My Thoughts | Setting Boundaries

2:57 PM

Hey y'all! I'm excited to be writing another My Thoughts post. Today, it's about setting boundaries for your life. The first time I really thought about boundaries and limits is when I heard Ravi Zacharias speak about Daniel in Babylon. Daniel and his friends set strict boundaries and did not permit themselves to eat the Babylonian food (among many other examples). This not only made them physically stronger but protected their spiritual lives as well. But often we might think that boundaries are "outdated" or maybe even useless. So, I thought I would dig a little deeper and find out the true value of boundaries. 

So really, what are boundaries? Based on the Webster dictionary, a boundary is "a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line". In our Christian lives, we are called to set these limits for ourselves in order to protect our minds. Proverbs 4:23 says: Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Guard your heart...We've all heard it said that once innocence is lost it can never be regained- and that is so true. Once an image flashes before your eyes, or you hear a word or use your body in an immoral way, that innocence- that purity, is lost forever. Forgiveness may be given, but the action can not always be fully erased. This is why we must never look in the first place. We must never be curious. 

Boundaries don't mean cruelty and they don't mean being held in chains unable to do anything. God doesn't want us to live lives of imprisonment, but He wants us to be righteous. He wants us to be pure and clean before Him. Philippians 4:8 says, "Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is  excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things." God tells us plain and clear what we should allow in our lives! True, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy...these are the things we need to surround ourselves with. Titus 2:11-13 also tells us: For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ...

Let me share a few boundaries that I have set in my life...

1. Clothing- Obviously modesty is something I strive for in my life. Though I have regretfully crossed these boundaries at some point or another, I do have standards that I follow. This is definitely an area in my life that you, lovely friends, see a lot of. 

2. Music- Music influences us so much. So much. Not only the lyrics of the songs we listen to, but even the beat has a huge impact in our behavior. I try to limit myself to only Christian music (I will explain a bit more later...) and movie soundtracks (like Lord of the Rings soundtrack, Narnia, Pride and Prejudice....these are great while I do school). I know that "Christian music" is really watered down now. People say that heavy metal rock or rap that happens to mention "God" or "Jesus" can be considered "Christian music". Well, I beg to differ. When I say "Christian" I mean Chris Tomlin, Kari Jobe, Meredith Andrews, Hillsong, Michael W. Smith type of music. I love listening to this worship music all day and I try to stay away from popular trending artists. 

3. Movies- Movies are a harder one. For me, I often struggle with the question, "How far is too far?" If a movie has a great message and moral but happens to use some strong language at times, is it okay to watch? How much violence should I tolerate? Well, though I am still thinking upon these questions, I know one thing for sure. There are just some lines I won't cross, regardless the "rating" "reviews" or "message of the story". Sensual material is not tolerated in my rules. Also, I try to stay away from cussing and cursing. I mean, why should I watch or listen that kind of junk? And there is also a point in the area of violence that is just too far. I actually remember walking out of a movie theater once because the violence was getting too intense. I think movies can be a great way to relax and entertain yourself, but filter what you allow in your heart. 

These are just few examples, but there is so much more! I really encourage you to talk to your parents or someone you trust and discuss boundaries. And of course, prayer is the most important. Ask God to give you the wisdom and discernment you need to make the right choices every day in every aspect. :)

This is it, y'all! I want to know, what boundaries have you set for yourself? Any questions?

PS- I have a new Tumblr blog! Garland of Hope is a place where I occasionally share encouraging quotes, reminders, verses, pictures, outfits....If you have a Tumblr account, you can follow me! :D

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  1. Great post Ashley! Very thought-provoking. :)

  2. Very inspirational! You are a very thoughtful young lady. I love reading your blog!

  3. I would defiantly be interested in hearing why you only listen to Christian music. Personally, I listen to secular music- but I don't fill my head with trash.

    Very interesting post :)

    1. Hello Wild Horse! Thank you for your comment...I appreciate it!
      For me, personally, secular music tends to influence me in the wrong way. I feel like instead of drawing myself closer to God through praise and worship music, I actually feel like it takes me away from Him. This doesn't go for everyone though. Secular music might influence you in a different way. That's why I believe God gives us all wisdom to individually set our boundaries- not all are shared. :)

    2. Wonderful post, Ashley! I have experienced setting and re-setting boundaries for myself many times. Movies and TV shows have probably been my biggest blunder over the years, but I believe God can help us put boundaries where they need to be.

    3. Television can be hard, I know....Thanks, Kathryn! Always a joy to receive your comments. (:

    4. You know, I think I would like to add one more thing. There is definitely music out there that is not "worship-praise-Christian" music but is still great! I like to call that "inspirational". When I sing, this is often the music I perform (and/or write). Cayla and I, our newest album, would probably fall under this category. It's inspirational and encouraging but no necessarily praise Christian! :) I guess I just really try to stay away from trending, celebrity artists. God bless!

  4. I enjoyed reading your this inspiring post. You are an incredible clever girl - too proud of you! Loads of hugs, Liuba x

  5. Some great thoughts here. I love that you are listening to the call of God and obeying! I always have to remember though that God calls to each person's heart differently. For example, my older brother watches things that I don't watch. I listen to music that he doesn't listen to. He and I are two different people, with completely different struggles and stumbling blocks. I just have to read the Word of God, and listen to the voice of the Spirit in my life-not judging others for my own boundaries!

  6. What great thoughts! Thank you so much for sharing.

    It's important to realize that setting boundaries isn't about chaining ourselves down but rather exercising the freedom from sin that Jesus Christ gives us.

    God bless!!

  7. Modesty is something that is easy for me, but when it comes to books and movies, the boundaries are sometimes unclear.

    xoxo Morning


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