Last week in the first of this two-part series, I started the conversation about how, with a little intentionality, you can keep your spouse and children from being sacrificed on the altar of ministry.
We talked about setting boundaries and what it would look like to draw a boundary line around your home life in order to protect and nurture what’s inside.
Today we’ll look at marking those boundary lines with intentionality.
To get started, what are the pressure points that you are constantly running into with your spouse and children? Those are generally good indicators of where you need to lay down some boundary lines. Think about something that frustrates you and your family, then back off of that frustration and ask yourself what kind of boundary could eliminate it. For example, if your spouse is frustrated that you always have your phone in your hand — texting, emailing, talking or whatever you are doing — when your attention should be on the family, create a boundary to alleviate that frustration. Here are some possible guidelines that could do the trick:
- Decide to put your phone away between the time you get home for dinner and when the kids go to bed.
- Set a “no cell phones at the dinner table” rule for you, your spouse and your kids.This boundary alone can go a long way toward connecting you with your family on a daily basis.
- Set a “phone off” time every night and stick to it. Once your phone is off, put it out of sight until the next morning.
Think through the boundaries you already have in place and consider the ones you may need to set up. Do you allow television during dinner? Do you commit to taking a certain amount of family vacation time annually?
Have you put a boundary around your Sabbath to keep it holy? Do you and your spouse plan time to get away alone?
Where would boundaries help you solve a problem or eliminate a recurring frustration? Take this principle and apply it to whatever needs correcting or protecting in your life. Wherever your boundary lines need to be, mark them out thoughtfully — and then honor them once they’re in place.
Your partner in ministry,
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