Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life

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Overview

Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries impact all areas of our lives:. Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances. Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions. Emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the ...
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Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life

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Overview

Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries impact all areas of our lives:. Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances. Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions. Emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others. Spiritual boundaries help us to distinguish God's will from our own and give us renewed awe for our Creator. Often, Christians focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limits and limitations. When confronted with their lack of boundaries, they ask: Can I set limits and still be a loving person? What are legitimate boundaries? What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries? How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy or money? Aren't boundaries selfish? Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries?
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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
'This book is going to provide a doorway of understanding and freedom for those of us who have allowed ourselves to be buried in the inability to say no. Thank you once again, Henry and John, for helping us toward freedom.' -- Rich Buhler, , Author

'Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend have great insights and practical wisdom into the God-given gift of boundaries. As they discuss how to take responsibility for and ownership of our lives, they give hope that we cannot just survive -- but thrive!' -- Josh McDowell, , Author

'Boundaries define everything from football fields to nation-states, yet our culture has pretended it could violate boundaries in human relationships without serious consequences. Cloud and Townsend examine the damage caused by this flawed view and point the way back.' -- Cal Thomas, , Author

'In this insightful and extremely helpful book, you will learn about a simple concept that can change your life: healthy boundaries. It's the ability to mark off your life in such a way that you multiply your love for others and minimize the problems you face. And it's waiting for you when you open this book I highly recommend.' -- John Trent, PhD, , President

'I've heard a myriad of sermons on Christian servanthood that never discussed the value of saying 'NO!' in order to confront in love or to provide space to recharge the batteries. 'Boundaries' is the 'Untold Story' -- the other side of love and servanthood that we need so desperately but that we hear so little about.' -- Howard G. Hendricks, , Chairman

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310247456
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 3/1/2002
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 11,114
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

El Dr. Henry Cloud es un conferenciante de gran popularidad. Con el Dr. John Townsend es anfitrion del programa de radio New Life Live!, ademas de ambos ser fundadores de la Clinica Cloud-Townsend y de la organizacion Cloud-Townsend Resources. Es el autor de varios libros premiados con el reconocimiento Medalla de Oro, entre ellos 'Limites' y 'El poder transformador de los grupos pequenos'. El Dr. Cloud, su esposa y sus dos hijas radican en el Sur de California.

Dr. John Townsend is a psychologist, popular speaker, and cohost of the nationally broadcast New Life Live! Radio program, and a cofounder of Cloud-Townsend clinic and Cloud-Townsend Resources. His best-selling books include the Gold Medallion Award-winning Boundaries.

Website: www.drtownsend.com Blog: facebook.com/drjohntownsend

Dr. John Townsend — El Dr. John Townsend es un popular conferencista y un famosisimo autor de exito de ventas. Es graduado de psicologia clinica en Rosemead Graduate School of Psychology de Biola University. Ademas es coautor de numerosos libros incluyendo el ganador de la Medalla de Oro Limites. el es coanfitrion del programa radial emitido a nivel nacional New Life Live!

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Read an Excerpt

Boundaries

When to Say YES When to Say NO To Take Control of Your Life
By Dr. Henry Cloud Dr. John Townsend

ZONDERVAN

Copyright © 1992 Henry Cloud and John Townsend
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0310247454


Chapter One

A Day in a Boundaryless Life

6:00 A.M.

The alarm jangled. Bleary-eyed from too little sleep, Sherrie shut off the noisy intruder, turned on the bedside lamp, and sat up in bed. Looking blankly at the wall, she tried to get her bearings.

Why am I dreading this day? Lord, didn't you promise me a life of joy?

Then, as the cobwebs left her mind, Sherrie remembered the reason for her dread: the four-o'clock meeting with Todd's third-grade teacher. The phone call returned to her memory: "Sherrie, this is Jean Russell. I wonder if we could meet about Todd's performance and his ... behavior."

