For the last three weeks we’ve been talking about boundaries at our church.
Yesterday we talked about some of the laws of boundaries, one of which was “The Law of Exposure.”
The Law of Exposure states that if there were no others there would be no need for boundaries. But because there are others there is a need for clear and distinct boundaries.
In other words, you need to be clear about what you are for and against; what you will embrace and what you will walk away from; what you will fight for and what you will ignore.
Henry Cloud and John Townsend, in their wonderful book Boundaries, write:
“The law of exposure says that your boundaries need to be made visible to others and communicated to them in relationship. We have many boundary problems because of relational fears. We are beset by fears of guilt, not being liked, loss of love, loss of connection, loss of approval, receiving anger, being known, and so on. […] Because of these fears, we try to have secret boundaries. We withdraw passively and quietly, instead of communicating an honest no to someone we love. We secretly resent instead of telling someone we are angry about how they have hurt us. Often, we will privately endure the pain of someone’s irresponsibility instead of telling them how their behavior affects us and other loved ones, information that could be helpful to their soul.”
and then they say this…
“Relationships suffer because of unexpressed boundaries.”
Did you catch that?! It is likely that many of your relational problems are occuring because you are not being honest about you!
The Bible has something to say about “secret boundaries” and how they impact our relationships with others AND how they can generate something pretty negative… anger! Check this out:
24 You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness — righteous, holy, and true. 25 So put away all falsehood and “tell your neighbor the truth” 1 because we belong to each other. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you.” 1 Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil. (Ephesians 4:24-27 NIV)
Yesterday as I was teaching this at church I said:
“I’d bet a dollar that some of you in this room are angry with someone… and it’s your fault… because you have not told them the truth! You are suffering emotionally, spiritually, mentally because you have not been clear with your boundaries… you are being reactive rather than proactive and the result is you are angry. This can be resolved! It’s called the law of exposure… define and clearly communicate your boundaries!”
Cloud and Townsend say “This is the path to real love: communicate your boundaries openly” [and I add] then people will know you for who you really are… and love you for who you really are.
I believe it was Kurt Cobain that said, “I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I’m not.” The truth of this statement rings loud. Stop having people love a fake you! Be honest about you… what you are against… what you are for. Clarify and go public with your boundaries… and watch what happens both inside and outside of you!