1999-02-12 - Boundaries
The Women in the Bible Series, Part 1
This week we begin a series. Once each month, we will look at a different woman featured in the Bible. I believe all of us can learn from their stories, their victories, their failures. This month we will look at Leah.
Leah was the victim of her father's under-handedness. Jacob was in love with Leah's sister Rachel, but her father Laban tricked Jacob into marrying her sister Leah. Leah spent a good portion of her life trying to earn the love of her husband, because of Laban's interference.
Gen 29:32 (NNAS) "Leah conceived and bore a son and named him Reuben, for she said, "Because the LORD has seen my affliction; surely now my husband will love me.""
Here we have the stereotypical interfering parent. But it's not only in-laws and parents that wreak havoc in lives when they overstep boundaries. Many of us do that - friends, spouses, leaders. As a recent devotional by firstname.lastname@example.org (David) points out,* callings from God are one-on-one. It's wonderful to give counsel to family, friends and others when asked. In fact, if we feel they are missing a truth, we are not a good friend, and are disobedient to the Holy Spirit if we do not say anything! However, the final decision is between that person and God. Parents need to allow their children to make their own career choices. God does not need us to fill in as Holy Spirit; the one He has is doing an awesome job. ; )
And if someone makes a bad decision, it's not our role to castigate them. To gently restore them? Yes.
Gal 6:1 (NNAS) "Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted."
But it must be edifying, constructive, and done in a spirit of love and restoration.
Honoring parents does not mean doing everything exactly as they want. Mature adults must make their own decisions; God gave each of us the right and even responsibility to do that.
We need to be sure we are not trying to usurp the role of the Holy Spirit. Our role in people's lives -- whether parents, spouses or friends, is to pray, think things through with them, listen, help them find answers. But the ultimate decision is theirs.
Dear Father, please help us to be careful to not overstep the boundaries you have given us. Help us to not try to play the role of the Holy Spirit in people's lives, but to yield that to You. In Jesus' name amen.
* To read the above mentioned devotional by David, please go to
the website below: