Knowing your boundaries!

At the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve lived a life that is abundant and sufficient.

They were the King and Queen of the forest. The most powerful being that lived during their time.  God gave them the choice to pick and eat whatever they want except from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16). This is but the only restriction they have.  One condition that when they dishonor God’s instruction it corresponds an immediate punishment which is death(spiritual).

An early notice was given to protect and guide Adam and Eve but still they failed . The same thing goes when parents brought up their children. Certain limitations exist in order to discipline and protect them (including us). Certain rules are enforced for them to know behavioral boundaries  to build and correct them.

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Dr. Bruce L. Emmert,Church of the Servant,Overland Park, Kansas:

(Ultimately, when we establish firm boundaries with our kids and pour into them love and grace, we are helping them to develop character.

Dr. Henry Cloud and John Townsend :

teach that, “as a rule, children don’t know what they are doing. They have little idea how to handle life so that it works right. That’s why God gave them parents — to love them, give them structure and guide them into maturity.

DISCIPLINE according to Marilyn E. Gootman, Ed.D, is  setting limits and correcting misbehavior. Discipline also is encouraging children, guiding them, helping them feel good about themselves, and teaching them how to think for themselves.

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A common story about the firefly (Ang Gamu-gamo) exhibits a wonderful illustration of stubbornness. Refer to–> Background.It has the same situation where  parental advice has been disregarded and resulted to death (death of the firefly/spiritual death of Adam and Eve).We can see that setting boundaries originated at the beginning of time, where Adam and Eve was created out from dust.

Just like putting up a fence on a land property. We see the importance of having clear boundaries. It sets a mark where you define and identify your ownership. Without the fence, it would create a confusion and conflict over the neighboring lands as to its legal owner.

So does setting boundaries in a relationship, whether friendship or in an exclusive relationship, personal boundaries or restrictions is important. Every intimate relationship needs space and personal boundaries: mental and emotional. As psychologists says, healthy relationships and sound living depends on maintaining smart personal boundaries. Without it(an early defining of your boundaries) dilemma would arise.

I remember when I was still in college, I had a friend who is used to touch anybody. It is not a physical touch that you thought of(sexual thing) but simply hand gestures like rubbing his hands on my head, hugging and whatever you may call ” loving endearment”  to his close friends.This touching was confirmed to be his personal love language where he is freely expressing it without restrictions. I’m not against him or into something but I saw this personal experience as a good way to see the role of defining your limits/boundaries. I for one is not used to this kind of language and I’ve struggled over it.  You cannot just simply put your chin on my head and held me tight close .  For me, this lesser forms of physical intimacy would mean very special. Somehow my personal space was trespassed.If we look at his side, nothing is offensive. It’s just an ordinary way of dealing women. He may not mean or would like to imply something into his innocent “touchy” actions but I was already struggling and confused with his actions. Another  thing is, he would often use words such as “Mahal” (Love) to call one’s attention. With all of these things, I get to  smile and tease a friend and say, If he calls his close female friends like that and treats them just the same, How then should he treat his girlfriend? Will he call his girlfriend as his “pinakamamahal” or most loved?

I think boys shouldn’t only set limits on their actions and behaviors towards someone, it goes the same way with all of us. It’s okay to be sweet, touchy and a such but you need to define  your limits.

Freedom in action is coupled with the responsibility of considering and respecting the boundaries of others. Don’t cross on the red line until you are allowed to do so!

For the mean time, respect others and you’ll be begetting the same respect. I just realized that you don’t just simply define and set your boundaries. Just like posting a signage: Private Property No Trespassing!, we also need to say it (make it known). We need to communicate it to others so that they will know where not to cross the line or when they have already reached it.

I think that’s the area where I neglected and failed to do why our friendship went on the rocks. It was already too late to confront him. Too late to talk about things that he already misunderstood and misinterpreted my actions. Why I acted differently and tries to avoid him. Communicating what you like and you don’t like would be easier and much be convenient for one another. So remember : Set, Define and Communicate and Respect!

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Background:

The anecdote of Jose Rizal’s (Philippine’s National Hero)  story entitled “Gamu-Gamo” (Firefly)  is like a gospel in the New Testament.The story of Gamu-gamo is about an  unruly children, children who doesn’t know how to listen to the advice of their parents or children who disobeyed their parent’s instruction .

The mother firefly told her child,”do not come to fire the lamp because when you come you near it you will be burned!” but the child firefly did not listen,but rather chose to  fly around fire lamp and died .

The story of Gamu-GAMO shows about  people being stubborn towards God despite him giving  the commands like do not kill, do not not steal, thou shalt not commit adultery, do not worship idols which is among the ten commandments fall into two commands in the New Testament. It’s about  a picture of those people who has been saved by following God’s commandment  lest they die in hell in arrival of the appointed day of judgment,and people  who disobeyed God and who does evil against the law of God will be burnt in the fire of hell. The fire in the lamp is a symbol of hell and the child firefly symbolizes God’s children who are stubborn and who continues to do evil.

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