‘Boundaries With God’ tops new book releases
NASHVILLE — Henry Cloud and John Townsend have taught people how to have boundaries in their marriages, friendships and workplaces. Now they are teaching people how to have boundaries with God.
“Our research keeps showing that people feel vulnerable in a relationship with an all-powerful Being,” says Cloud. “Thankfully, God has given us a choice. We can set boundaries in this key relationship and let him know what we are comfortable with.”
A relationship with God presents a “natural power imbalance” because one party is so much more powerful than the other, Cloud says. Boundaries are the biblical solution.
“It was God who said, ‘Draw near to me and I will draw near to you,’” Cloud says. “That’s an invitation to draw the boundaries where we want them. God makes that okay. He respects the limits we put on him based on the gift of our free will.”
One woman who was part of their study said she enjoyed growing closer to God but didn’t want him directing her finances.
“I’m just not ready for that,” she says. “I grew up poor and make a good amount of money now, which gives me a real sense of confidence. I think God respects that, so I put a boundary there.”
The book suggests prayers such as, “God, I give you my family life and occupation, but I’m not ready to relinquish my hobbies and special interests to you. It’s obviously not you, it’s me, so until I develop more trust in you, please respect this boundary and know that I’m working on improving my level of comfort with you in every area of our relationship. Amen.”
Cloud and Townsend invite people to ask God to place boundaries on them in exchange.
“Boundaries are always reciprocal, and for a relationship to be just, God must have the freedom to guard himself as well,” Cloud says.