Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life

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In order to call themselves good Christians, many people have drawn overly flexible boundaries (unwilling to say no, always accommodating others' needs) or overly rigid boundaries (to the point of being righteous and judgmental). Psychologists and inspirational speakers Cloud and Townsend show readers how to set reasonable boundaries in order to follow the true path of Christianity. This book has become immensely popular, most likely because it makes personal boundaries easier to define and is filled with spiritual purpose. Some cautions: the format can be overly self-helpish for such a complex discussion and the authors at one point imply that judicious spankings may be an acceptable form of setting boundaries with children. However, many Christians will probably find themselves grateful for this biblical context of boundaries. --Gail Hudson

Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries impact all areas of our lives: Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us, mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts, emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and spiritual boundaries help us to distinguish God's will from our own.

Customer Reviews:

  • Mind YOUR business!
    What a life-altering book! Truly, it has turned my life around and helped me overcome many dysfunctions that I learned growing up in an alcoholic home. I have highlights and notes on just about every page. I will forever be indebted to the wisdom gleaned from these pages....more info
  • Boundaries:Taking control of your life God's way
    This book helps you understand what makes people act the way they do based upon their hang-ups and experiences in life-these are actually spiritual strongholds in them. The authors help you learn how to confront these areas,and know your own sins and areas of weakness-saying no to them. The book in no way can take the place of the Bible and God's way of dealing with people,but it does contain lots of scripture references. ...more info
  • Best book ever for developing healthy relationships
    I buy this book in mass quantities because I am a counselor at my church and in my opinion it is the best book I have found in 35 years for helping people to recover from hurts and abuse and develop strong healthy relationships. I recommend it to everyone who is struggling with relationship issues.

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  • book is perfect for anyone with boundry issues and even not
    for those like me who think God left it up to me to do his work and for others who just don't know how to keep someone out of their space, this book is perfect. it was a life changer for me. now i just remind myself "boundries" and know that God didn't leave me in charge down here, that he is in charge and working on al situations. it let me know that i am interfering with his work. i can now sleep at night knowing that he is in charge and that it's not up to me to fix up everyones lives...more info
  • Must Read- Boundries
    This is a wonderful book. I am doing the study along with the workbook. Wow! Have I learned a lot about what my Boundries are.
    I would recommend this book!...more info
  • You need the DVD
    What is not obvious when you buy this little paperback is that it is not complete without the DVD. And the workbook does not refer to this "new and revised" book. It refers to the original book. What you can get out of it is good....more info
  • Boundary Bible
    Everyone should own this book. It is the Boundary Bible. It is a must read for every human being....more info
  • Christians are not supposed to be Doormats
    Being a good Christian doesn't mean putting up with everything that happens in life. We are not doormats and this book helped me see that. It is okay to preserve yourself and keep a sound mind - away from others that take advantage of you. If you are upset by how others treat you or how much you end up "doing" for others and the church, then you are doing so out of our human need to fulfill what being "Christian" is...we need to bear good fruit, and that means setting limits. ...more info
  • Let's look to God
    Cloud and Townsend are very popular speakers and writers when it comes to Christian audiences and those in the recovery field. I've heard them and read them. But I believe the thrust of this "take control" work does not give enough attention to what God can do.By the Power of God: A Guide To Early A.A. Groups and Forming Similar Groups Today (Why It Worked; A.A. History). Christians, I believe, start with belief in God (Hebrews 11:6). Then they go to the necessity for a new birth which enables them to become children of the living Creator (John 3:1-6). This in turn leads them to Jesus Christ as the Way and the Truth and the Life. And see Romans 10:9.A New Way In: Reaching the Heart of a Child of God in Recovery with His Own, Powerful, Historical Roots.
    This was the early A.A. approach when A.A. was a Christian Fellowship and was achieving a documented 75% to 93% success rate.Why Early A.A. Succeeded: The Good Book in Alcoholics Anonymous Yesterday and Today. The formula from the Bible, particularly the Book of James in early A.A.. meant: (1) Controlling your own mind (Romans 12:1-2); (2) Controlling your own tongue (James 3:8-13); and (3) Being a doer of the word, not a hearer only (James 1:21-27). This simply meant that we were to be about our Heavenly Father's business, not just our own.The James Club and the Original A.A. Program's Absolute Essentials.
    The point here is not just to quote Scripture. It is to point to the one, true, living Creator who is able to provide the wisdom, strength, guidance, and deliverance that must accompany the human effort to "take control."Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous: His Excellent Training in the Good Book As a Youngster in Vermont.My judgment is that "taking control" means uncertainty if it is not accompanied by looking to God for the road map, the instructions, and the driver education--not to mention the power of God.A New Way Out: New Path - Familiar Road Signs - Our Creator's Guidance....more info
  • Excellent book for adults confused over juggling boundaries with parents
    Boundaries demonstrates what a life without boundaries looks like, how boundaries are lost and how to set new boundaries with others. Very helpful guide for adults with newly widowed parents trying to decipher the gray areas of boundaries after the loss of a parent.--Author of the multi-award winning resource guide...Mom Minus Dad: The Essential Resource Guide for Busy Adults with a Newly Widowed Parent...more info
  • Tremendous Christian psychology based help
    Even though I'm a school counselor, this book has added greatly to my knowledge base. I've loaned it out so many times to students and faculty that I finally had buy another copy for myself. Now I'm buying more copies for Christmas and birthday gifts as so many people lack skills for when to say yes and when to say no. ...more info
  • Clearly Defined
    Written by psychologists and incorporating a Biblical perspective, Cloud and Townsend offer anecdotal, clinical and spiritual evidence as they explain the need for limits in our lives. Individual chapters address specific relational areas, e.g. family, marriage, children, workplace. The language and terminology are easy to understand, and the overall tone is encouraging. ...more info
  • A Must Read for Everyone!
    I wish I would have had this earlier in my life, but it's never too late to take control. One of the most helpful books I've ever read. A must read for everyone.

