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November 30, 2012
by Gloria Day

An Uncomfortable and Necessary Journey: “Boundaries” by Cloud and Townsend- Book Review Chapter 5

November 30, 2012 09:39 by Gloria Day


I feel like I need to have a big sip of water, pat my belly, sigh, and sit back to digest…this book is getting good!

Chapter 5: Ten Laws of Boundaries….DRUM ROLL PLEASE:

Law of Sowing and Reaping:

-          God’s law on this is not punishment it is reality

-          When other people reap the consequences for someone else this is called “codependency”

-          People with no boundaries often interrupt this law

Law of Responsibility:

-          This includes loving others

-          About being responsible ‘to’ and not for others

-          Not only giving but in the setting of limits on other’s destructive and irresponsible behaviour

-          It is not good to rescue others from the consequences of their sin as you will only need to do it again

Law of Power:

-          We need to admit we are powerless

-          We have the power to admit our faults, submit to God, ask for help, turn for help, humble ourselves and apologize when wrong

Law of Respect:

-          We tend to judge other’s people’s boundaries

-          We need to respect the boundaries of others, in fact we need to love them

-          If we love and respect people who say no they will love and respect our no

Law of Motivation:

-          We are often motived not by love but by fear of losing it

-          We need to check our motivations are they based on: fear of anger, fear of losing myself, guilt, payback, approval, over identification with other’s loss

Law of Evaluation:

-          Hurt and harm are different

-          We need to evaluate the effects of setting boundaries and be responsible to (not for) the other person

-          Need to evaluate the pain caused by our choices

Law of Proactivity:

-          Proactive people show you what they love, what they stand for, what they want, and what they purpose

-          Spiritual adulthood has higher goals than finding yourself!

Law of Envy:

-          Envy defines good as what I don’t poses

-          If we focus on what we don’t have we are not being responsible for what we do have

-          Envy should be a sign that you are lacking something (usually not what you are wanting) - take this to God

Law of Activity:

-          Passivity can become an ally of evil if you do not resist it

-          God will match our efforts but he will never do the work for us

-          Trying, failing and trying again is called learning

Law of Exposure:

-          Boundaries need to be made visible to others- they need to see them

-          Due to unexpressed boundaries relationships will suffer



  • Boundaries do exist, they will affect us whether we communicate them or not (pg 103)
  • The Ultimate Expression of Power is love (pg 98)
  • We are called into freedom- this freedom results in gratitude and an overflowing heart(pg 94)
  • More people suffer from trying to change others than any other sickness(pg 91)

So here we are: the 10 Laws of Boundaries. Many of these seem so very obvious and others, well they are at work and I am sure as we open up we will see how we can work with them and not against them.


Reference: Cloud, H., & Townsend, J. (1992) Boundaries: When to say Yes, When to say No; to take control of your life. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan.