Boundaries Updated & Expanded Edition: When to Say Yes, How to Say No, To Take Control of Your Life, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, reviewed by Pastor LaMont Bonath.
This book is divided into three main parts:
Part one lays out the biblical view of boundaries:
what they are, what they protect, how they are
developed, how they are injured, how to repair
them, and how to use them. The book aims to
help the reader understand the nature of biblical
boundaries. In the spiritual world, boundaries are
real, but intangible. They define our soul and help us
maintain its boundaries.
Part two shows how conflicts about boundaries
develop. How do you develop internal boundaries for
yourself and others? How does your family of origin
influence you? Are you stuck in the perpetual child
syndrome? Do you have a triangulation problem?
According to the authors, resolution is about
identifying the problem, the conflict, the need which
drives the conflict, and getting your needs met.
First comes understanding and then practicing the skills to develop and maintain your boundaries: say no to the bad, forgive the aggressor, respond, but do not react, act in love and not out of guilt.
The third part of the book focuses on the two types
of resistance we will face: outside and inside
resistance. Watch out for internalized guilt
messages — there are about 7 types of internal
messages. Guilt messages are used to manipulate
and control you. They are messages of anger the
other person is sending to you. Guilt is a difficult
emotion to understand. Guilt is punitive and is
connected to our fallen consciousness.
You must also have to deal with the feelings of abandonment, resentment and finally understanding how to take care of yourself by using value-driven goal setting.
The first and last chapters of the book are a before and after snap shot of a person not using boundaries and then a person applying the principles of boundaries as a way of ordering their lives and relationships with others. I would recommend the book.
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