protect your relationship, having healthy boundaries is not selfish.
Stray Dogs

I wonder if we have put up a sign on our gate that is only visible to dogs, ‘ALL stray dogs welcome’. We had a pretty severe snow storm the other day, and a lovely golden Labrador turned up in our garden. We still don’t know how he managed to get in since we have fences all the way around the property.

When I was little, our family had a series of pets made up of unusual waifs and strays. We had, of course, the usual dogs, cats, rabbits, etc. but we also had pet crows and at one time a lamb. This menagerie grew as we rescued animals in need of help. I remember that whenever a new animal turned up my mother would always say, ‘No, no more animals’. The story never ended there because the animal as if on cue would give an appealing helpless look. That was all it took for them to establish residence in our home.

So far we haven’t had anyone claim this latest stray. We are hoping that someone will report a missing dog to the local vet or animal shelter. If this doesn’t happen soon ‘Maci’ or ‘Teddy Bear’ as the kids call him might become a permanent fixture in our home.

Examine Your Boundaries

Our main concern now is examining our boundaries to see where the strays can get in or where Guthix our dog might get out.

Good boundaries are important whether you are a missionary or not. I am not just talking about the physical property boundaries. In all of our relationships, we need to have healthy boundaries. When we get married the boundaries are clearly stated e.g. ‘I take you and forsake all others’. This boundary allows couples to build confidence and trust in one another.

Marriage Boundaries

Many people treat marriage like a contract rather than a covenant. They look for holes in the contract so they can wriggle out of it. Without a good understanding of covenant, it is too easy to allow other things to come in and violate our boundaries.  The marriage boundaries come under intense pressure as we go through everyday life, and they seem to intensify with any major change to our lives. Comedian Tim Hawkins jokes that rather than praying for a ‘hedge of protection’ We should pray for a concrete wall with barbed wire on top.

We need to remember the strength of our marriage covenant. When we build our lives on that foundation with God at the centre of our lives, then we will have a healthy home whether or not we choose to live at home or abroad.

Marriage Vows

If you want to check your boundaries look over your marriage vows again. Are some in need of care and attention or a repair?

The original wedding vows, as printed in The Book of Common Prayer, are:

Groom: I,____, take thee,_____, to my wedded Wife,
to have and to hold from this day forward,
for better for worse,
for richer for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish,
till death us do part,
according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.

Bride: I,_____, take thee,_____, to my wedded Husband,
to have and to hold from this day forward,
for better for worse,
for richer for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love,
and to obey,
till death us do part,
according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.

Then, as the groom places the ring on the bride’s finger, he says the following:

With this Ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Bringing Worlds Together Book

Many couples struggle to get on the same page in marriage. Whether you are newlyweds or have been married for years Bringing Worlds Together will help you blend together. Expect to learn more about your spouse, gain insight and be challenged.

Are you ready to move closer rather than drift apart?

Available in print and ebook formats.

Adjusting Expectations Book

No-one enters marriage expectation free. Adjusting Expectations helps identify how expectations were formed and whether or not they were realistic. Most expectations need some adjustment; they are often too high but can also be set too low. The good news is expectations can be reset!

Find out what you should expect and what God expects from you.

Available in print and ebook formats.

Improving Communication Book

Most couples would willingly admit that their communication could do with some improvement; although many people also point the finger of blame squarely at their spouse for communication failures. Whether you believe it’s your fault, their fault or that you’re both to blame, this book is for you! There is always room for improvement.

Available in print and ebook formats.

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