Something I have had to learn as an adult is boundaries. What are boundaries and why do we need them? Boundaries are limits we establish for ourselves for protection. Kind of like armor or a invisible line we are unwilling to cross. Even Jesus had boundaries.
Boundaries can take different forms. We can have physical boundaries but we can also have emotional boundaries. Part of having boundaries means saying no to someone that’s trying to cross or invade your boundary. I have struggled with knowing where to set my boundaries. For setting a boundary to far means you are unable to connect with others but setting it to close means people can abuse you.
I personally have built up different boundaries with different people. For I have different boundary I use for close friends vs relatives vs acquaintances vs strangers.
Some people struggle with building up what I would call comfort zones. So what is the difference between a boundary and a comfort zone? Well if a boundary is armor that you can take anywhere, a comfort zone is a fortress you are unwilling to leave. Comfort zones are invisible areas you feel like you can control and you are unwilling to give the control to God. We do not like to go out of our comfort zones because this would mean experiencing the unknown. God often calls us to walk out of our comfort zones but we should always bring our boundaries along with us.
It takes time, prayer and self reflection to become aware of our boundaries or lack there of and our comfort zones. Counseling can also be helpful for people that struggle with these issues. But the first step is to take time to think about these things. For without appropriate boundaries you cannot have healthy relationships with people and without leaving your comfort zone we often can not walk in relationship with God.