    Donna Dee Weems
    Reedley, CA...more info
  • boundaries
    great book to help you focus on the importance of self. making time/priority of self...more info
  • Good book... life changer
    I am so happy I bought this book. It has so much information. It is a book that needs study... not just a read. I grew up with alcoholic parents and very codependent relationships. I am glad there is a Christian and biblical based book that speaks to the fact that when you are a Christian loving on people it does not also mean you are a doormat for others to take advantage of. God gave us boundaries and the ability to determine what is good for us to protect us. It is up to us to flex our muscles in this area and listen to our still soft voice when the answer is "no" and say it. It is also a comfort to know that God is smiling down on us when we stand our ground, understand our own personal boundaries and protect our hearts the way God would want us to. My prayer is for abundant wisdom to all who read this. It is definately a life changing book. ...more info
  • Boundaries CD
    The content of this CD is great but the quality of the reader makes it very difficult to follow. I do not recommend the CD. I bought this as a gift for my mom after reading the book which was excellent. She likes to listen to books when she is working in the kitchen, however if there is any background noise in the kitchen at all (which there always is - dishes, running water, TV in the next room, etc.) then it is impossible to hear the reader consistently. His voice varies in volume and tone way too much....more info
  • Boundaries
    This book is wonderful. I listen to it in the car and it delivers me every time. I thank God for this book. It is taking the blinders of the area that I didn't know were there....more info
  • Boundaries : When to say Yes, When to say No, Take Control of Your Life
    It was most disappointing when I realized that the 7 books I'd ordered as gifts were minature copies. I had overlooked the tiny word minature mixed in with the publisher list. Since there is a newer edition of this book available, I assumed that the "real" book was on clearance and hence a lower cost. I felt that it was deceptive advertising and not made clear. I still have these 7 ridiculous-sized books on my shelf....more info
  • Drawing a good line in religious life
    A very kind, down-to-earth book - the best kind of Christian counseling for managing relations, obligations, caring and abuse. Where religion commonly promotes unlimited demands on people, Cloud and Townsend show humane limits based on respect for both ourselves and others. And they firmly challenge any who feel it spiritual to blame the victim in cases of emotional abuse. On the way, they question many boundaries we draw in our lives, urging open consideration of what is actually helpful:

    "Christians often have a warped way of looking at work. Unless someone is working 'in the ministry', they see his work as secular. However, this view of work distorts the biblical picture. All of us -- not only full-time ministers -- have gifts and talents that we contribute to humanity. We all have a vocation, a `calling' into service. Wherever we work, whatever we do, we are to do `unto the Lord'." (Colossians 3:23) (p. 194)
    ...more info
  • Boundaries
    Great explaination of the constant struggle to maintain a healty border in your life. Let the good in and the bad out. Detailed explaination and easy read. Like any other book, not a instant life "fixer" but does have application to a better you....more info
  • Excellent
    You can't get much better than Cloud and Townsend for giving practical advise that works. A book for everyone to read....more info
  • This is a miniature (2x2) book don't fall for it!
    This was a rip-off, and a real disappointment. It was misleading and deceptive because when it arrived it was a miniature size (2"x2" app) with only a fraction of the content of the actual full-sized book by exact same title which I was expecting but wasn't worth paying to ship/return. There isn't an option to rate this with 0 stars but there ought to be, as well as some 'boundaries' against this sort of fraudulent advertising practices, don't fall for it! ...more info
  • this book saved my life, literally
    When I read it, I was just a few steps away from an emotional breakdown. My boundaries were so pour, so porous, that I was completely bankrupt of emotional resources, down to 100 pounds (from a healthy weight of 125), couldn't sleep, couldn't eat & was struggling with active suicidal ideation. The book helped me see where I was off - and gave me a road map how to regain myself. It was neither easy nor quick. It took about two years and a support group of caring connections - friends and family who were able to reach out, encourage & stabalize me as I learned this new way of doing life. But in the process, I saved my marriage, was there for my kids & even helped them to learn healthy boundaries so hopefully they will be able to avoid the same mistakes I made....more info
  • Very Helpful Book
    This books has loads of great insight for improving your personal boundaries. If you feel like you can never say no to others, this is the book for you. It is good for Christians and non-Christians because the insight works no matter what. I am still working on the ideas in this book, but will definately take another read of it in the near future....more info
  • Awsome
    A must read for every one. These are things that just arent taught in the real world....more info
  • Boundaries
    This is a great book. A very quick read by Dr. Henry Cloud. It helps people to understand when and how to say yes and no. The listeners of Dave Ramsey's radio program are recommended to read it and I would recommend it to all adults....more info
  • pastor's wife
    This is a very good book explaining how to have boundaries in our life. I'm doing a class at church with this book and its going very well. I listen to these two doctors that wrote this book on Joyce Meyers....more info
  • boundaries
    good information. too much bible talk. wish they would stick to the boundaries message and not refer to the passage and verse of the bible..perhaps give bible reference at the end of each cd....more info
  • Great info
    What can I say? this book is great. Great information on what boundries are, how they are created, how they can weakened and what to do to be the person you were created to be....more info
  • if you get past the beginning its really helpful!!
    the beginning was kinda slow, but once you get passsed it, it had really helpful and pertinent information in a much easier format....more info
  • boundaries
    Never received this book even after an email was sent to the seller. No response, bad business!!...more info
  • Great
    Buying this book was quick and easy. It arrived quickly and I am very pleased with the service I received....more info
  • Excellent Book
    This book has helped me more in life than any other book that I have ever read. I will keep it forever and go back to it when I need to....more info
  • God's truth is always good
    We all need to learn healthy bouderies to let good people in & keep unhealthy people out. Good "how to" book....more info
  • This book is really eye opening
    I think this book is really outstanding and life changing. I didn't realize I had weak boundaries until I read it. Now I can see clearly all the ways this problem has affected my life and my happiness over the years. It has truly opened my eyes and now that I know what my main problem is, I can address it. I highly recommend this book and I am buying a copy for a few people I know.
    ...more info
  • Empowering
    I'm living in a situation that is not what I'd ever expected in my life. We decided 4 years ago to move into my husband's parents' house. We have two children. We have the first two floors, his parents have the top two floors. From DAY ONE they always wanted to "help" by TAKING the kids....something I never wanted but didn't have the guts, self-esteem, whatever, to say NO and create the necessary boundaries that would enable me to live in this situation. So for 4 VERY LONG TEDIOUS years, I suffered, playing the role of "victim". Until I found this book. It came two weeks ago. 5 days ago I was able to clearly, logically, simply express my boundaries without attacking (something I had fantasized about IMMENSELY) or making anyone feel bad. This is a very powerful book, powerful information, empowering to the soul. I truly love this book and already let it enable me to also heal another area that had major boundary issues. It is so good. My only advice is to read it SLOWLY and digest it; let it creep into your subconscious and inspire ideas. When the ideas come up, if they feel right, act on them immediately. You will NOT be disappointed.

    Good luck to anyone with boundary issues. This book is truly spectacular....more info
  • Boundaries is the icing on the cake of healing!
    From cover to cover Boundaries is a complete Christian handbook for discovering why God created boundaries and how to implement them into our lives. By following this guide many dysfunctional people will find a path to freedom and regain control of their lives. Boundaries are clearly defined in this book in all areas; physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Using the steps in the book will bring new health to your relationships and lead to a walk of being the loving giving people God intended us to be. Having grown up in a dysfunctional family myself, I have to say that Boundaries is the icing on the cake of healing that God has served me and I will serve to others as well. ...more info


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