Todd couldn't keep still and listen to his teachers. He didn't even listen to Sherrie and Walt. Todd was such a strong-willed child, and she didn't want to quench his spirit. Wasn't that more important?

"Well, no time to worry about all that," Sherrie said to herself, raising her thirty-five-year-old body off the bed and padding to the shower. "I've got enough troubles to keep me busy all day."

Under the shower, Sherrie's mind moved out of first gear. She began mentally ticking off the day's schedule. Todd, nine, and Amy, six, would have been a handful even if sheweren't a working mother.

"Let's see ... fix breakfast, pack two lunches, and finish sewing Amy's costume for the school play. That will be a trick-finishing sewing the costume before the car pool picks her up at 7:45 A.M."

Sherrie thought regretfully about last night. She'd planned to work on Amy's costume then, using her talents to make a special day for her little girl. But her mother had dropped over unexpectedly. Good manners dictated that she play hostess, and another evening was shot. The memories of her attempts to salvage the time weren't pretty.

Trying to be diplomatic, Sherrie artfully told her mother, "You can't imagine how much I enjoy your surprise visits, Mom! But I was wondering, would you mind if I sew Amy's costume while we talk?" Sherrie cringed inwardly, correctly anticipating her mother's response.

"Sherrie, you know I'd be the last to intrude on your time with your family." Sherrie's mother, widowed for twelve years, had elevated her widowhood to the status of martyrdom. "I mean, since your father died, it's been such an empty time. I still miss our family. How could I deprive you of that for yourself?"

I'll bet I find out how, Sherrie thought to herself.

"That's why I can understand why you don't bring Walt and the children to see me much anymore. How could I be entertaining? I'm just a lonely old lady who gave her entire life to her children. Who would want to spend any time with me?"

"No, Mom, no, no, no!" Sherrie quickly joined the emotional minuet she and her mom had been dancing for decades. "That's not what I meant at all! I mean, it's so special having you over. Goodness knows, with our schedule, we'd like to visit more, but we just haven't been able to. That's why I'm so glad you took the initiative!" Lord, don't strike me dead for this little lie, she prayed silently.

"In fact, I can do the costume any old time," Sherrie said. Forgive me for this lie, too. "Now, why don't I make us some coffee?"

Her mother sighed. "All right, if you insist. But I'd just hate to think I'm intruding."

The visit lasted well into the night. By the time her mother left, Sherrie felt absolutely crazy, but she justified it to herself. At least I've helped make her lonely day a little brighter. Then a pesky voice piped up. If you helped so much, why was she still talking about her loneliness when she left? Trying to ignore the thought, Sherrie went to bed.

6:45 A.M.

Sherrie returned to the present. "No use crying over spilt time, I guess," she mumbled to herself as she struggled to close the zipper of her black linen skirt. Her favorite suit had become, as many others had, too tight. Middle-age spread so soon? she thought. This week, I really have to go on a diet and start exercising.

The next hour was, as usual, a disaster. The kids whined about getting out of bed, and Walt complained, "Can't you get the kids to the table on time?"

7.45 A.M.

Miraculously, the kids made it to their rides, Walt left for work in his car, and Sherrie went out and locked the front door after her. Taking a deep breath, she prayed silently, Lord, I'm not looking forward to this day. Give me something to hope for. In her car on the freeway, she finished applying her makeup. Thank the Lord for traffic jams.

8:45 A.M.

Rushing into McAllister Enterprises where she worked as a fashion consultant, Sherrie glanced at her watch. Only a few minutes late. Maybe by now her colleagues understood that being late was a way of life for her and did not expect her to be on time.

She was wrong. They'd started the weekly executive meeting without her. Sherrie tried to tiptoe in without being noticed, but every eye was on her as she struggled into her seat. Glancing around, she gave a fleeting smile and muttered something about "that crazy traffic."

11:59 A.M.

