Relationships: Bonding and Boundaries Participants Guide


Join the Conversation:

Record thoughts and questions here that come up as you watch the episode.  Explore them later with the group.
Listen to God’s Word: Proverbs 4:23




Discuss the Episode

1.Henry states that the best remedy for emptiness and anxiety is a connection with another person.  Why do you think that is the case?  How have you experienced that in your own life?

2.In order to bond with others, we need to make ourselves vulnerable to each other.  Vulnerability opens our hearts and enables us to receive from others.  Why can that be difficult?

3.Having boundaries means saying no to things and behaviors that are bad for us, while opening up to good things.  Is it selfish to say no to others?  How do we determine when to say yes and when to say no?

4.Henry mentions that boundaries are only learned in the context of relationships.  How can we encourage one another to develop healthy boundaries?  What can churches and communities do to encourage their members to grow in this way?

Resources for Further Growth

Reflect on What Others Have to Say
Underline and mark ideas you would like to discuss.

In the physical world, boundaries are easy to see.  Fences, signs, walls… are all physical boundaries… In the spiritual world, boundaries are just as real, but often harder to see… Boundaries define us.  They define what is me and what is not me.  A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership.  Knowing what I am to own and take responsibility for give me freedom… Taking responsibility for my life opens up many different options.  However, if I do not “own” my life, my choices and options become very limited.
Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, Boundaries

The essence of boundaries and limits is knowing what we own and what we do not own.  This leads to responsibility and love.  What happens, however, when we do not own the things we should own?  When we do not own ourselves as separate people from the ones we are bonded to, we develop unclear boundaries, and we allow people to cross those boundaries when we should be saying no.
Dr. Henry Cloud, Changes That Heal

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