DAY 13: I Do Boundaries

DAY 13: I Do Boundaries

Proverbs 25:28 says, Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control. Each of us have been given boundaries. A boundary is like a property line or a city wall. These walls have been designed to keep in what is supposed to stay inside and keep out what is supposed to stay outside. I like to call it our personal yard. The term “yard” is a borrowed term but I think it perfectly depicts what we’re talking about today.

The first part of your yard that you are responsible for is your FEELINGS. Your feelings are yours and you have the right to feel whatever you want to feel. But you have to understand that those feelings are yours and are entirely chosen by you. Our feelings are like a dashboard. They allow us to understand what is going on inside our soul. They tell us if something needs attention. If we have a feeling that rises up that surprises us, it’s a good indicator that there’s something that needs our attention and we must look into it. If we do not allow ourselves to feel specific things, we are not respecting ourselves. It is not respectful to not allow a feeling. But once we have that feeling, we get to choose how we interpret it. Are we going to stay angry? Are we going to feel disrespected? Are we going to choose to feel hurt or choose empathy? There are a plethora of feelings that come to us everyday but we have the power to choose whatever feelings we want to stay.

The second area in our yard God holds us responsible for is the area of our ATTITUDES. Your attitude is in your yard; it’s yours and you own it. Attitudes come from various places but primarily they come from our values and our belief systems. Whatever we believe and value eventually seeps into our attitudes and our feelings. This is why it is important that we don’t just try to change our attitudes but we reevaluate our belief systems and our values because they will eventually change our attitudes.

The third and final area God holds us responsible for is our CHOICES. Whatever we choose to do and the actions we take are fully ours. Once we are adults, whatever we choose to do is our responsibility. We need to take 100% responsibility for our choices and the choices we need to make in order to change and grow. We cannot blame our actions on anyone else other than ourselves. God holds us responsible for each choice we make. God chooses the consequences of our actions but ultimately our actions are in our yard. No longer can we look at the person next to us and blame them for the decisions we’ve made. Our spouse is not responsible. Our parents are not responsible. We are! Your choices, whether you believe it or not, are in your yard and God holds you responsible for them now.

With that said, we have a lot to do. If you manage your boundaries well, you will have very little time for anything else. It will take almost 100% of your attention to focus on your feelings, attitudes, and choices and manage them well. This is a good thing! God would not ask you to do something you cannot do well. God’s Spirit will help us manage our yards in such a way that we can maintain peace, joy, and freedom the whole time. This will require a tremendous amount of self-control and discipline on our part.

Maintaining healthy boundaries will require us to stay fully awake in our daily lives, recognizing feelings that want to take root and poison our hearts. It will require an ability to reevaluate our attitudes, going deep into our values and belief systems to root out an unbelieving or critical spirit. It will also require us to operate as spiritual adults and understand that all of our choices, whether past, present or future, are ours. We get to own them and we will reap their fruit as well.

Bible says in Joshua 24:15, “Choose this day whom you will serve.” I believe it is that simple. Are we committed to managing our choices, feelings, and attitudes in such a way that pleases God and demonstrates a manageable, peaceful, and love-filled life? If you want to be more like God, then have more boundaries.

[1] Joshua 24:15


  1. Michelle Lavigne 4 years ago

    Thank you for this study! It has blessed me and given me so much more to talk with His Holy Spirit about and yield to Him.

  2. Diana 4 years ago

    Proverbs 25:28 says, “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.”
    Being rebellious, angry, hateful, etc is only hurting you more than the other person. If only we could see something’s happen to protect us and to make us stronger & wiser not turn us into one who is like a city with no walls… I love this beautiful Havilah. Thank you.

  3. Jenna 4 years ago

    So good! Right with what Gid is walking me through in a bit entitled Changes That Heal. Obviously they’re the boundary guys 🙂 Clearly taught be The boundary Maker 🙂
    Anyhow I journaled a lot of this to go through and allow God to teach me where I need to steward my boundaries better.
    Quick question – I am having a hard time discerning how we are responsible for our children’s
    while I am confident I have to have some responsibility in them it seems counterproductive to not make them reps I or I’m them…
    Help me see your perspective in it.
    Look forward to each day as I drink my first sip of Java and take seat for my devotional time… I’ll be sad to see it end in a week.
    Be blessed to be a blessing

    • Jenna 4 years ago

      * seems counterproductive to not make them responsible for them (feelings, attitudes, choices ) themselves.

