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Boundaries in Marriage: An 8-Session Focus on Understanding the Boundaries That Make or Break Loving Relationships

(DVD - Dec 2007)
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Boundaries

Overview

Only when a husband and wife know and respect each other s needs, choices, and freedom can they give themselves freely and lovingly to one another. Boundaries in Marriage gives the couples in your group the tools they need. By applying the powerful biblical and relational principles presented in this DVD, couples can make a good marriage better and even save one that s headed for disaster. Exercises and activities in each of the eight sessions help partners connect principles with marriage-strengthening application. Boundaries in Marriage will pay huge dividends wherever couples desire to understand the friction points or serious hurts in their marriages so they can move beyond them to a better relationship. Boundaries in Marriage sessions: 1. What s a Boundary, Anyway? 2. Applying the Ten Laws of Boundaries to Marriage 3. Setting Boundaries with Yourself 4. Values One and Two: Love of God and Love of Spouse 5. Values Three and Four: Honesty and Faithfulness 6. Values Five and Six: Compassion and Forgiveness, and Holiness 7. Resolving Conflict in Marriage 8. Some Warning Signs to Help Your Marriage For use with Boundaries in Marriage Participant s Guide, also available."

Details

  • SKU: 9780310278139
  • UPC: 025986278137
  • SKU10: 0310278139
  • Title: Boundaries in Marriage: An 8-Session Focus on Understanding the Boundaries That Make or Break Loving Relationships
  • Qty Remaining Online: 5
  • Publisher: Zondervan Publishing Company
  • Date Published: Dec 2007
  • Age Range: 18 - UP
  • Grade Level: College Freshman thru Up
  • DVD Region: Region 1 - USA and Canada Only
  • Weight lbs: 0.27
  • Dimensions: 7.58" L x 5.30" W x 0.56" H
  • Category: TEACHING & TESTIMONY
  • Subject: Christian Life - Love & Marriage
NOTE: Related content on this page may not be applicable to all formats of this product.

Chapter Excerpt


Chapter One

SESSION ONE


What's a Boundary,
Anyway?

Before You Lead

Key Points

• Love is at the heart of marriage, but it is not enough. The marriage relationship
needs other ingredients to grow and thrive. These ingredients are freedom and
responsibility.

• For intimacy in marriage to develop and grow, there must be boundaries.

• In the simplest sense, a boundary is a property line. It denotes the beginning
and the end of something.

• If I know where the boundaries are in our relationship, I know who "owns" things
such as feelings, attitudes, and behaviors. I know to whom they "belong." And if
there is a problem with one of those, I know to whom the problem belongs as
well.

• When spouses are free to not react to each other, each takes responsibility for his
or her own issues and loves the other person even when he or she does not
deserve it. Free from each other's control, each gives love to the other freely,
and that love transforms the individuals and produces growth in their marriage.

• Words (especially the word no), truth about God and about who you are, consequences,
emotional distance, geographical distance, other people, and time (as
in "time away from") are some examples of boundaries.

• We are responsible for our feelings, attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, choices,
thoughts, values, limits, talents, desires, and love, all of which lie within our
boundaries.

Synopsis

Marriage is about love. It is being bound together by the care, need, companionship, and values of two people, which can overcome hurt, immaturity, and selfishness to form something better than what each person alone can produce. Yet while love is at the heart of marriage, it is not enough. The marriage relationship needs other ingredients to grow and thrive. These ingredients are freedom and responsibility.

While many things go into producing and maintaining love, over and over again one issue is at the top of the list: boundaries. When boundaries break down, marriages break down as well. For intimacy to develop and grow, there must be boundaries. In the simplest sense, a boundary is a property line. If I know where the boundaries are in our relationship, I know who "owns" things such as feelings, attitudes, and behaviors. I know to whom they "belong." And if there is a problem with one of those feelings, attitudes, or behaviors, I know to whom the problem belongs as well.

A marriage relationship requires that each partner have a sense of ownership of himself or herself. The first way in which clarifying boundaries helps us is to define where one person ends and the other begins. What is the problem, and where is it? Is it in you, or is it in me? If we can see that the problem is our problem and that we are responsible for it, then we are in the driver's seat of change.

Freedom, responsibility, and love-something incredible happens as these three ingredients of relationship work together. As love grows, spouses become freer from the things that enslave: self-centeredness, sinful patterns, past hurts, and other self-imposed limitations. They gain a greater and greater sense of self-control and responsibility. As they act more responsibly, they become more loving.

