By Karen Friday
Necessary boundaries for wives include drawing lines around your interactions with male friends. Here’s a story for you to ponder.
Necessary Boundaries for Wives
A friend sat across the table in tears. She shared the details about reconnecting with a male friend online over a common interest.
But soon the phone calls and texts became a daily routine and she kept it a secret from her husband.
While she never met with him in person, she knew this was wrong—an emotional relationship with another man who wasn’t her husband. She was in a fragile state when it started and the enemy found a way in.
My words to her hit hard: “You could lose everything.”
Today, my brave friend walks in freedom from this toxic situation. On occasion, she reminds me of my words that day.
Although I also shared scripture and truths from the Bible, what got to her in that moment was all she had to lose, with very little to gain.
Friendship Boundary Lines
In high school and college some of my best friends were guys. They were easy to talk with, fun to hang out with and in most cases, Christians. We enjoyed discussing spiritual things, which made it even better. As a single gal, this was completely appropriate.
Once married, friendships in my life were limited to my female friends. Women need other women. Wives need other wives.
Friendships with other couples are great relationships for our marriage as long as they stay healthy—friends as couples, but nothing more.
As a pastor’s wife for eighteen years, women tried to convince me they could be friends with other men and it not be an issue. They promised they would never cross the line.
But this rarely happens. Even if the relationship doesn’t turn physical, it turns emotional or causes an issue with their spouses, her husband and his wife.
Consider the wife of your male friend. How does she feel about the friendship? Does he share things with you first or that she doesn’t know? Now, consider how this would make you feel with your husband having a woman as a close friend.
Marriage Boundary Lines
The Lord desires that you put firm boundary lines around your marriage to protect your greatest relationship, second only to your relationship with him.
God gives you commandments and truths to make your relationship with him loving, deep, strong and intimate. Likewise, your relationship with your husband is loving, deep, strong and intimate, if you set up the proper boundaries to keep it secure.
Do you want a firm foundation in God? Do you desire a firm foundation in your marriage?
The answer to both these questions will determine your desire to set up the necessary boundaries for the two most important relationships here on earth, God and your husband.
Maybe this discussion resonates with you. Perhaps you have found yourself at these crossroads and you made the right decision. Maybe it didn’t end well. The Lord can redeem the past and you can walk in freedom.
Here are several specific and necessary boundaries to set:
1. Set a boundary around your emotions with other men. This includes men in your extended family, church, work, neighborhood, Bible study and so on. If you start sharing something that just doesn’t seem right since he’s not your husband, the Holy Spirit is warning you.
2. Draw a boundary line around your heart. The Bible speaks to this. “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) The deepest parts of your heart are for the Lord and your husband.
3. Set boundary lines in not being alone with other men and not texting or calling other men unless the messages are related to work or church. A warning here: even business and church areas can trip you up if the boundary line is not secure.
4. Set a boundary over your mouth in how you speak to others, both men and women, about your husband in private or public. I’ve seen women find solace in talking about their husband to other men, even ministers, and it gave Satan a foothold.
These boundaries will preserve the love and faithfulness in your marriage. They will provide peace and keep you from falling into sin and heartache.
Wife Step: As you reflect on these four areas, ask the Lord to help you set firm boundary lines for the sake of your husband and marriage.
Karen Friday is a pastor’s wife and women’s ministry leader. A blogger, Karen “Girl” Friday engages a community every week, Hope is Among Us. She has published a number of articles and devotions in both print and online media, and is currently working on her first book. Vulnerable about her own marriage journey, Karen knows life never gets more real than as a wife. Karen and her husband Mike have two grown children and two grandchildren. The entire family is fond of the expression, “TGIF: Thank God it’s Friday.” They owe Monday an apology.