This past fall our football team won homecoming for the first time in over twenty years. However, this almost didn’t happen. With less than a minute to go in the game we were down by one point when we scored on a long punt return to give us the six point victory. We had to tiptoe our side line in order to execute the winning score.
Months later I saw the referee that was on that sideline. He said “you know he almost stepped out of bounds.” I said “I know, but he didn’t.” He stayed in bounds.
Why do we need boundaries? What are boundaries? Are they necessary? What happens if we step out of bounds?
Boundaries are in place to keep us safe. Boundaries help us make better decisions. Do we have boundaries in our relationships? Do we have boundaries in our finances? What about our moral life, are there any boundaries? Do we have boundaries in our professional life?
When our children were young, we lived on the South Georgia Coast on a corner lot. Our privacy fence had two purposes. One was to keep people out and the other was to keep our young children in. There is safety in boundaries.
One thing is for certain, we all need boundaries. Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, R. Kelly, Matt Lauer, Rick Pitino are rich and famous men who could have avoided public humility and lost wages if they would have stayed in bounds. Instead of using these men as examples I could have used myself, or you the reader. We all have stepped out of bounds. What happens when we step out of bounds in athletic competition? The game stops. In life, stepping out of bounds can stop the flow of our life. Stepping out of bounds has the potential to ruin our life and hurt the ones we love.
Our greatest regrets could have been avoided if we had some boundaries in our life. With that being said, future regrets can be avoided if we are willing to establish some boundaries in our life. The key is intentionality. We should intentionally set boundaries.
The problem is our society does not encourage boundaries. Could you imagine a bridge with a painted line like we have on our football field instead of a guardrail? Most of us would agree bridges need a more defined boundary than a painted line.
Author Andy Stanley says our culture suggest we drink responsibility. He goes on to question what does that mean. He says he is not sure that responsible drinkers know if they are being irresponsible. For me in my life I have found that boundaries help me discipline my diet, behavior and helps me avoid addiction.
With our children I have suggested they never drink alcohol. Others may suggest to them they should wait until they are ready to drink alcohol. I taught sex education for four years and suggested to my class that they wait until marriage to have sex.
I was transparent to the point of shame, but the voice of our society was louder than my voice. Our society says wait until you’re ready to have sex. Most of the young men that I have coached will tell you that they were born ready.
This is why we need boundaries. Financial guru Dave Ramsey suggest we use cash and not credit cards for daily financial needs. This is a built in boundary in the area of finances that helps us not spend what we don’t have.
Having boundaries is one thing, but actually sticking to them and executing is something different. We need someone to hold us accountable. We need an accountability partner. Accountability is not a bad word. When we hold someone accountable we are actually saying I care about you enough to help you stay in bounds.
Who are you holding accountable? Who’s holding you accountable?
June 20th-22nd, 2019
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