Put differently, when spouses are free to not react to the other, they take responsibility for their own issues, and they love the other person even when he or she does not deserve it. Free from each other's control, they give love to each other freely, and that love transforms the individuals and produces growth in their marriage.

We'll look at Stephanie and Steve's marriage in light of this triangle of freedom, responsibility, and love. Stephanie was suffering from the emotional distance that being on the wrong side of a one-sided relationship creates. But she took some steps to change that relationship. First, she figured out where she ended and where Steve began. When she did, she realized that there was really very little of her in the marriage. She had adapted to her husband and had complied with him so much that she could no longer even remember what it felt like to be herself. But she realized that she could not blame Steve for her loss of herself. She was the one who, afraid of conflict, had complied with his wishes. She had to take ownership of her passivity.

At this point in her journey, Stephanie made a mature decision. She took responsibility for her own misery and began to work on it in the relationship. She didn't-as many people do-leave the relationship in order to "find herself." Nothing is farther from "getting boundaries" than leaving a relationship! Boundaries in marriage are about healing relationships, not ending them.

As Stephanie took ownership and responsibility for her life, Steve was forced to take responsibility for his own, and their marriage improved. Steve also learned to love Stephanie's freedom. He began to be attracted by her independence instead of threatened by it. Their love grew, and they grew as individuals as well. They became better defined, more free and responsible, and more in a position to love and be loved. This is the high calling God created marriage to be.

Session Outline (52 minutes)

I. Introduction (8 minutes)
A. Welcome (5 minutes)
B. Opening Prayer (1 minute)
C. Overview (2 minutes)

II. Discovery (42 minutes)
A. Video Segment: Stephanie's Story (2 minutes)
B. Time for Thought: A Look in the Mirror (5 minutes)
C. Video Segment: Love, Freedom, and Responsibility (3 minutes)
D. Time to Talk: Love, Freedom, and Responsibility (10 minutes)
E. Video Segment: Boundaries in Marriage (7 minutes)
F. Time to Act: Identifying My Property Lines (15 minutes)

III. Wrap-up (2 minutes)

Recommended Reading

"A Tale of Two Couples" and "What's a Boundary, Anyway?" the introduction and chapter 1 in Boundaries in Marriage

8 MINUTES Introduction

5 minutes Welcome

Call the group together. Welcome the participants to Session 1 of theBoundaries in Marriage course: "What's a Boundary, Anyway?" Introduce yourself: Tell the group your name, a little about yourself (including how long you've been married), and why you are excited about leading this series. Depending on the size of the group, have couples introduce themselves-either to everyone or to the people near them and say how long they have been married.

1 minute Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank you for those who have gathered here and for what you have for us to learn about ourselves, about our marriages, and about your plan for marriage. May we hear your truth with our hearts as well as our ears and apply it to our lives in new and freeing ways. Jesus, we look to you to be our guide and teacher as we begin learning more about boundaries, how they can work in marriage, and how each of our marriages can become more what you want it to be. In Jesus' name. Amen.

2 minutes Overview

Participant's Guide page 9.

Note: On each facing right-hand page is a copy of the corresponding Participant's Guide page(s).

In these eight sessions, we are going to look at boundaries in marriage -what they are and how they can help us respect each other's needs, choices, and freedom so that we can give ourselves freely and lovingly to each other. This course is based on Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend's best-selling book Boundaries in Marriage.

Hold up a copy of Boundaries in Marriage. At this point you may wish to offer the book and the Boundaries in Marriage Workbook for sale as additional resources or simply mention where copies can be obtained.

Before we begin the first video segment, let me tell you a little bit about your Participant's Guide. During our eight sessions, we will discuss various topics as a large group. You will also meet together in small groups, sometimes you'll talk to the person next to you or to your spouse, and you'll also work alone on some exercises. The Participant's Guide will help you stay focused and keep us moving through this challenging and life-changing material.

Please turn to page 9 in your Participant's Guide.

[right arrow] Today we'll see that love, freedom, and responsibility are the
necessary ingredients if a marriage is to grow and thrive. We'll
also define "boundaries," look at some examples of boundaries,
and consider their importance. You will recognize that you are
responsible for your feelings, attitudes, beliefs, behaviors,
choices, thoughts, values, limits, talents, desires, and love, all of
which lie within your boundaries.

42 Minutes Discovery

2 minutes Video Segment: Stephanie's Story

Let's begin with a video clip of someone who might remind you of yourself and your marriage. Please turn to page 10 in your Participant's Guide. You'll see that the authors have listed the key points from the video segment so you don't have to take notes while you're watching. You can use these later to review what was covered.

View Video Segment: Stephanie's Story.

