If you have ever found yourself saying “Yes” when you wanted to say “no… If you have ever felt frustrated when someone didn’t do what you wanted…If you have ever felt like you were undervalued or “overworked and underpaid”…If you have ever felt dissatisfied with the direction your life has taken, this book has the potential to change your life.
In my ever-so-humble opinion, I think everyone who ever plans to have a relationship of any kind with another human being should read Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend first. If you’ve jumped the gun and actually met a human before you read this book, then you should go ahead and read the book anyway. You won’t regret it.
For years, I have been gravely concerned about something I’ve been seeing in ministry, counseling and in my own life. We don’t seem to live very balanced in our relationships. Sadly, a lot of that imbalance is exacerbated by what we preach in our pulpits. How can we expect people to have balanced relationships when we teach an imbalanced message?
I believe that the Bible is True. If you give, it will be given back to you, pressed down, shaken together and running over — just like the Bible says. But what about the woman who can’t buy a house or pay her bills because she gives to every person who asks her?
I believe we should walk in love when someone wrongs us, but what about the woman who has to work 2 jobs because her husband won’t provide for his family? Or the husband who works 2 jobs trying to pay off his wife’s spending habit? Obviously, we shouldn’t yield to frustration and anger, but does that mean we quietly keep taking it, year after year?
What about the wife who has been taught that if she will only praise her husband enough, he will eventually rise to the level of her praise. Year after year, she covers for him and praises him. But instead of rising to be the man she praises him to be, he remains immature and irresponsible while he enjoys lapping up the spoils she gathers for him. Why isn’t her method working?
What about the employee who is approaching burnout trying to please an overly demanding boss? Or the wife who burns the wick at both ends trying to work her job, do all the housework, and take care of the kids while her husband watches the football game? Is that really God’s idea of walking in love and forgiveness? Is that what God means when He tells us to turn the other cheek?
What about the person who quietly takes the put-downs and derogatory jokes day after day, year after year in the name of forgiveness? Does God really want him to live like that?
The Bible instructs wives to submit to their own husbands, but does that really mean allowing an abusive spouse to have free reign? Or what about the person whose spouse keeps having affairs or viewing pornography? Does forgiveness mean a husband or wife has to live with an unfaithful spouse? In the name of godliness, do they really have to subject themselves to those behaviors?
What about the parent who keeps trying to make her adult child’s decisions for him? Does the adult child have to please the parent in the name of honoring his father and mother? What about the family whose 3 year old runs the show? Or the 16 year old who is out of control?
How do you lovingly deal with the friend who is always in crisis? Or the brother who constantly needs someone to bail him out of his jams? Or the Mother-in Law who drops by every time you are about to have a family night or date night?
What if you are overwhelmed and overcommitted? Won’t you be letting everyone down if you back off from some of those committees, volunteer work and honey-do jobs?
So many times, I’ve watched people in all these situations and more. I’ve watched them desperately try to do the right thing, but end up spinning in circles. I’ve watched them live in bondage to these situations while believing the the Truth of the Word will set them free. And it WILL, if we understand the real problem in all these situations and what to do about it.
I wanted real, solid answers for these precious people. I wanted something I could put in their hands that would bring balance to the message of love, forgiveness and submission and authority. I want freedom and joy for them. Boundaries identifies the real issues and gives practical, Biblical insight on how to deal with them. It offers truth that will set you free.
There really is a Biblical road to peace, freedom and balance in all these situations. It will take a great deal of courage, but if you are willing to look deeply and honestly at your situation and yourself, you can build a better reality.
To some degree or another, I believe nearly every Christian needs to read this book. Even if you are positive you don’t need it, you are bound to meet someone who does and you will know how to help them. If you are married or plan to be, you need it. If you have a job or plan to have one, you need it. If you have in-laws or overly-involved parents, if you’ve ever suffered any kind of abuse, if you have or plan to have children, you need this book. I would like to go back and assign this book to at least 85% of the people I have counseled over the last 20 years (and I’d like to assign it to a lot of people who haven’t got desperate enough to come for counseling — why wait?) If you would like to see even the smallest improvement in any relationship you have, I highly, highly recommend you read Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend.
(**Special note to those of you who attend our church. We are working on making this book available in our Church Bookstore. I don’t have the pricing yet, but I will be announcing the book as soon as it becomes available in our bookstore. If you can’t wait or don’t attend our church, it is available through Amazon. Just click the link in this post.)
Have a great day (as you rush out to buy the book, which by the way, has been out since 1992 and why-oh-why-didn’t-I-read-this-book-20-years-ago!?!),