Boundaries, Foundations and That Tell-tale Tilt | Women

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Boundaries, Foundations and That Tell-tale Tilt

Boundaries and foundations: What are they good for?

In 1174 the Italian architect Bonnano Pisano began work on what would become his most famous project: an eight-story bell tower in the city of Pisa.                                                        

There was just one 'little' problem: builders quickly discovered that the soil was much softer than they had anticipated, and the foundation was far too shallow to adequately hold the structure! Before long it began to tilt...and it continued to tilt...until finally the architect and the builders realized that nothing could be done to make the Leaning Tower of Pisa straight again. 

It took 176 years to build the Tower of Pisa and during that time many things were done to try and compensate for the 'tilt'. The foundation was shored up; the upper levels were even built at an angle to try to make the top of the tower look straight. Nothing worked. The tower has stood for over 800 years, but it leans 18 feet away from where it should be. One day, experts say, it will fall…all because it wasn’t built on the right foundation.

The builders were in such a hurry to go up that they didn’t take the time to go down. The façade looked alright but because the foundation was not secure, the tower still totters today. I’ve been told that the depth of a foundation depends on the quality of the soil but most engineers will tell you that no matter how long it takes to get there, the best foundations go right down to the bedrock.

Even while under pressure to perform - builders must have values and boundaries that they will not violate for the sake of speed, laziness, personal whims or money. Compromised foundations and compromised boundaries make for a compromised, dangerous structure - unsafe to inhabit!

  • Are your foundations strong?

  • Are your boundaries strong?

Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

When I read this well known scripture I see this: We have the image of two people, two houses, two foundations and one big storm. If we seek the parallel in the story, then every life becomes a building and every person a builder - and I get the sense that God is trying to get our focus back on the basics of living the Christian Life. Reading this, I realize that everything I am and do comes from the foundation of who I am and the values and boundaries I choose to build into my life.

What is my foundation? What is it that gives me strength or makes me strong?

The difference between two houses or two lives is not always obvious, because on the surface they look about the same. It is the quality of the building materials that will make the comparison.

Our desires, thoughts, attitudes, actions and words become building blocks. This means we need boundaries to help express our values and separate us from destructive behaviours and addictions like gaming; alcohol; negativity; gossip and many others. The atmosphere of our homes and our social gatherings are so much better because we have drawn a line in the sand.

Foundations inform our values. Boundaries are how we express those values.

Here are some 'going deep' thoughts I would love you to ask yourself right now:

  • Who are you building for? 
  • Are you building a life that will last or one that will be washed away?
  • Do you put yourself into a position of continually hear God’s Word, by listening to podcasts; coming to church or reading the Bible daily?
  • Are you committed to regular Sunday participation?
  • Are you plugged into a small group? (It’s so hard to live what you haven’t learned!)

We need to intentionally build into our lives and into the lives of those we love the lasting elements of love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, kindness and self control. We are fearfully and wonderfully made with a plan and a purpose. But if we don’t have Christ as our rock and the Rock of our homes, then we open ourselves to the danger of being swept away.

Psalm 127:1: “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labour in vain.”

Every one of us is a builder and the 'house' is our life. We all experience the storms of sickness, sin, sorrow, suffering, financial stress, relational conflicts and tornados; bearing any of a thousand other names. Will we weather these storms? Or will our structures crumble? Are we prepared to put up with that tell-tale tilt? Or, is it time to allow the Master builder to use His plumbline and to help set us right?

  • Are your foundations strong?

  • Are your boundaries strong?

Be encouraged to build with what lasts and wisely build your life on the Lord Jesus Christ.

- Major Lesley Nicolson originally brought this challenging word at Johnsonville Corps and has kindly adapted it for us to enjoy! With Lesley's compelling message, we have supplied the two questions "Are your foundations strong?" and "Are your boundaries strong" as an image you can print and use as a prompt at home, lifegroup or anywhere you feel this powerful devotional material will spur you on to build strong and build right with Jesus Christ.


Click here for these Boundaries | Foundations free printables!