I've recently finished the book "Boundaries" by Cloud/Townsend. Its been on my "want-to"read list for a long time. I was quite familiar with the idea of 'boundaries' before reading the book, but I'm thankful that the book revealed some new areas I had not yet thought of.
I enjoyed the book very much. I will say that often their use of Scripture to support their points was faulty - they took Scripture out of context several times! But nevertheless - the book does contain wisdom and some truth for us to glean and wrestle with....particularly from Proverbs.
Below is a personal realization, inspired partly by the book , and partly by a personal coach/mentor of mine who has been trying to drill this into my head for years: :)
I will begin with an illustration: I'm a mezzo-soprano, meaning that my vocal range is high but richer in the middle and not so lovely in the highest spots. If I was singing for a director who gave me a solo that was written for a first soprano (those skilled in high areas), he would soon discover that I would sing it rather poorly. In the future, most likely that director would be careful to give me solos that would be better suited to my range so that I could perform at a higher level. However, if that director continued to give me solos that I was not suited for, and then was angry at me again and again for singing them poorly, the fault would lie with him and not with me. I am weak in that range, to be sure, but it is not the range that my vocal chords were designed for.
A similar illustration is the following: If I need to fill up my bucket of water and I have several wells to choose from, most likely I will go to the well that has the freshest and largest supply of water. However, if I choose to go to the empty well and try to fill up my bucket - and come up short - I am being foolish. If I continue to try and fill up my bucket from an empty well...well, that's just insanity. :) Getting angry at the empty well wastes a lot of time and emotional energy when I could simply draw from other sources.
There is a wideness and diversity in the Body of Christ. We all have different spiritual gifts, talents, resources, etc. To ask that Person A fill my need for ______ is fine...IF Person A is skilled in ____. But if Person A is not skilled - and I return again and again demanding him/her to fill that need, then the fault lies with me, and not with them. Instead I should be asking, 'who is designed to fill the need of _____?' and choose instead to go to that person.
I Corinthians gives us such a glorious picture of the Body of Christ - each part has its role. How foolish would we be to ask the arm to be an eye, or the ear to be a foot?? But that is just what we do with each other sometimes.
Think of someone who continually disappoints you and hurts you...have you been trying to draw water from a well that is dry? Remember the wideness of the Body of Christ and look for your needs to be met in a variety of sources and people. Choosing this view helps us to be free from anger and resentment...and turn instead to appreciation.
Ironically - demanding that someone meet a need that we have that they are not skilled to meet is only a recipe for making the relationship worse. It creates insecurity and a critical spirit. Instead, when we delight in the goodness of what gifts and help that person has to offer, we find a thankful spirit in our hearts that creates an environment for trust, encouragement, affirmation, and the valuing of one another.
Ultimately, our "WELL" is truly CHRIST Himself. He alone meets our deepest needs. But He often chooses to meet those needs through others in the Body of Christ. If you have a need that is unmet...ask God to direct you to the right person in the Body of Christ to help you to fill it.