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Women World Leaders' Podcast

May 13, 2022

This podcast by Cindy Jacob Southworth, an AACC Certified Relationship Coach and part of the Women World Leaders Leadership team, teaches us about why boundaries are important and the symptoms we may suffer when we don’t set and keep boundaries in our relationships.


Welcome to Celebrating God’s Grace, a Women World Leaders Podcast. I am your host Cindy Jacob Southworth, an AACC certified relationship coach with Breakwater Ministries and part of the Women World Leaders leadership team, and I am coming to you from Cindy’s Porch. Today I want to talk to you about why boundaries are so important, but first, let’s go to God in prayer.

Father God, you are a good good Father. Speak to our hearts today about identifying our gifts and talents and using them in a way that is pleasing to you dear Lord. Help us to overcome the roadblocks that keep us from setting boundaries in our relaitonships. Show us your way today Father, in Jesus’ name, Amen.



On my previous podcast I talked about setting and keeping Boundaries in Relationships. I want to continue that conversation today to help you understand why boundaries are so important. I want to help you identify symptoms you may be having because you are not setting and keeping healthy boundaries.


“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”  Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)


God will set us on a path according to our gifts and talents. When we know what those gifts and talents are, we don’t have to conform to the pressures around us. We can say “No” to the things that aren’t utilizing our gifts and talents and say “Yes” to the things that do.


When we have boundary problems, it conflicts with the path God has for us for our gifts and talents. A God-given desire becomes our passion.


“In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.”  Romans 12:6-8 (NLT)



Functional Symptoms when Boundaries are not kept (check all that apply):


We will often see the following symptoms in a person who is not utilizing their gifts appropriately or setting boundaries so that they can operate in their gifts:


_____   The inability of someone to complete a goal, or task. I lack follow-through.


_____   Extreme disorganization. Boundaries have to do with internal structure. If I don’t have good limits in my life, then I will become very unstructured.


_____   Low energy. This leads to burnout. I’m doing what I’m compelled to do, and not doing what I feel called to do.


_____  Problems of concentration.  An intrusion in my mind – I start to focus, and I just can’t stay there. So many things are taking up space on the inside. There’s no mental space to work.


Perhaps you are doing too many things; this limits your ability to do a few things well. We have to say “no” to the busy so we can say “yes” to our passions.


You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. ‘For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.’”  2 Corinthians 9:7 (NLT)


You have to say “no” to the good things, so you can do the best things.








Clinical Symptoms of Boundary Problems (check all that apply):


_____   Depression. Hope deferred makes the heart sick.

_____   A state of loss. We lose a sense of self and we actually feel grief.

_____   A feeling of resentment. We experience toxic physical symptoms.      

_____   Feelings of rage.  We explode because we feel cornered.

_____   Obsessive-compulsive problems.

_____   Compulsive behaviors (over-eating, drinking, etc).


“A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.”  Proverbs 25:28 (NLT)


What does a boundary do?


  1. Boundaries keep good things in, and bad things out. Boundaries keep the love of God in and keeps out what people may want to take away from you.


  1. Boundaries help us to withdraw. In some situations, you may be overwhelmed. Boundaries help us to know when something is wrong or evil.


  1. Boundaries function as a protection of freedom. The person who feels controlled by others feels like a slave. They don’t make the choices that are right for them for fear of letting someone else down.




What does a boundary look like?


There are different kinds of boundaries. 


  1. Personal boundaries. These boundaries focus on your personal space, and physical safety. It includes your preferences for touch, like who gets to hold your hand, or hug you, who gets to be physically intimate with you and how much. It includes how much time we will spend with others vs. with ourselves, taking care of ourselves.


  1. Emotional boundaries. This is your ability to empathize with others without being consumed. It requires us to have boundaries with our time. It’s ok to walk in another person’s shoes, but we must know when to step out of their shoes. We can’t allow their emotional stuff to affect our emotions, so we have to learn how to detach. Also included here are topics that you decide you don’t want to talk about regarding your own personal relationships. Some things that are talked about between husband and wife need to remain between husband and wife.