The rest of Sherrie's morning proceeded fairly well. A talented fashion designer, Sherrie had an unerring eye for attractive clothing and was a valuable asset to McAllister. The only hitch came just before lunch.

Her extension rang. "Sherrie Phillips."

"Sherrie, thank goodness you're there! I don't know what I'd have done if you'd been at lunch!" There was no mistaking this voice. Sherrie had known Lois Thompson since grade school. A high-strung woman, Lois was always in crisis. Sherrie had always tried to make herself available to Lois, to "be there for her." But Lois never asked Sherrie how she was doing, and when Sherrie mentioned her struggles, Lois either changed the subject or had to leave.

Sherrie genuinely loved Lois and was concerned about her problems, but Lois seemed more like a client than a friend. Sherrie resented the imbalance in their friendship. As always, Sherrie felt guilty when she thought about her anger at Lois. As a Christian, she knew the value the Bible placed on loving and helping others. There I go again, she would say to herself. Thinking of myself before others. Please, Lord, let me give to Lois freely and not be so self-centered.

Sherrie asked, "What's the matter, Lois?"

"It's horrible, just horrible," Lois said. "Anne was sent home from school today, Tom was denied his promotion, and my car gave out on the freeway!"

This is what my life's like every day! Sherrie thought to herself, feeling the resentment rising. However, she merely said, "Lois, you poor thing! How are you coping with all of this?"

Lois was happy to answer Sherrie's question in great detail-so much detail that Sherrie missed half her lunch break consoling her friend. Well, she thought, fast food's better than no food.

Sitting at the drive-through waiting for her chicken burger, Sherrie thought about Lois. If all my listening, consoling, and advice had made any difference over the years, maybe it would be worth it. But Lois makes the same mistakes now that she made twenty years ago. Why do I do this to myself?

4:00 P.M.

Sherrie's afternoon passed uneventfully. She was on the way out of the office to the teacher's meeting when her boss, Jeff Moreland, flagged her down.

"Glad I caught up with you, Sherrie," he said. A successful figure at MacAllister Enterprises, Jeff made things happen. Trouble was, Jeff often used other people to "make things happen." Sherrie could sense the hundredth verse of the same old song tuning up again. "Listen, I'm in a time crunch," he said, handing her a large sheaf of papers. "This is the data for the final recommendations for the Kimbrough account. All it needs is a little writing and editing. And it's due tomorrow. But I'm sure it'll be no problem for you." He smiled ingratiatingly.

Sherrie panicked. Jeff's "editing" needs were legendary. Hefting the papers in her hands, Sherrie saw a minimum of five hours' work. I had this data in to him three weeks ago! she thought furiously. Where does this man get off having me save his face for his deadline?

Quickly she composed herself. "Sure, Jeff. It's no problem at all. Glad I can help. What time do you need it?"

"Nine o'clock would be fine. And ... thanks, Sherrie. I always think of you first when I'm in a jam. You're so dependable." Jeff strolled away.

Dependable ... faithful ... reliable, Sherrie thought. I've always been described this way by people who wanted something from me. Sounds like a description of a good mule. Suddenly the guilt hit again. There I am, getting resentful again. Lord, help me "bloom where I'm planted." But secretly she found herself wishing she could be transplanted to another flowerpot.

4:30 P.M.

Jean Russell was a competent teacher, one of many in the profession who understood the complex factors beneath a child's problem behavior. The meeting with Todd's teacher began as so many before, minus Walt. Todd's father hadn't been able to get off work, so the two women talked alone.

"He's not a bad child, Sherrie," Mrs. Russell reassured her. "Todd is a bright, energetic boy. When he minds, he's one of the most enjoyable kids in the class."

Sherrie waited for the ax to fall. Just get to the point, Jean. I have a "problem child," don t I. What's new? I have a "problem life" to go with it.