That snapshot of Stephanie's marriage may remind you of your own marriage. If that's the case, be encouraged by the happy ending. Now let's see what we can learn from Stephanie's example. Please turn to page 11 in your Participant's Guide.

View Video Segment: Stephanie's Story.

5 Minutes Time for Thought: A Look in the Mirror

Participant's Guide page 11.

Directions

You will be doing this exercise on your own. Take 5 minutes to answer the questions on page 11 and reflect on your own marriage. Afterwards, we'll look at another video segment and discover three key ingredients for a good marriage. Any questions?

Let the participants know when there is 1 minute remaining. Call the group back together after 5 minutes.

3 minutes Video Segment: Love, Freedom, and Responsibility

You've had a few minutes to think about your own marriage. And your marriage is what you need to keep in mind as Dr. Townsend and Dr. Cloud are speaking. In this segment called Love, Freedom, and Responsibility, we'll start learning about three key ingredients to a good marriage.

Remind the participants that key points from the video segment can be found on page 12 of the Participant's Guide if they would like to review them at a later time.

View Video Segment 2: Love, Freedom, and Responsibility

10 minutes Time to Talk: Love, Freedom, and Responsibility

Participant's Guide page 13

The triangle of love, freedom, and responsibility may be a new lens through which to look at your marriage. Let's take some time to talk together about how those three elements affect a marriage relationship. Please turn to page 13 in your Participant's Guide.

Directions

With your spouse, turn to another couple near you and take 10 minutes to share your answers to the three questions listed on page 13 of your Participant's Guide. Any questions?

Let the participants know when there is 1 minute remaining. Call the group back together after 10 minutes.

I trust that this time of reflection and discussion was a helpful and encouraging way for you to start thinking more deeply about the dynamics of marriage and to appreciate a few good things about your own marriage.

As Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend say when they're speaking to married couples like us, today is the day to work on your own boundaries in marriage. What you take the initiative to deal with today will affect the rest of your married life. And what you ignore or are afraid to address will do the same. With that in mind, let's look now at what boundaries are.

7 minutes Video Segment: Boundaries in Marriage

Remind the participants that key points from the video segment can be found on page 14 of the Participant's Guide if they would like to review them at a later time.

View Video Segment: Boundaries in Marriage.

15 minutes Time to Act: Identifying My Property Lines

Participant's Guide page 15-18

Responsibility, freedom, and love-boundaries are key to the protection of all these factors in a marriage relationship. Please turn to page 15 in your Participant's Guide.

Directions

Take 15 minutes to start reading through the questions beginning on page 15. They are designed to help you consider different types of boundaries, to see where your boundaries are, and to decide where you could shore them up. You won't have time to finish this exercise right now, but you'll be encouraged to do so in the Boundary Building section at the end of this session.

Let the participants know when there is 1 minute remaining. Call the group back together after 15 minutes.

2 Minutes Wrap-up

Participant's Guide pages 19-21

Before we close this session in prayer, let's take a look at the Boundary Building section on pages 19 to 21 of your Participant's Guide. This section will appear at the end of each of our eight sessions. The questions and exercises included there are intended to help you put into action the concepts about which you are learning or to occasionally think more about them. I encourage you to at least read through the questions and exercises. Even if you aren't able to spend as much time with them as you like, anything further you can do will help strengthen your marriage.

1 minute Closing Prayer

Participant's Guide page 19.

Please turn to page 19 in your Participant's Guide and follow along as I read the prayer printed there.

Lord God, after just one session, we're seeing more clearly what a high calling marriage is! In order for us to respond to that calling, please help us learn to take ownership of our feelings, attitudes, and behaviors; to take responsibility for our choices, desires, thoughts, values, talents, and love; and both to grant our spouses freedom and responsibly act on the freedom our spouses grant us. Please give us wisdom as we use words, truth, consequences, emotional distance, physical distance, other people, and time to build or strengthen boundaries.

We're a bit nervous as we set out on this journey toward a healthier marriage, and we're feeling more than a little vulnerable. We know that you'll be with us each step of the way, and may your presence give us hope and the willingness to proceed. As we submit ourselves to your transforming touch, we ask you to be at work in our mates even as you work to make us more like Christ-in whose name we pray. Amen.

Glad you were here.

Continues.

Continues.


Chapter One

Session One


What's a Boundary,
Anyway?


OVERVIEW

In this session, you will

• See that love, freedom, and responsibility are necessary ingredients if a marriage is to grow and thrive.

• Define "boundaries," look at examples of boundaries,and consider their importance.

