I read Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No-To Take Control of Your Life after seeing that a friend was reading it, and because it seemed interesting.  I struggle with being a people pleaser, and although I’m getting better at saying no (with much help and coaching from my husband) I thought maybe the book could be helpful.

I did find a lot of interesting information in the book, some of which was in categories that surprised me.  There was good analysis of the ways people say yes to be compliant when inwardly they are saying no or being half-hearted because it’s not something they really want or are called to do, and I found that instructive.  However, where I really took a lot of notes were the sections on boundaries and children and setting boundaries on yourself.

I hadn’t ever considered the boundary setting aspect of parenting in these terms.  The book points out that parents have a responsibility to help their children develop godly boundaries: such as understanding that actions have consequences, how to let your yes be yes and your no be no, being obedient rather than compliant, and having a healthy understanding of what love is (and isn’t).  I was challenged to think through the ways I respond to the kids in terms of obedience, and the words I use when I talk to them about things.  Although the section was somewhat lacking in specifics, that is probably because there are so many different specific situations that it would have been impossible to address them in one volume.

I also found the section on personal boundaries instructive.  As someone who usually attempts to solve problems by “powering through” or looking for a manual, the application of boundary setting and accepting support gave me a lot to think about.

The book also covers other issues where people might have trouble setting boundaries, which could be helpful depending on your background and situation, as well as a general framework for how to set clear and biblical boundaries (versus, for example, just building walls).

Boundaries is a helpful book, and the sort of volume that I think probably has something for everyone, no matter what your temperament, background, or level of current struggles.


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3 thoughts on “Boundaries

  1. I have just read this twice in the last 6 weeks!!! I read it about 12 years ago but this time I felt as if I was reading it through new eyes and so much more of it made sense to me. I found it extremely helpful in explaining the results of how I was brought up and why I act the way I do and what I can do to change it. And I finally bought my own copy because I have been recommending it to people for years!

  2. No way…I just finished this book last night. (I know we sometimes read the same books, but that is odd since I don’t think we’ve had any mutual recommendations for it. :))

    I found the book helpful, particularly coming from a background that was at times spiritually manipulative and considered boundaries to be selfish. Like you, I also profited from the portion of the book that discussed helping children establish healthy boundaries and boundary-setting patterns. I’ve read some similar ideas (regarding children) in a few other books lately, but none that so clearly linked these childhood developmental patterns to the importance of teaching and allowing boundary setting.

    There were parts of the book I think I’d rate quite low, and other parts quite high; overall, I found the book helpful and instructive, as well.

  3. I think this is something that I need to read. It does sound like it will appeal to many groups. I could use some more tips on gaining control of our crazy life. Thanks for sharing.

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