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Setting Boundaries for Your Children

By Carla MacLachlan

Sometimes a parentís actions are misunderstood by his child. For example, a mother lovingly places her toddler in a car seat knowing it will keep him safe. Yet, the toddler finds the seat restraining. A father carefully builds a back yard fence, creating a safe environment for his children to play. However, the children see the fence as a confining barrier and desire to play in the front yard where they can roam freely. A father and mother go over the rules one more time before permitting their teenager to drive the family car. The teen reluctantly agrees to the rules, even though he views the established boundaries as far too restrictive.

God provided many examples in setting boundaries for His children through His Word. Therefore, parents should follow His example in setting personal boundaries for their children while consistently communicating Godís potential purpose in them.

For example, we know that Godís boundaries are established as a result of His love for us. Explain to your child that the rules made in your household are because of your love for him and are designed to achieve Godís best for his life.

Also, Godís rules are put in place for our protection. Let your child know that when he chooses to live within Godís boundaries he will receive His blessings. On the other hand, when he chooses to operate outside of Godís boundaries he is choosing to live outside of His divine protection.

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Read together Psalm 19:9b-11: The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

Then, enter into dialogue with your child to help him understand that you take your parenting responsibilities very seriously and you will one day be accountable to God for the rules you establish in your household. Show him how each instruction reflects biblical principles and invite him to be an encouragement as you parent according to biblical truth.

©Carla MacLachlan
Carla MacLachlan's passion is Jesus Christ, and this passion is demonstrated in her lifestyle, writing, and teaching. Carla has ministered to adults, children, and families for over 20 years, instilling in them this same passion of living for Jesus. Carla has authored the book "Parenting Moment by Moment" that trains parents to apply truth in very practical ways in their lives and the lives of their children. In addition, she is currently working on a book to equip believers to develop genuine discipleship in their own lives and the lives of others entitled: Making Disciples: Applying Truth in Daily Living.
Carla has been married for 27 years and has two grown sons. Like the apostles, Carla is an "ordinary" person whom Jesus has equipped and empowered to do His will (Acts 4:13). She trains others in godly living through parenting seminars for parents of children of all ages, family seminars for parents and youth, grandparenting seminars, discipleship training, and church leadership seminars. You can learn more about Carla and her ministry at


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