In this post, I am going to discuss the importance of boundaries, and how we teach other people how to treat us. Since some of my previous experiences, I have reflected and realized that I allowed things I should not have allowed. This was my fault. I’m not accountable for someone else’s behavior, but I’m certainly responsible for not accepting their bad behavior. It is evident that we should all treat each other well.
We should practice the golden rule and treat other people how we want to be treated.
• If I don’t want someone being mean to me, then I should not be mean to others.
• If I don’t want to be lied to, I should not lie to other people.
• I don’t want a woman making a pass at my man, so I should not make a pass at her man, or be receptive to his flirtation.
It sounds like a very simple concept, because it truly is. However, because of sin, people often do not do practice this basic and important concept. This is where the responsibility of each individual comes in, to have correct standards and set healthy boundaries.
People will only do to us what we allow them to do to us.
They will treat us how we allow them to treat us. It would be great if people didn’t test each other, but that’s not reality. For example, in a relationship, lots of people cheat when they know good and well they don’t want to be cheated on.
Some people are various forms of abusive to their partner, when they know that they don’t want to be abused. Some people are controllers, but they do not want to be controlled.
Other people put up with chronic lying, being cheated on, having a selfish partner, disrespect, unloving and cruel behavior, etc. This shows that a person may idolize relationships and does not value themselves enough. Some people put up with bad behavior based on societal so-called norms and conditioning.
For example, plenty of women have been known to be tolerant to their man’s cheating and abusing them. This tolerance can stem from being conditioned to have lower standards and expectations for men. It can also stem from self-loathing or low self-esteem.
Some men also have low self-esteem, and put up with mistreatment.
For different reasons, some men also put up with their women’s abuse and infidelity. Reality is, those behaviors are harmful, and should never be put up with.
If I am dating someone, the first time he raises his voice at me, I need to let him know very clearly that it is completely unacceptable. That should stop him in his tracks. I don’t have to yell at him, I don’t have to curse at him, but I need to firmly make it known to him that I will not tolerate him raising his voice at me. Letting him know early is important.
The first time someone cheats in a relationship, most likely, the best thing their partner can do is to end the relationship. Forgive that person yes, but often, a cheater remains a cheater.
The person who was cheated on can examine themselves to see what they may have done to contribute to the infidelity, but chances are, they should end things. There’s never an excuse for cheating, but sometimes people will cheat when they feel they are not being treated well in the relationship.
If people need any incentive to treat others the way they want to be treated, remember that we reap what we sow.
What we dish to others will one day be served back to us in an even greater way.
“Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.”
Galatians 6: 7-8. NLT
God is always watching. Always.
When I respect, love, and value myself, I understand that I do not deserve someone who will not be faithful to me. My partner also does not deserve someone who will not be faithful to him.
We don’t deserve partners who willfully mistreat us in any way, shape, or form. Knowing God has given us value helps us understand that any person, place, or thing does not validate us. God expects us to treat each other with love. We should not settle for less than that.
When we know that a person does not validate us, we may desire to have a relationship, but we don’t need one in an unhealthy way. Understanding that God validates us, we are also better able to be intolerant to the harmful behaviors others may seek to inflict upon us. It helps us not settle for less.
In teaching people how to treat you:
• Know your worth.
• Love yourself.
• Respect yourself.
• Set high enough to standards; be able to meet them yourself.
• Set healthy boundaries.
• Practice the golden rule.
Always, do unto others as you would have them do unto you:
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”
Matthew 7: 12 NLT
“He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” Luke 10: 26-28
Used with permission from Petrina Ferguson.