• Recognize that you are responsible for your feelings,attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, choices, thoughts,values, limits, talents, desires, and love, all of which lie within your boundaries.


Video Segment


Stephanie's Story

• Freedom, responsibility, and love-something incredible happens as these three ingredients of relationship work together.

• Stephanie was suffering from the emotional distance that being on the wrong side of a one-sided relationship creates.

• Stephanie realized that there was really very little of her in the marriage. She had adapted to her husband and had complied with him so much that she could no longer even remember what it felt like to be herself.

• Stephanie realized that she could not blame Steve for her loss of herself. She was the one who, afraid of conflict, had complied with his wishes. She had to take ownership of her passivity.

• Stephanie took responsibility for her own misery and began to work on it in the relationship. She didn't-as many people do-leave the relationship to "find herself."

• As Stephanie took ownership and responsibility for her life, Steve was forced to take responsibility for his own, and their marriage improved.

• Steve also learned to love Stephanie's freedom. He began to be attracted by her independence instead of threatened by it.


Time for Thought


A Look in the Mirror

DIRECTIONS

You will be doing this exercise on your own. Take 5 minutes to answer the questions below and reflect on your own marriage.

1. What, if anything, did you see of yourself and your marriage in Stephanie's situation?

2. If you were Stephanie, what could you do to improve your marriage?

3. If you were Steve, what would you want Stephanie to do to let you know that she is drifting away from you?

4. Why are you taking this Boundaries in Marriage course? What do you hope to learn?


Video Segment


Love, Freedom, and Responsibility

• Marriage is about love. But while love is indeed at the heart of marriage, it is not enough.

• The marriage relationship needs freedom and responsibility to grow and thrive.

• When two people are free to disagree, they are free to love. When they are not free, they live in fear,and love dies.

• When two people together take responsibility to do what is best for the marriage, love can grow. When they do not, one takes on too much responsibility and resents it; the other does not take on enough and becomes self-centered or controlling.

• This course is about promoting love, growing it,developing it, and repairing it. We want to help you develop love through providing a better environment for it: one of freedom and responsibility. This is where boundaries, or personal property lines, come in. They promote love by protecting individuals.


Time to Talk


Love, Freedom, and Responsibility

DIRECTIONS

With your spouse, turn to another couple near you and take 10 minutes to share your answers to the three questions listed below.

1. Marriage is about being bound together by the care, need, companionship, and values of two people, which can overcome hurt, immaturity, and selfishness to form something better than what each person alone can produce. Love is at the heart of marriage, as it is at the heart of God himself (1 John 4:16). When have you seen or perhaps even experienced the partnership of marriage being "something better than what each person alone can produce"? Give a specific example.

2. When two people are free to disagree, they are free to love. When they are not free, they live in fear, and love dies.

• Why does genuine love allow the freedom to disagree?

• What fears come into play when people are not free to
disagree-and why do those fears cause love to die?

3. When two people together take responsibility to do what is best for their marriage, love can grow. When they do not, one takes on too much responsibility and resents it; the other does not take on enough and becomes self-centered or controlling. What, if anything, do you see about yourself, your marriage, and/or marriage in general when you look through the lens this statement offers?


Video Segment


Boundaries in Marriage

• For intimacy in marriage to develop and grow, there must be boundaries. A boundary is a property line. It denotes the beginning and the end of something.

• If I know where the boundaries are in our relationship,I know who "owns" things such as feelings, attitudes,and behaviors. I know to whom they "belong." And if there is a problem with one of those, I know to whom the problem belongs as well.

• A relationship like marriage requires each partner to have a sense of ownership of himself or herself. The first way in which clarifying boundaries helps us is to define where one person ends and the other begins. What is the problem, and where is it? Is it in you, or is it in me? If we can see that the problem is our problem and that we are responsible for it, then we are in the driver's seat of change.

• Three realities have existed since the beginning of time: freedom, responsibility, and love. God created us free. He gave us responsibility for our freedom. As responsible free agents, we are told to love him and each other.

• When spouses are free to not react to each other,each takes responsibility for his or her own issues and loves the other person even when he or she does not deserve it. Free from each other's control,each gives love to the other freely, and that love transforms the individuals and produces growth in their marriage.

• As Stephanie and Steve became more defined, they became two people who could love and be loved. They began to know and enjoy one another.


Time to Act


Identifying My Property Lines

DIRECTIONS

Take 15 minutes to start reading through the questions below. They are designed to help you consider different types of boundaries, to see where your boundaries are, and to decide where you could shore them up. You won't have time to finish this exercise right now, but you'll be encouraged to do so in the Boundary Building section at the end of this session.