Sensing Sherrie's discomfort, the teacher pressed ahead. "The problem is that Todd doesn't respond well to limits. For example, during our task period, when children work on assignments, Todd has great difficulty. He gets up from his desk, pesters other kids, and won't stop talking. When I mention to him that his behavior is inappropriate, he becomes enraged and obstinate."

Sherrie felt defensive about her only son. "Maybe Todd has an attention-deficit problem, or he's hyperactive?"

Mrs. Russell shook her head. "When Todd's second-grade teacher wondered about that last year, psychological testing ruled that out. Todd stays on task very well when he's interested in the subject. I'm no therapist, but it seems to me that he's just not used to responding to rules."

Now Sherrie's defensiveness turned from Todd to herself. "Are you saying this is some sort of home problem?"

Mrs. Russell looked uncomfortable. "As I said, I'm not a counselor. I just know that in third grade, most children resist rules. But Todd is off the scale. Any time I tell him to do something he doesn't want to it's World War III. And since all his intellectual and cognitive testing comes out normal, I was just wondering how things were at home?"

Sherrie no longer tried to hold back the tears. She buried her head in her hands and wept convulsively for a few minutes, feeling overwhelmed with everything.

Eventually, her crying subsided. "I'm sorry ... I guess this just hit on a bad day'" Sherrie rummaged in her purse for a tissue. "No, no, it's more than that. Jean, I need to be honest with you. Your problems with him are the same as mine. Walt and I have a real struggle making Todd mind at home. When we're playing or talking, Todd is the most wonderful son I could imagine. But any time I have to discipline him, the tantrums are more than I can handle. So I guess I don't have any solutions for you."

Jean nodded her head slowly. "It really helps me, Sherrie, to know that Todd's behavior is a problem at home, too. At least now we can put our heads together on a solution."

5:15 P.M.

Sherrie felt strangely grateful for the afternoon rush-hour traffic. At least there's no one tugging on me here, she thought. She used the time to plan around her next crises: kids, dinner, Jeff's project, church, ... and Walt.

6:30 P.M.

"For the fourth and last time, dinner's ready!" Sherrie hated to scream, but what else worked? The kids and Walt always seemed to shuffle in whenever they felt like it. More often than not, dinner was cold by the time everyone was assembled.

Sherrie had no clue what the problem was. She knew it wasn't the food, because she was a good cook. Besides, once they got to the table, everyone inhaled it in seconds.

Everyone but Amy. Watching her daughter sit silently, picking distractedly at her food, Sherrie again felt uneasy. Amy was such a loveable, sensitive child. Why was she so reserved? Amy had never been outgoing. She preferred to spend her time reading, painting, or just sitting in her bedroom "thinking about stuff."

"Honey, what kind of stuff?" Sherrie would probe.

"Just stuff," would be the usual reply. Sherrie felt shut out of her daughter's life. She dreamed of mother-daughter talks, conversations for "just us girls," shopping trips. But Amy had a secret place deep inside where no one was ever invited. This unreachable part of her daughter's heart Sherrie ached to touch.

7:00 P.M.

Halfway through dinner, the phone rang. We really need to get an answering machine to handle calls during dinner, Sherrie thought. There's precious little time for us to be together as a family anymore. Then, as if on cue, another familiar thought struck her. It might be someone who needs me.

As always, Sherrie listened to the second voice in her head and jumped up from the table to answer the phone. Her heart sank as she recognized the voice on the other end.

"Hope I'm not disturbing anything," said Phyllis Renfrow, the women's ministries leader at church.

"Certainly you aren't disturbing anything," Sherrie lied again.

"Sherrie, I'm in deep water," Phyllis said. "Margie was going to be our activities coordinator at the retreat, and now she's cancelled. Something about "priorities at home." Any way you can pitch in?"

