I live in Florida, so every summer we hear tragic stories of toddlers falling into backyard pools and drowning. We have a pool, and we have a 3-year-old grandson who spends a lot of time at our house. We also have a pool fence. Or at least we did until we paved our pool deck and couldn’t bear drilling holes in the beautiful bricks.
But our kids are all grown and when our grandson is here, our attention is focused on him. He knows the rules about not being out on the pool deck alone, and he’s learning how to swim. We’re keeping him safe by setting limits.
That pool fence became a good metaphor for us as we talked to our kids about the guidelines that God gives us in life. Where they might see a bunch of rules, we see pool fences. They’re meant to keep you safe, to help you thrive, to give you a chance to live.
In this month’s Redbud Post, our writers tackle the topic of the Beauty of Limits. That might seem like a contradiction in terms: beauty and limits. But as you will read in the following articles, limits are part of creation that God called “good.”
In his classic book Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life, Dr. Henry Cloud writes, “Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership. Knowing what I am to own and take responsibility for gives me freedom.”
Pool fences, highway guardrails, white space on your calendar, the phone number of a friend. All these things are meant to be used for your protection, whether that’s calling someone when you need help or saying no to a commitment when you’re feeling overtaxed. Pay attention to your limits and let God give you new life.
We’d love to hear your thoughts, so leave your comments for each writer.
And may God bless you as you consider your next step in setting limits.
Editor in Chief