Three-year-olds don’t necessarily like boundaries. I have one who has been testing his boundaries a lot lately. (That or his ears have selectively quit working.) Friday was a let’s-draw-on-our-arms-and-shirt-with-a-dry-erase-marker kind of day. Thankfully, he only drew on himself, and I caught him before he started drawing on the floor or his sister. This disobedience resulted in a much-needed early nap time. Yes, I ate chocolate, but not as much as I would have expected.

While I hate the disobedience now, I’d rather him learn to obey and respect the boundaries now than having to learn the lesson later. What he learns now will save him loads of pain later.

As I have been thinking about boundaries, I have been wondering if he is purposely challenging his known boundaries to see if we mean what we say. Also last week, I allowed him to ride his bike around the house by himself. I had given him very specific boundaries a few weeks earlier. He had been doing well at obeying them too. However, last week, he blew past the boundaries and totally shattered them. Mommy was both worried and angry. Someone lost his bike privileges for the rest of the day too. As we were returning from his boundary-shattering trip, I once again clearly defined the boundaries. So far, he has done okay.

With teaching boundaries comes respecting boundaries that we have been given. I wonder how well I am doing. Am I respecting the boundaries of those around me – my family, my co-workers? Honestly, I don’t know. However, I suspect that if I were infringing on the boundaries of my son, such as his personal space, he would let me know. Okay, I guess he already does that. When he needs some space, I attempt to give it to him. By respecting his boundaries, I hope to demonstrate how to respect the boundaries of others.

While I try to respect the boundaries of others, do I respect and abide by the boundaries God has put in place for my life? Staying within the boundaries that God has set up for our protection is hard. There are some sins that look really good on the outside, but on the inside have horrible concequconse. Once again, if I want my children to stay in the boundaries that God has set up for their protection, I need to model it for them. I pray that God will help me stay in my protective boundaries and show me when I am trying to break them.