1. The most basic boundary is language. Your words help define you. They tell the other person who you are, what you believe, what you want, and what you don't.

• Give an example of boundary-setting words that you and
your mate use occasionally, if not regularly.

• How do you respond when your spouse uses boundary-setting
words?

• How does your spouse respond to your boundary-setting
words?

• When have you chosen silence rather than boundary-setting
words-and why? Be specific.

2. God's truth and principles provide the boundaries of our existence, and as we live within this truth, we are safe. In addition, being honest and truthful about ourselves and what is going on in a relationship provides boundaries.

• Which of God's principles are functioning well in your
marriage? ("Do not lie," "Do not commit adultery," "Do
not covet," "Give to others," "Love one another," "Be
compassionate," and "Forgive" are some.) Which, if any,
have been violated? What have been the consequences
of that violation-and what might be done to get those
boundaries back in place?

• When, if ever, have you been aware of giving your mate a
false impression of your feelings or your perspective on
the relationship? Why did you choose to do so? What have
been the consequences of your choice?

3. Consequences define what you will and will not allow yourself to be exposed to. When words fail to communicate, actions can.

• When have the consequences of pain or loss helped you or
your spouse better understand the other's boundaries?

• In what current situation, if any, might the use of consequences
be an effective communicator of your boundaries?
What would those consequences be?

4. A pure heart and the commitment to work on things are necessary as one follows the advice of Proverbs to "guard your heart" (4:23) with some emotional distance.

• What risks come with a couple's establishment of emotional
distance? And what possible benefits?

• When, if ever, has emotional distance been a conscious
and talked-about choice in your marriage? In what ways
was your relationship stronger afterwards?

5. Sometimes, when all else fails, people must get away from each other until the hurt can stop. Distance can provide time to protect, time to think, time to heal, and time to learn new things.

• When have you or someone you know needed to resort to
physical distance to provide space for healing and/or safety
to preserve partners and the marriage itself? Remember
that physical distance can range from simply removing
oneself from an argument to moving into a shelter with
your children.

• What risks come with a couple's establishment of physical
distance? What possible benefits?

6. God has always provided help from his family to those who need it.

• Identify both some risks and some benefits of turning to
other people.

• Who, if anyone, has helped you strengthen your boundaries?
Whose care, support, teaching, and modeling might
help you set and maintain healthy boundaries in your marriage?
Where could you go to find such people?

7. Time to work out a conflict or to limit the conflict is another boundary that structures difficulties in relationships.

• When, if ever, have you used time as a boundary in your
marriage?

• What current issue in your marriage could benefit from
one of the following arrangements: giving yourself an
allotted time to talk about certain things; setting a specific
time to work on a particular issue instead of discussing it
in the heat of the moment; establishing seasons for certain
goals? Be specific about the issue and about the timing
that might help you and your spouse deal with it.

Closing Prayer

Lord God, after just one session, I'm seeing more clearly what a high calling marriage is. In order for me to respond to that calling, please help me learn to take ownership of my feelings, attitudes, and behaviors; to take responsibility for my choices, desires, thoughts, values, talents, and love; and both to grant my spouse freedom and responsibly act on the freedom my spouse grants me. Please give me wisdom as I use words, truth, consequences, emotional distance, physical distance, other people, and time to build or strengthen boundaries.

I'm a bit nervous as I set out on this journey toward a healthier marriage, and I'm feeling more than a little vulnerable. I know that you'll be with me each step of the way, and may your presence give me hope and the willingness to proceed. As I submit myself to your transforming touch, I ask you to be at work in my mate even as you work to make me more like Christ-in whose name I pray. Amen.

Boundary Building

1. Boundaries in marriage is not about fixing, changing, or punishing your mate. If you aren't in control of yourself, the solution is not learning to control someone else; the solution is learning self-control.

• What would you like to fix or change in your spouse or
punish him/her for? Let go of those unhealthy and
unhelpful goals by making them a topic of prayer.
Confess these desires and ask God to be at work in
your mate even as he works to transform you.

• What aspects of your role as husband or wife currently
call for you to exercise greater self-control? Submit
those to the Lord and his sanctifying, transforming
touch.

2. Each spouse must take responsibility for the following things:


Feelings
Desires
Attitudes
Thoughts
Behaviors
Values
Choices
Talents
Limits
Love

• Look closely at the above list. In what areas are you not
taking responsibility? (Could a close friend help you
answer this question? Would your spouse be able to
answer it if you risked asking an opinion?)

• What would responsibility in those areas look like?

(Continues.)

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