Boundaries Are Instructive

“Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.”Proverbs 8:33

So, we’ve talked about how Boundaries are Imperative and Protective. Now let’s look at how they are Instructive. Again, this is just another angle, another perspective of looking at boundaries. Let’s start by defining what the word ‘instructive’ means. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary says, “Conveying knowledge; serving to instruct or inform.” Boundaries, then, are conveying to you, knowledge. Their purpose is to inform you and instruct you. They are actually serving you! And they serve you well when you follow them! As the above verse says, “Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.” Don’t refuse the boundaries laid for you, that is being foolish. Being wise is heeding them!

Like the last article, the boundary of the fence informed the little girl what was expected of her—she was to stay within the boundary of the fence and not go out. Her parents had clearly told her the rules for playing outside—stay inside the fence and you can play, go outside the fence and you cannot play anymore. The little girl now knows what is right and what is wrong. She doesn’t have to worry that she’s going to get in trouble if she stays within the fence line. But she also knows there’s consequences if she disobeys. She now has the freedom and joy of playing and having a great time because she doesn’t have to keep looking at Mom and Dad to see whether she is doing something wrong. It’s no fun to have to constantly feel like you are walking on thin ice, waiting for Dad and Mom to snap and you don’t know why or how to prevent it. Since the lines have been clearly drawn for her, she is free of that anxiety. 

Children who seem to act up and be the naughtiest kids you’ve ever met are actually screaming for boundaries to be laid for them. I know that seems backwards when they are little sinners bent towards doing whatever they want to do, but kids feel safe and secure when clear boundary lines have been laid. Chaos ensues otherwise because the kids are confused about what they should or shouldn’t do. 1 Corinthians 14:33 says, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace,…” Boundaries bring peace. You can be at peace and rest when you know you are safe, safe within the boundaries.

Boundaries are essential because they are the very framework that make up “right” and “wrong.” Boundaries define what is right and what is wrong. This is how they are instructing us! 1 Corinthians 14:40 says, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” Without rules and guidelines, without boundaries, there can be no order. Just like in volleyball—again using this analogy—we have a referee who calls out mistakes and brings order to the game.

Webster’s defines ‘referee’ as, “One to whom a thing is referred; particularly, a person appointed by a court to hear, examine and decide a cause between parties, pending before the court, and make report to the court.” In our case, a volleyball court, ha ha!There has to be a baseline to start from or else nobody would ever end up playing because no one can ever agree on whether the ball was actually out or right on the line, did she step over the serving line or not, did she slap the ball instead of setting it, did she cross the net line when she blocked, etc. When there’s a question, the ref is the one who makes the final call. There’s a boundary for the boundaries so there can be order, so there can be peace.


The world is screaming for a sense of security, a sense of peace in their soul that they will never find apart from God’s clear commands in Scripture. Only God can fill that void. But so many don’t want to have to submit and humble themselves so they seek to find another way outside of the boundaries of God’s Word. They will never find it though. True freedom, true peace is found within the boundaries God has clearly laid.

So, let’s conclude by a quick review of all we have talked about in these last three articles on Boundaries.

  1. Boundaries are Imperative—we absolutely need them; we have no purpose without them.
  2. Boundaries are Protective—they are given to keep us safe; they keep us from destroying ourselves.
  3. Boundaries are Instructive—they define what is right and wrong; they bring peace and order.

John 8:32 says, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

“True freedom has to recognize boundaries!” (Quote from Eve in Exile by Rebekah Merkle)


Sign up to receive the latest articles delivered to your inbox as soon as they are posted.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Comments 1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.