One of the topics I discuss most with people who are experiencing relationship turmoil is boundaries.
“Boundaries” are a hot topic nowadays, and the word is thrown around quite a bit.
Yet, boundaries can feel confusing as a Christian who is called to love everyone, even our enemies.
As I’ve researched and looked in the Word about what it means to set firm boundaries with people, even those who have hurt us, a few scriptures keep popping up.
People often quote 1 Corinthians 13:5 which says, “Love keeps no record of wrong.”
I cringe at this, even though I know it’s God’s Holy word. I know that God really doesn’t keep record of our sin... and what a beautiful and incredible gift that is.
Yet, I know this verse is used against people.
It’s used against people who have been hurt. It can be used in the form of manipulation to get someone to take down their boundaries.
If you look at other translations and languages, you find that this verse means something like, “love does not seek vengeance”.
What it doesn’t mean is: “love is forgetting what people did to you and letting them come back in as close as they’d like and pretending it never happened.”
When someone hurts us, we are not called to seek revenge. We are called to hand it over to God who will take care of it.
Easier said than done, I know.
But being we are image bearers and dearly loved by God, do you really believe He would tell you to keep putting yourself in the same destructive situation over and over?
I do think He would tell you not to harbor resentment or seek revenge. For your sake, because bitterness is one of the heaviest weights we can carry.
But boundaries, the invisible barrier we set between us and another saying “this is where I become uncomfortable, and if you can’t respect that I will need to create more space from you”, are essential.
Love keeps no record of wrong, but love is not void of boundaries, either.
Love keeps no record of wrong, but love also doesn’t enable manipulation.
Love keeps no record of wrong, but love is also kind and patient. It doesn’t dishonor others and it’s not self-seeking.
Love is many things, including sacrificial and selfless.
Boundaries are hard to set, but people who set the boundaries they need are actually better able to love others because they don’t feel so used, resentful or burnt out.
Leave the vengeance to God. He is the judge. But protect your heart, too.
Pray for those who hurt you.
Seek help if you feel it’s too much.
Look to Jesus at how He lived and take note.
Set boundaries where they are needed.
And respect other people’s boundaries, too.
I’m so thankful for a God who doesn’t keep record of our own sin. A God who doesn’t seek revenge on His children.
And a God who loves us enough to help us create the boundaries we need to live the most healthy and abundant life we can.
~Kelli Bachara, The Unraveling Blog