    • Amelia Gaillard 4 years ago

      I am the only person I have control over & our children are the same. While they are small we, of course, have control of the externals in their lives (& are very responsible to make those Godly) but we never have the capability to control ANYthing internal in another person..even our children. The younger we can teach them that they are powerful people in charge of their feelings, attitudes, & choices the better & easier it becomes for them to feel responsible & in control of their lives. Stress comes when I feel another person is controlling me. Kids feel the same way. Listening to their complaints, fears, anxieties etc is very important. Listening validates their experience, however it is then our responsibility to offer them choices & their responsibility to choose & thereby choose the repercussion of their own choice. “I understand that you are angry right now and that is why you…. (did, said, whatever) However, hitting your sister when you get angry with her is not OK, physical violence is never the right choice.” “So here are your choices now. You can apologize to her and play again or you can not apologize and stay alone in your room. Your choice.” Is that the kind of thing you were asking about Jenna? Raising children is the hardest job in the world. In the end they will choose their own life. The earlier they are responsible for these areas of their lives however, the more successful they will be in every area of life. The boundaries of personal responsibility are some of the most important things children can be taught by their parents. What you model they will absorb as well. Blessings on you as a Mom & blessings on Havilah & others who offer such beautiful assistance.

    • Lisa J Wood 4 years ago

      Jenna, as a mom of 3, I believe it’s my responsibility as their mother to “guide” them. They all have different personalities which causes them to react differently to different situations. But I have found that it’s my responsibility to help “shape” their attitudes and help “align” them with Christ’s word. We live in a very liberal area where parents let their kids learn through their own efforts. While I think it’s important for kids to have consequences for their actions, we don’t let our kids do what they want to…and let them learn on their own. When they become adults, then they are fully responsible for their actions, conduct and feelings. Till then, it’s our job to help them understand and become more mature in handling these three areas. Does that make sense? 🙂

  4. Julia 4 years ago

    This is so rich and good. I want more. I needed this word today in my life. Thank you.

  5. Amelia Gaillard 4 years ago

    “it is important that we don’t just try to change our attitudes but we reevaluate our belief systems and our values because they will eventually change our attitudes.” What great instructions. Getting to the root of things.

    • Kim 4 years ago

      This totally struck me too!

  6. Lisa J Wood 4 years ago

    Yes, we as parents need to teach healthy boundaries to our kids. My aunt, who’s now in heaven, was once in a drug rehab facility. When I talked with her, she shared how she loved it. She actually kept extending her stay. When I asked what she loved about it, she said she had “structure”. She had to get up at a certain time, accomplish her tasks, participate, share and go to bed at a certain time. It gave her boundaries. That conversation hit me, as a mom, that our kids need to be taught structure and boundaries to live a healthy, productive life. And for me to teach them how to do that…I need to live it myself. They learn from our actions, not our words. Love this truth! Thank you. 🙂

  7. Julie 4 years ago

    Thank you so much for this word. Can’t help but look at our beliefs and ask the question why do I feel the way I do, what is that attitude. Some great chewing. Blessings to you.

  8. Emily 4 years ago

    My daughter needed this. I found it very helpful. Thank you

  9. nadya kotik 4 years ago

    just to be clear if our kids are under 18 we choose their attitudes and choices but not feelings . right?

  10. Angela 4 years ago

    Havilah, thank you so much for this study. Yesterday was absolutely horrible. I had a rotten attitude /responded badly to my feelings. After doing this study this morning I had to really check myself. My day was so much better. I had to go back and review tonight. Thanks for your lessons clearly God inspired !

  11. Shelley 4 years ago

    Enjoying the study so much! I hope you do more video teachings and post!

  12. Josh 4 years ago

    Another great post, Havilah! Going through your “I Do Hard Things” bible study makes it impossible to not start the new year feeling empowered. Thank you the time, energy, and effort you’ve pout into making a top-notch study!

  13. Nola 4 years ago

    Really good.

  14. Jenna 4 years ago

    Thanks everyone. I feel pretty aware on doing this with my kids (18, 15, 13, 11) havilah I know you’re busy just curious your thoughts on this! Thanks so much!

  15. Adriana 4 years ago

    Thank you for posting this!:)

