Leaders often ask my wife and I about boundaries in marriage and it truly is an important question. With the help of others, I took some time to list those boundaries in this blog for you. My desire would be that they are helpful guidelines for you and your spouse as you think about boundaries and integrity within your own relationship.
Priority number one is daily time with God. We also have a devotional time as a couple nightly.
We practice doing our best to go to bed together and not getting in the habit of watching TV all evening.
We are careful about the number of evening meetings during the week.
We pray about and are careful about the number of requests to say “yes” to, e.g., boards, parachurch ministries, clubs, school board, township meetings, political office, etc. While all of these can be great, they can also rob us of valuable time together.
We work hard to not allow sexual intimacy to be stolen from us.
We do our best to eat dinner together. This was especially important when our children were at home with us.
We could not meet with or relate to everyone as they saw their need. We learned to say “no” so we could say “yes” to the relationships we felt were most important.
We committed to take a weekly sabbath and family day for down time, rest and play.
We take time in prayer together each morning for our family and others on our heart.
We judiciously engage in time to cover schedules, keeping one another abreast on daily whereabouts and always letting our spouse know if we’ll be later than planned.
I committed to not traveling in ministry/work away from the family for more than 7-10 consecutive days. While away, I would check in frequently with my wife.
When possible, take a traveling friend or mentor if your spouse is not traveling with you.
When in another nation or area, being careful to not travel alone, tour alone or place oneself in any possible vulnerable situation.
We would take several weekends away each year as a couple. Our goal was once a quarter, but that didn’t always materialize, especially with a young family.
We dated our children. They had individual time with parents, and in that way they understood their parents going on a date.
Since our children are raised, we take a week of vacation together every year.
Both of us remain accountable to our direct overseers. I meet monthly while my wife meets two times per year.
Taking a two-month long sabbatical every seven years was life-giving to me, our marriage and family along with refreshment and refocus for my work.
I guard my heart and mind with internet use, TV and movies. I practice zero tolerance with pornography and the like.
As a pastoral counselor doing individual counseling with someone of the opposite sex, I required the counselee to have a friend, an overseer or accountability partner with them.
I try to be extremely wise and careful about riding in a car alone with someone of the opposite sex or being in a public place (restaurant) alone.
I am cautious about praying alone with someone of the opposite sex because of the intimacy of prayer.
What would you add to this list? Please find your personal boundaries and at the same time find accountability and integrity within your lifelong marriage relationship.