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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