Do Children Want Healthy Boundaries? (Y1.T1.D23)
Updated: Mar 18
Pexels, "Yan Krukov"
When my oldest daughter was five, we lived in a lower-middle-class neighborhood. I was the kind of mom who corrected every child I saw disrespecting other people's rights or property. If a young person broke the rules of our house, she had to go home for the day.
Yes, I was that mom. I couldn’t help it. I didn’t see how ignoring issues ever made them better. Taking on that role, I worried my daughter would be shunned for having a grouch for a mom. I imagined my house being egged all because I held all the kids—regardless of their age—to a certain standard.
To my surprise, our house became the most popular place to play. I was so shocked, I called my mother and told her, “I don’t get it.”
She reminded me, “Those children want boundaries. They might not like them, but they want them. The kids in your neighborhood know they will be treated fairly in your yard. They feel safe. No one will get away with hurting or disrespecting them. It’s worth the price of not being allowed to hurt or disrespect another.”
Children aren’t alone in their desire for healthy boundaries. Adults seek the comfort of knowing others will treat them fairly just as much as children.
Perhaps this is a tiny glimpse into why God sets boundaries with us, his children. Jesus baptized men into repentance to provide access to a caring Father. And if you think my house was a fun place to hang out. Jesus promised to "prepare a place for you" (John 14:3) where we can dwell safely forever.
Have you accepted God's invitation to the Father’s house?
If not, no worries, you can pray the prayer of salvation in our meditation moment today. And after that, find a group of Christians who offer safe boundaries to fellowship with.
Choose the Father's House
23a Jesus himself, when he began to teach, was about thirty years old. (Luke 3:23a)
22 After these things, Jesus came with his disciples into the land of Judea. He stayed there with them and baptized. (John 3:22)
1 Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself didn’t baptize, but his disciples). (John 4:1–2)
23 John also was baptizing in Enon near Salim, because there was much water there. They came, and were baptized; 24 for John was not yet thrown into prison. 25 Therefore a dispute arose on the part of John’s disciples with some Jews about purification. 26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified, behold, he baptizes, and everyone is coming to him.”
27 John answered, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven. 28 You yourselves testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before him.’ 29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. This, my joy, therefore is made full. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease. 31 He who comes from above is above all. He who is from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 What he has seen and heard, of that he testifies; and no one receives his witness. 33 He who has received his witness has set his seal to this, that God is true. 34 For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for God gives the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand. 36 One who believes in the Son has eternal life, but one who disobeys the Son won’t see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” (John 3:23–36)
19 but Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evil things which Herod had done, (Luke 3:19)
20 added this also to them all, that he shut up John in prison. (Luke 3:20)
21 “‘If a man takes his brother’s wife, it is an impurity. He has uncovered his brother’s nakedness. They shall be childless. (Leviticus 20:21)
5 When he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. (Matthew 14:5)
14b preaching the Good News of God’s Kingdom, (Mark 1:14b)
13 Leaving Nazareth, he came and lived in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying, (Matthew 4:13–14)
1a But there shall be no more gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time, he brought into contempt (Isaiah 9:1a)
17 From that time, Jesus began to preach, and to say, “Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)
15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and God’s Kingdom is at hand! Repent, and believe in the Good News.” (Mark 1:15)
I want to live within the boundaries of Your law, but I can’t do it without Your help. I am no better than anyone else; I have sinned and fallen short of Your glory (Romans 3:23). Forgive me. I believe what I’m reading in the Bible is true. I believe You came to this world to save me from my sins. I believe in my heart that by confessing with my mouth that You are Lord, Jesus, I am saved (Romans 10:9). Thank You.
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