“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1 NKJV
According to John Townsend author of “Beyond Boundaries: Learning to Trust Again in Relationships,” there are two types of trust. There is functional trust that is an alignment between saying and doing. There is no discrepancy between words and actions. That is an essential type of trust. There is also relational trust. Relational trust is an indicator of how safe it is to trust another person with your vulnerabilities and feelings. Trust damage is very serious. That is why God has instructed us to guard our hearts. We are to value and take good care of our hearts.
There are also two types of boundaries, defining boundaries and relational boundaries. Our defining boundaries are forever and unchangeable. They are like our skin. They are a reflection of who we are. Our protective boundaries are more flexible. They can change if the other person responds to the boundaries we set in a healthy way. They are like the clothes we wear over our skin.*
So how do we know when we can adjust our boundaries and trust another? Whether you are entering a new relationship or revisiting a relationship, ask yourself these three questions:
- Are YOU ready to trust again?
- Has the other person demonstrated a desire to respect your boundaries?
- Are you ready to begin the process of taking small risks, in a healthy way, with this person?
Father, help me remember who You made me to be by meditating on Your Word and embodying Your character. Let me not be swayed by others opinions or feelings when I firmly know where I belong. Keep the lines of demarcation between myself and others clear so that I stand firm and confident.
For more information on managing boundaries, I highly recommend reading John Townsend’s book “Beyond Boundaries: Learning to Trust Again in Relationships.”
*Adapted from “Beyond Boundaries: Learning to Trust Again in Relationships” by John Townsend