  1. Cognitive boundaries. This is your ability to hold on to your own beliefs and thoughts, without changing them for other people. As Christians, this means that we don’t compromise what we know the word of God is telling us about maintaining our principles. Included here are conversational boundaries – we get to decide what topics we will discuss with others and which ones we won’t. Hot topics are those that center around religion, politics, and sexuality. It is ok to refrain from topics that you don’t feel comfortable talking about.


  1. Environmental boundaries. This is our ability to share our physical space with others. We determine who gets to go into our drawers, use our hairbrush, get something from our purse, or use our cell phone. We decide who we might share our passwords with or have access to our personal information.




Why is a boundary important?


If you want to accomplish the BIG MISSION in your life, you are going to have to say NO to people.


We need to say NO to protect the stewardship of our time, talents, and resources. People who have good boundaries say NO when they need to say NO. Sometimes we have to say NO to the good so we can say YES to what’s best.


“I’m so busy” is heard frequently by those who do not keep boundaries. They are giving themselves away to “empty calorie” people. In the meantime, they are not reaching their personal or professional goals. They often can’t define their mission… but they are BUSY.



What are the obstacles that keep us from having boundaries?


  • The fear of loss of relationship. If I set limits or disappoint you, then I will lose the relationship. “As long as you stay around, I’ll never tell you no.”


  • The fear of conflict. We engage in “conflict avoidance.” We fear their anger. We are people pleasers. We want people to be happy with us, so we choose their happiness over our own. We allow them to guilt-trip us and manipulate us so we don’t have to fear their disappointment or rejection.


  • Guilt is the gift that keeps on giving. We don’t set boundaries because we don’t want to feel the guilt. “I’m afraid I will damage you if I say no”. “I’ll discourage you if I say No.” “If I say no, they will get depressed.”



“A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.”  Proverbs 25:28 (NLT)


The most essential tool that you have is the ability to say Yes and No. Remember that when you are saying YES to something, you are saying NO to something else.  Make sure that you aren’t always saying NO to your own personal needs in favor of other people.


People will get disappointed and even angry when you don’t do what they want you to do. That’s because they have their own agenda. You can’t allow their anger to control you.


Boundaries are designed to take care of you. They are designed for you to exercise self-care. When we think of self-care, the first thing that comes to mind is our eating habits and exercise, but self-care is much more than that. Self-care is how you treat yourself. It includes balance in your life, rest, relaxation, and companionship.


Self-care can be really hard, and often we don’t exercise healthy self-care until something pushes our limits to the breaking point.  Our inner compass will keep saying NO so we can say YES to ourselves. We just need to listen to our inner compass - The Holy Spirit. We discover that other people can take care of the things that we thought only we could take care of, but there is only one person who can take care of me – and that is me.


Focus on choosing your responsibilities and limit your time. Ask yourself:  Is this really my responsibility? Can someone else do this? Am I about to say Yes to something that the person is fully capable of doing themselves?


Do you do something you love each day? Make a list of the things you love to do, and make sure you are making time to do those things. We all have things that we must do, things we want to do, and then things we love to do. Make sure you keep a balance of the three.


Reach out and build a web of resources.  Find people who will support you.


I would love to hear from you, so drop me an email at   Send me your ideas for relationship advice.


Thank you so much for joining us today—as we celebrate God’s grace in our lives, in this ministry, and the world!

Join us each Monday, Wednesday and Friday as we explore together God’s extravagant love and your courageous purpose. Visit our website at to submit a prayer request,  and support the ministry. Don’t forget to sign up for a free subscription to our Voice Of Truth Magazine. Check out upcoming events in June 2022 in south Florida. From His heart to yours, we are Women World Leaders. All content is copyrighted by Women World Leaders and cannot be used without express written consent.