  16. Adriana 4 years ago

    I have been going through a tough time with the only ones I thought would understand. Recently, (if I am tracking accurately) Jesus You told me to keep focusing-on You. But I missunderstood You; I’ve been trying to figure out what to stay focused on. But You didn’t want me to stay. You wanted me to start focusing on the real Person that matters. It’s You who matter more than this. Than this life. You once told a man You healed to go back to his people and tell everyone of what You had done for him. Father I need to do that, and You said to take up my corss and follow daily, but I need Your help, to follow. Going to BSSD seems like a breeze now. But this seems harder than that. Coming back home was going to be a fun time, now that I decided to follow You. and i thought I became a disciple and learned to follow You. But You said if anyone wants to be Your disciple we must take up our crosses and follow You. How do I follow You? I changed so much and so exponentially grown up. Now I need to put all that in pracitce. Following You doesn’t stop when when the train stops. I don’t get to stop cause i decide to forget about You, I am on the train to meet You, and this world is not my stop, I don’t get to just get off the train. I get to stay through the whole ride on this train to Jesus. forgive me if I had it screwd up in my brian before. Maybe my heart needed to come into allignment with Your truth. So I come. I yield, change me from the inside out! Cause I don’t like this face I have to live with for everysingle day of my life. I want You to have to change my face. Give me Your eyes, cause mines are going bad anyway. Change me from the inside out. O and forgive me. Please come on in and transform this little cottage into a Palace You can live in. I agree with You on whatever You want and need to do today toget that done. Plan, come again another day or just stay. but I can’t have You go away anymore. I don’t want You to go. Come and live within me. I am done living by myself. I ask You, please stay. With all my honesty and sencerity, and i am so sad I asked You to go away. I didn’t want anybody else in. But You were not anybody. You were different and You are still different than everybody. I just didn’t choose to see this that day when my sister hurt me, and I couldn’t take the pain away.But I forgive her now. I forgive her for accusing me and getting offended at when I couldn’t take anymore of the hurt, guilt and pain she was constantly implying I was worthy of. She didn’t see clearly and she still doesn’t. But I forgive her for still not seeing. And I speak and release life over me and over her. I repent for partnering with the spirit of accusations, anger, and pain, and I ask You Father to forgive me. I ask You to remove it from me, and show me what it is You want to give me in place of that. I receive boldness, courage, and peace. and I declare I am favored and accepted and that You are my hiding place God. I love You and I thank You for healing me of this hurt today and for showing it to me in the first place so I could deal with it. Amen. There is and never will be anybody else in my life who will replace God the Lord Jesus Christ, savior of my soul. It is You and only You who can make my spirit whole. Focusing -You said it because You are crazy about me. I can focus. I was not focusing well. I was losing focus. Now I focus on You Jesus when I feel like holding on to my past doesn’t make sense anynmore. God is doing a new thing. I’m ready for the move of God. I am coming with You. Where You go I go, What You say I say God, just lead me, please! Teach me and increase my capacity to focus. Help me prepare myself for Your plans. They are higher and much much wiser than mine. I am focused I am clear when You’re here with me! It’s not so much that God doesn’t believe I could focus or that He believes I would lose focus, that He spoke a word to me and said to maintain my focus, though I know it’s not possible to lose your focus. It is only possible to deviate to another focus. God means stay the course even if it gets challenging. Challenges are ok. Getting distracted is not ok. To move up higher, I need to focus. I need to know my focus, plan on getting there, keep moving towards it, and live and breath it every single second. When God is calling us higher, we maintain a steady focus, we don’t work up more focus, but a more deeply rooted conviction that our focus is the one and only option. A renewed resolution for purpose to focus is vital every day. The challenges are more in number, and so are the distractions in the way, but it would take more focus to try giving attention to unneccessary challenges and distractions. Lastly, we don’t lose focus, but keep our focus. He gives me His focus. He counts me worthy of what He gives me. To think I might not be worthy of such affection from Him is out of the question. Who am I to dissagree with God when He already said I am worthy of Him? I just need to get on board! I’m on Daddy, I’m on! Let’s go Daddy, let’s go! I’m proud of You Dad:) I’m proud of You. You’re an amazing Dad, and I am proud with You. Enjoy Heaven today Daddy. Your little girls calls You amazing. We choose feel You, know You, seek You, find You, respect You, call You our own and live to sing with joy through everything we do as unto You, because You are a good Dad. Let your kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven. We choose to walk in the power and love of the annointing of the Holy Spirit in us. You come upon us when we need You and we relax when You are with us, because we remember You fight for us. You are our arsenal, Abba. So I declare Psalm 91:16 and this is the promise I choose to go into battle with today, knowing all the other promisses that precede it, back it up so strongly. God, I ask You to use the weapon of peace, and love, joy and kindness and the Sword of the Spirit- Your Word, fit on me the Shoes of the preparation of the gospel of Peace, place the Helmet of Salvation on my head, wrap and secure around my waist the Belt of Truth, and clothe me with the Breastplate of Righteousness. I want to ride forth in victory on behalf of Truth and Righteousness. Fasten upon my hand the Shield of Faith with which I will be able to extinguish all the fiery darts from the enemy. And I will watch You fight for me. And having done all I Stand. In Psalms You said to call upon You in the day of trouble, and You will deliver me and glorify me- Psalm 91: 15 and I shall also glorify You. So Abba, help:). And at the end help me stand. You say to me: “It’s the end, I want you to stand. Stand, be-for(e) Me. Because I love you, you’re dear to Me and I love you. So I say, Ok. I will stand because You love me and healed me, You raised me up, and You love me still because I’m with You. Psalm 91: 14 “As the deer longs for the water so my soul longs after You, O God. You alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship You! You alone are my Strength, my Shield. To You alone may my spirit yield, You alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship You.” Because You are awake, in me again.

  17. Hollie Garcia 4 years ago

    Wow, I really like this! Gosh, I had a revelation about a time in life when I had given my power away. It was during a time when I was making poor, selfish choices. I had a dream at that time that my keys were stolen. I now see more clearly what was going on, that dream had somewhat troubled me. Thank you!