Part 1: Boundaries

A wise woman knows that beauty accumulates through loving and sharing in trusting relationships.  A wise woman adds to her beauty by giving many gifts to others.  Her giving is wise.  It is thoughtful.  It is blessing.  She knows that her gifts are not up for auction or for grabbing from all sides.  Her garden offers fruit and friendship with a sensible, compassionate heart.

This type of wisdom in giving was not gained without many casualties – – primarily through many deaths of herself.  If you ask her, she will tell you that her past is splattered with falls down stairs, wipe outs and thoughts of insane asylums.  She learned disappointment as she tumbled down stairs that she thought would lead to faithful fellowship.  As she lay flat faced on the hard floor, she learned that unbalanced relationships can wipe you out.  She genuinely thought she was going nuts when her gifts were received with scorn and rejection.

She has learned that not all giving makes you beautiful.  The truth is that you cannot be a wise giver if you haven’t had a few slaps in the face.  If fact, you are not a wise giver in your relationships unless you have had your world turned upside down.  Upside down is a hard series of lessons to learn.  But, a woman like you takes her life lessons in seriousness and in stride.

Upside down means that you cannot be grateful, accommodating, agreeable, encouraging and hospitable without also setting in place wise boundaries around your garden.  If you have a well-kept, sturdy fence in your yard, you see the value of your labor.  You know what it takes to develop roots that take hold far below the soil.  You know that your garden’s rest under the stars prepares it for the rising sun at dawn.  You know that, if not for food and water, the blazing sun would harm your garden’s fruit and flowers.  You know that, without careful planning for the seasons, your garden may not produce fruit at the right time.  You know the value on your labor.

A wise woman knows when to open the gate of her garden’s fence.  She is thoughtful and mindful of the needs around her.  She is thoughtful and mindful of the hearts set before her.  She sees her brothers and sisters coming from a mile away.  And, she knows well her collection of treasures from the fruits of her garden.  She picks just the right fruit to give at just the right time.  This is true giving.  This is beautiful.

Gotta Love Those Pesky Boundaries…

By JMathis

It is the initial, small decisions that lead to eventual, large moral blunders,” says AbbyA.

Yeah, how about that rather minor decision to not get involved with the opposite sex, in the first place?

Honestly, sometimes I feel as if the world would be better off without the complicated morass of feelings and emotions between men and women.

Men enjoy the presence of other men. Women enjoy the presence of other women.

So, why do we screw it all up? Didn’t we all have a better understanding of the world in first grade when boys were just gross and girls all had cooties?

Ahhh, it must be that whole sex thing.

I think When Harry Met Sally captured it best:

Harry: You realize of course that we could never be friends.

Sally: Why not?

Harry: What I’m saying is — and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form — is that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.

Sally: That’s not true. I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved.

Harry: No you don’t.

Sally: Yes I do.

Harry: No you don’t.

Sally: Yes I do.

Harry: You only think you do.

Sally: You say I’m having sex with these men without my knowledge?

Harry: No, what I’m saying is they all want to have sex with you.

Sally: They do not.

Harry: Do too.

Sally: They do not.

Harry: Do too.

Sally: How do you know?

Harry: Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.

Sally: So you’re saying that a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive?

Harry: No, you pretty much want to nail ’em too.

Sally: What if they don’t want to have sex with you?

Harry: Doesn’t matter because the sex thing is already out there so the friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story.

Sally: Well, I guess we’re not going to be friends then.

Harry: Guess not.

Sally: That’s too bad. You were the only person that I knew in New York.

Speaking from personal experience, I think there’s a lot of truth in this famous scene.

In college, I had a ton of close guy friends in my circle—kind of like a flirty set of brothers who always had my back 24 hours a day. Unfortunately, these friendships just could not hold when each of us eventually broke away from our core group of friends to start dating someone from outside of this circle.

The girls outside of the circle were always jealous of the girls inside of the circle—that somehow we knew their boyfriends better than they ever would.

The girls on the inside of the circle felt perpetually threatened by the newness, freshness and hotness of the girls outside of the circle.

The boys on the inside of the circle felt less manly than boys chosen from outside of the circle, and the boys outside of the circle were always worried about getting sloppy seconds from the boys inside of the circle.

Then to top it all off and make matters worse, once new people from the outside were introduced into our circle, the boys and the girls on the inside suddenly started seeing each other in a different light–no longer as friends–and then started swapping partners and exes as quickly as they did on Beverly Hills 90210.

It was an incestuous train wreck of high drama that eventually collapsed like a deck of cards.

To this day, there is “weirdness” in all of my old friendships because sex, feelings and emotions got in the way of what initially started off as pure and innocent friendships.

This weirdness exists even today—a whole lifetime after my college years—because there was no respect of boundaries at that time. Flirty “brothers” became flirty lovers who turned into fighting exes who started dating your flirty “sisters”, leaving you with an underwear drawer full of ex-boyfriends and ex-best friends.

It is the initial, small decisions that lead to eventual, large moral blunders,” says AbbyA.

Perhaps the best initial, small decision you can ever make is to respect boundaries.

1) Getting too emotionally involved with a work colleague: messing with boundaries.

2) Engaging in Facebook chats with someone you had a crush on in high school: messing with boundaries.

3) Sending a suggestive TwitPic of yourself to someone who is not your spouse: messing with boundaries (ahem…and this includes sending a pic to someone who you are in a serious relationship with, but not married to…you never know when that one’s going to bite you in the…)

4) Falling in love with someone who is not a Christian: messing with boundaries.

Sticking to your God-given boundaries helps you to avoid large, moral blunders.

Respect those boundaries. They’re there for a reason.