The retreat. Sherrie had almost forgotten that the annual gathering of church women was this weekend. She had actually been looking forward to leaving the kids and Walt behind and strolling around the beautiful mountainous area for two days, just herself and the Lord. In fact, the possibility of solitude felt better to her than the planned group activities. Taking on Margie's activities coordinator position would mean giving up her precious alone time. No, it wouldn't work. Sherrie would just have to say ...

Automatically, the second thought pattern intervened. What a privilege to serve God and these women, Sherrie! By giving up a little portion of your life, by letting go of your selfishness, you can make a big difference in some lives. Think it over.

Sherrie didn't have to think it over. She'd learned to respond unquestioningly to this familiar voice, just as she responded to her mother's, and Phyllis's, and maybe God's, too. Whoever it belonged to, it was too strong to be ignored. Habit won out.

"I'll be happy to help," Sherrie told Phyllis. "Just send me whatever Margie's done, and I'll get working on it."

Phyllis sighed, audibly relieved. "Sherrie, I know it's a sacrifice. Myself, I have to do it several times, every day. But that's the abundant Christian life, isn't it? Being living sacrifices."

If you say so, thought Sherrie. But she couldn't help wondering when the "abundant" part would come in.

7:45 P.M.

Dinner finally finished, Sherrie watched Walt position himself in front of the TV for the football game. Todd reached for the phone, asking if his friends could come over and play. Amy slipped unobserved to her room.

The dishes stayed on the table. The family hadn't quite gotten the hang of helping clean up yet. But maybe the kids were still a little young for that. Sherrie started clearing the dishes from the table.

11:30 P.M.

Years ago, Sherrie could have cleaned up after dinner, gotten the kids to bed on time, and performed Jeff's handed-off project with ease. A cup of coffee after dinner and the adrenaline rush that accompanied crises and deadlines galvanized Sherrie into superhuman feats of productivity. She wasn't called "Super Sherrie" for nothing!

But it was becoming noticeably harder these days. Stress didn't work like it used to. More and more, she was having trouble concentrating, forgetting dates and deadlines, and not even caring a great deal about it all.

At any rate, by sheer willpower, she had completed most of her tasks. Maybe Jeff's project had suffered a little in quality, but she felt too resentful to feel bad. But I did say yes to Jeff, Sherrie thought. It's not his fault, it's mine. Why couldn't I tell him how unfair it was for him to lay this on me?

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud Dr. John Townsend Copyright © 1992 by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 205 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 208 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    This Book Is The Pencil That Will Help You Draw the Lines

    Wow, why didn't I ever know about this book? You don't hear much about it- I stumbled upon it browsing around Amazon one day. For people wondering if they should buy this book, get it if: <BR/><BR/>-you're not turned off by a Christian writing approach <BR/>-you feel like there's a problem because you're trying to be a good person all the time by always saying "yes" <BR/><BR/>In a nutshell, this book is for people who don't know how to set boundaries for themselves. In other words, they're always saying "yes" to things and taking responsibility for things- even when it's not their job. <BR/><BR/>And boundary lines of your responsibilities need to be present in more areas of your life than you might realize, such as... <BR/><BR/>-your family <BR/>-your friends <BR/>-your mate <BR/>-your kids <BR/>-your self <BR/><BR/>The book covers boundary conflicts in each of these areas leaving no stone unturned. Therefore, its no big deal if you have only one or two problem areas- just go to those sections. <BR/><BR/>This book will help you realize what a boundary is, why it's okay to have them and just how to develop them. So if anything in this review sounds like if might apply to you- don't hesitate to check out the book. Other neat self-help books I liked include "Finding Happiness in a Frustrating World".

