Loving Boundaries Versus Unloving Barriers


Loving boundaries are just that: boundaries born of love. Genuinely loving relationships are, at heart, safe relationships. To properly protect ourselves as well as those we love, there are some barriers we simply must impose and respect.

While some boundaries are both necessary and genuinely loving, others are inherently problematic. We humans are prone to erecting some artificial and unnecessary barriers. And we largely tend to do so out of disrespect, disregard, hatred, haughtiness, and many other unseemly character qualities. Such boundaries merely divide, and therefore inherently create barriers to what we fundamentally need: love.

Love Makes All the Difference

In so many areas of life, our capacity to love makes all the difference. And years of research and experience has taught me that it’s our capacity to genuinely love that also largely defines the soundness of our character. (See: Chapter 10 in Essentials for the Journey.) Folks of mature, wholesome, character naturally respect and observe loving boundaries. They hold their tongue when they should. They’re careful not to cross another’s safe space. They also do the best they can to benignly break down the unnecessary barriers that keep us from dealing lovingly with one another.

Folks of disturbed and disordered character erect barriers to love. And they often enjoy dividing. And they happily sow dissention, almost always to gain some personal advantage. There’s a well-known adage: “Divide and conquer.” This adage might well be the mantra of group of disturbed characters I call the aggressive personalities. These are the conscience-impaired dominance seekers among us who would rather die than not occupy the superior position.

Sowing division is also a good way to make people hunger for a champion – someone to resolve the conflict. And in today’s world there are plenty of highly character-impaired dominance-seekers eager to claim that role. It’s all part of a sick but dangerous game they play. Sadly, in part because we’ve become so desensitized to even the worst manifestations of character, we often afford some of the most heartless aggressors among us the reins of power. This is always dangerous, even if it’s hard to readily see the danger. (See also: Characters Without Conscience Are Dangerous.)

Restoring Our Capacity to Love

My life’s work has been dedicated matters of character and the perils of character dysfunction. And in my  latest book I explain why it’s crucial that we rediscover and reclaim the values upon which wholesome relationships and civil societies depend. Everything depends on character. It always has. It always will. Simply put, character matters. And it’s what defines our capacity to love.




One thought on “Loving Boundaries Versus Unloving Barriers

  1. I have many folks like this in my life in the past. I put up boundaries with all but 2. Most of the folks I encountered were in my church as well as my family.
    They just loved to create hostile conversations towards me, but when you don’t engage they became ruthless in cutting me out. Slander is their weapon and their “legacy of me” continues to this day.
    One such “friend” slandered me right until the end. I was told whenever I encountered one of her flying monkey’s. Last Friday the Lord brought her to my attention, as usual anger would start to rise up in me, and I would pray Lord help me to forgive her as you have forgiven me. This Memorial Day I read that she had passed. I never wished her ill will. She hurt me terribly, if she had to live the life I had to I wonder how she would have faired.
    Still, I am grateful not for what many have put me through, but for God’s Word which tells me I am handling it His Way. My character isn’t even close to Jesus’ but I am still walking as He would! Without the help of the Holy Spirit I would’ve resorted to the enemies tactics.
    These lessons you teach Dr. Simon really do feel like validation and of course new help I’ve needed along the way!!!
    Thank you!

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