Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


There's a Christian book series called "Boundries" that is rather popular. There are some really good points in the book, but I take issue with it because I have seen Christians justify unChristianlike behaivior using that book. I don't have a problem with healthy boundries. I think I have healthy boundries myself. The problem is that people can push loved ones away and lose the heart of a servent in an effort to put up "boundries". Jesus taught serventhood. That is the basis for Christianity. Boundries in that twisted sense of the word is not really a Christian value, but rather an American one. Because really it's about independence, which is a western value.

I propose that instead of pushing people away to create a boundry, you should instead teach them how to recipricate. It's an art that is being lost and I think should be reintroduced to American's. Perhaps I'll write my own book.

I learned a lot about relationships from my mother in law. She has spent her life sacrificing for her children. After raising six of them herself she has spent much time lovingly raising her 10 grandkids. She lives with some of her kids which means there is no "escape" no "break" from the little ones. But unlike most Americans who are annoyed with children, she never sees them as a burden. When she cooks a meal she calls the kids who don't live with her to come eat. Does she cook for us because she wants something in return? Other than our company, no. She cooks for us because she loves us. How is this an example of reciprication? Well, her adult children would do anything for her. And as she ages they will naturally take on more and more responsibilities. When she is elderly they (we) would never think about putting her in a nursing home. She has always been here for us, we will always be here for her.

That is how I envision family reciprication should be like. Friendship reciprication is the same idea on a smaller level. Good friends talk. They take turns sharing stories and listening. They take turns helping out when times are rough, comforting as the other mourns, rejoicing with each other's joys. It seems so simple, but it seems to me that it's a dying art.

Life is meant to share.



  • At 9:01 AM, Blogger beth said…

    I think boundaries are good for limitations of unhealthy things in a person's life, but agree with you, boundaries that justify pushing friends and family away should be carefully considered and can be counter-productive.

    Some people already have healthy lives and are not lacking limits in their lives - these people should not read this book. It should come with a WARNING: If you have appropriate boundaries in your life already, this book will most likely only make you fanatical about boundaries. In addition, possible overuse of "boundaries" can cause isolation, anger and resentment to build up, in extreme cases excessive boundaries can be more harmful than a lack of boundaries in some lives.


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