    26 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2007

    If applied correctly, its a GREAT relationship guide

    I have read the reviews on here and have a word of caution, no book should be read and applied literally with out interpreting the message and applying the message to your situation with the right intentions. This is not about ultimatums or finding reason for rigid applications to get your way! This book enlightened me to see that relationship can not grow and endure with out boundaries. I have been struggling with overly involved, overly critical in-laws and have been searching for information on how to navigate these highly emotional situations with out being disrespectful or harming the relationship in the long run. It reminds you of what can happen if boundaries are not respected and these types of unhealthy relationships are not what God intended. Being pleasing or perpetuating harmful behaviors is not loving when you are harboring feelings of irritation and anger. Its about communication and doing what right for the relationship in the long term and not what's easy for the present. Loving as God intended includes stewardship BUT doing it in a loving communicative way. Its all about intentions... if your seeking to fulfill selfish wants, negativity begets negativity, you will find a bad result! If you are seeking to fulfill your spiritual needs, love begets love, your relationships will grow stronger and your heart will find peace.

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2009

    Very hard to read if you are not religious

    As far as writing about boundaries goes, I would give it 5 stars, but since everything is mixed up with realigious quotes and reasons I found it extremely difficult to read. I had to search for the information that had me reach for the book in the first place in between lots of things I not only am not interested in, but often times found annoying.
    If you are not religious you might want to take lots of notes to actually be able to see what you want to see.

    10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2003

    to the angry mom

    This book definitely helps me understand the necessity of setting boundaries and it works! I definitely see more damage and hurt than love without a healthy boundary! My mom doesn't like my boundaries because she can no longer be manipulative and controlling to my life. The loving family in her mind with all the guilt trip is actually a torment for me. My boundaries setting enable me to keep mentally and spiritually healthy. We all love to have family around but not until she gets healthy and stop damaging us emotionally to meet her unhealthy needs, will I invite her to my life. And it helps my mom to communicate in a healthy way at the same time although she didn't know it at the beginning.. Honoring Mother and Father is to become someone Godly and healthy enough to serve in His name.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2009

    People Needing Space - Here's how to get it APPROPRIATELY

    I had no idea how few boundaries I had, and which ones I needed, until I read this book! I knew I needed my "space", but I didn't know why I couldn't seem to get it without hurting myself or others. This book helped me identify what my particular needs are and ways I can have them fulfilled. This book presents a very healthy and honest approach to the subject. Actions - and words - have consequences. We get to choose what we will do, and whether we are willing to get the consequences - for good or for ill. I highly recommend this book, for in our culture we are not taught how to form and maintain good boundaries. This book really helps!

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2009

    Review of Boundaries

    This book was recommended to my wife by her counsellor. I am in counselling as well. I have never been good about sharing my feelings. I quickly realized this book was for me as well. The book discusses the importance of boundaries - what to let in and what to not let in. When to say yes and when to say no. Some relationships in life are harmful and we need to know how to limit their negative impact on us. We need relationships that help us to grow as well as provide support. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to improve their interpersonal relationships.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2008

    A must read for any mature adult!!!

    Great book!!! I like how the content draws from the Bible. Our family has put the principles of this book into practice & as a result, my family & I are much happier. We are living a much fuller life. We put God first in our lives & His values & principles have made all the difference. We now have more money & more time to help others as God intended.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2006

    If I could give it a zero, I would

    The book 'Boundaries' is an awful and sad reflection of our self consumed society and the breakdown of the family. There are very few nuggets of truth in this book. I feel like I just drank a gallon of poison with a teaspoon of honey in it. This book blurs the lines bewteen what is a good boundary to set- i.e. not repeatedly bailing out a person in habitual unrepentant sin- and what is a bad boundary to set- i.e. I am legally an adult and no longer need to make a relationship with my parents a priority in life. The scriptures quoted are either not applicable at all or loosely applicable. If you know your bible well, you'll find yourself saying repeatedly, 'That's not what that scripture says' or 'That's not what that scripture means.' If you are living according to the world, this will give you an inaccurate 'biblical justification' to keep living that way. If however, you really desire to set biblical boundaries and to honor biblical obligations, you will need to consult the bible. The book 'Boundaries' cannot be relied upon to present biblically accurate boundaries. It is one of the most distorted portrayals of biblical relationships I have ever come across.

