.
It is helpful for us to recognize that boundaries are part of any relationship we have. When we think about having close friends, most of us want someone that we can let the walls down with and be real. Having the freedom to laugh uncontrollably, cry without embarrassment, or vent without being judged are top on our lists.
“I don’t want any boundaries, I just want to be me.” Can I get an “AMEN!”?
But we all know that life in ministry requires boundaries and they can make it hard to connect with others. How do we juggle these boundaries while not letting them cut us off from close friendships?
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” All of our ministry flows from the heart and by guarding it, we can stay strong and healthy in ministry.
Remembering that boundaries are a part of every healthy relationship, not just because we are in ministry, will help us to see them positively. Boundaries are for my good and for your good too.
- On the bottom part of a post it note, write out one boundary you feel ministry puts on your friendships i.e. “I can’t say everything I’m feeling.” Draw a line above it. Take 5 minutes to pray about this boundary you feel hinders deep friendships and ask God to show you how He might use that boundary for your good i.e. How could sharing everything with someone possibly cause harm? Now write, “God might have this boundary in place because…”. Post this note in your car this week. Every time you see it thank Him for knowing our hearts would need protecting.
- Take some time this week to read Proverbs 4:23-27.
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