“and he made a trench around the altar, large enough to hold two measures of seed…The water flowed around the altar and he also filled the trench with water.” 1 Kings 18:32b, 35
Previously, we’ve talked about two principles from 1 Kings 18 that we can apply to family restoration: making repairs and remembering our identity in Christ. Today, we’ll see why it’s important to set boundaries around and within our families. Although the world may view godly borders as confining, Scripture tells us they bring blessing.
When the altar was repaired, Elijah created a border around it by digging a trench. The trench separated the altar of the Lord from the altar to Baal. The Lord still calls His followers to a life of separation. In 2 Corinthians 6:16-18, the Apostle Paul reminds believers that we are the temple of the living God. As such, we should separate ourselves from the world. The blessing of this boundary is unhindered fellowship as sons and daughters of our heavenly Father.
It’s difficult to experience family restoration without setting godly boundaries around our family. They act as a barrier of defense, like a castle mote. We have to protect our homes against worldly thoughts and values. This means setting guidelines regarding what we watch and listen to (Philippians 4:8-9.) It’s discussing how Scripture intersects with the challenges and victories of daily life (Deuteronomy 6.) It’s putting up guardrails around our marriage by having such a clean conscience that no credible accusation can be made (1 Peter 3:16.)
We also need to set boundaries within our families to guide our conversations and behavior. A Christian home should be a safe haven where each family member feels secure. Family restoration is simply not possible when home is a battleground and words are like hand grenades. Ephesians 4 is a great guide for living together as brothers and sisters in Christ. Paul implores believers to be humble, gentle, and patient. Our speech should be truthful, wholesome, edifying, and full of grace. When family members live within these boundaries, they display the righteous and holy nature of Christ. The result is a home blessed with peace and unity.
What new boundaries do you need to enact around and within your family? Remember, godly borders aren’t an issue of outward appearance, but of inward attitude and affection. God doesn’t desire to confine you. He wants to restore your family to live in the freedom and security of His Word.