    6 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2002

    Destroying a Marriage

    Boundaries was used as a instruction guide to a bible class at the church I attend. The information taught from this book contributed to creating many problems within marriages at our church. From what I could gather this information taught someone to be unforgiving and unyielding. Most that I heard from thought the responses it taught were like an ultimatum. This certainly isn't what builds relationships.

    6 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2010

    The Line Has Been Drawn

    I am trying to figure out what I could add to the amazing reviews so many people already have posted. There is nothing to say but buy it. I'd also recommend that you buy "When God Stopped Keeping Score," which takes an intimate look at the power of God and forgiveness. This book too will change your life.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2009

    A MUST READ!

    Great book. They have others. If you follow actual advice and make it a habbit it can change your life.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2008

    A Must Read for everyone

    My sister gave me this book while I was still in High School, but like most books, I put this book away, not thinking much about it. It was one of those I'll get to it books, that I pushed aside. Now 8 years later, I finally got around to read it, and I wish I read it when I first received it. The authors give us the readers, a perspective that goes deep into our lives, how we view the world, how others may have impacted us without us even knowing to what level they did... And what they say empowers the readers to really take back control of our lives, through what they call boundaries. <BR/>Boundaries is an "easy-read" because it motivates the reader to keep reading, and we can relate to the examples in this book. I must say, Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, have really found a way to minister to God's people through their writings.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2012

    Excellent self help for anyone feeling a deep grief.

    Wonderfully and carefully written with spiritual references to back up the content. I would recommend it to anyone who feels they are expected to do it all alone; whatever it is. I will read it again and again suggesting it to others.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2010

    a must read

    everybody should read this at least once in their lifetime! Reading this book helps you build critical skills to foster healthy relationships be it family, husband, friends, work, kids, etc... It also arms you with skills to address the not so healthy relationships as well. I'll recommend it to everyone I love! By the way, you don't need to be a Christian to greatly learn from this book.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2009

    Boundaries teaches how to deal with life's challenges

    Boundaries is a teaching tool to help you at different times in your life. I purchased when it was recommended by my grief counselor after my husband died. It does explain the times you need to say no to people if you're too involved in other things. You don't want to say no, but if there's too many things that you are dealing with (personally or business), you must try to set those boundaries to pull your life together before being able to do things for other people.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    A must read and an occassional tune up!

    I bought this book over twenty years ago but was not ready for it. I have struggled with boundaries my whole life

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2014

    Excellent book!

    When one of my best friends gave this book to me post-divorce many years ago, I thought "Oh no - not another one of those self help books!" Well, it wasn't "another one" - it's the most helpful one I've ever read which addresses not only relationships with former spouses, but virtually every type of relationship one could have - parent/child, co-workers, friendships, etc. The advice & teaching are biblically based, practical, and helpful in many daily circumstances. As this book was given to me at a critical time in my life, I hope others with pass it on to others in need of it's timeless wisdom. It makes a great gift!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2013

    Excellent

    This book does offer sound biblical advice. We all need boundaries!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2012

    Brilliant and insightful

    This is a must read for those of us who anguish over our responsibities to ourselves, families and the other relationships in our lives The Biblical references to me are helpful to place the demands of others and our own needs into perspective the book is extremely helpful without being at all"preachy"! This read will inspire me to get my life back on track, give me "permission" to take better emotional care of myself and to stop being the "enabler" I've morphed into over the years by owning all crisis situations others create and

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    Everyone needs to read this!

    This book is a life changing book. After you read this you will really think about the way you interact with people. It gives you a strong sense of self from a Biblical perspective. This book will definitely help you communicate more effectively with anyone you encounter in your life. I loved that it had help for every person: singles, husbands and wives, parents, etc. This is a must read, truly eye opening. I am letting all of my friends borrow this one! This book was also very well organized in presentation.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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