The Cowboy Pastor’s Wife: The Bull That Knows No Bounds

Boundaries are the fences in our lives. Photo courtesy Normal Elliott

I should say, the bull that knows no BOUNDARIES! The boy did it again…made his way to the neighbors. He got busted a few days ago on one of his late afternoon escapades! He had no option but to face the consequence of horse and rider once again pushing him back to the boundary line of the ranch.

But this happens right? We’ve all been there. Well most of us have been there, if we have bulls on the honor system because of a strugglin’ fence line.

Fences define areas to which we want to keep something in. A place where livestock is protected, where our family is secure, where we understand what is under our care and how we will best take care of it. Fences are GOOD!

Boundaries are the fences in our lives. We decide who comes in and what decisions are in order, to good management decisions. Yes we all should have them if we want any ounce of sanity. Boundaries in marriage, with family, with friends, in our job. Really any place we live and breath.

When life gets out of’s usually goes back to unclear boundaries. These are the elements of our life based on where we are heading, what we are responsible for, and how to achieve what we believe to be most important to us.

Here’s some questions to ask yourself if you’re wondering about the boundaries in your life.

1. Have you shared the vision? This is where expectations are voiced or even written down, so everyone is on the same page as to where you’re heading.

2. Have you engaged the right help for the task? This is evident when my husband hires day workers. He’s sure to get some young guys to flank, and those handy with a rope. But he also ask those who are dependable and hard workers to be part of the crew. Does everyone know what their task is in your family, your marriage, or even on the ranch?

3. Do you have a strategy? When cooking for a crew I engage the help of my daughter-in-law. We strategize by making a menu, shopping a few days before works begin. We make ahead anything to save time and we consider where we will be eating. The pens require a grill for hamburgers. The bunkhouse means I’m using a roaster and microwave. Strategy is our game plan. Your strategy in family boundaries may look like who you want your kids to hang out with? It might be a strategy to put them in a good school.

4. Who’s accountable to who? When someone doesn’t show up to work, they probably won’t be asked to work again. Accountability comes in when someone misses cattle…”Who rode that country?” In our marriages we are accountable to each other. Whether it’s helping each other stick to a budget or telling friends not to drink around our children. Accountability is important for us to follow through and correct fixes along the way.

Boundaries are really just about what we stand for and how we are going to stick to the principles that define us. When we make our boundaries clear we invite others to be a part of them not us bending our values to make everyone else fit in to them.

“and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation..” Acts 17:26

If you’d like to know more about boundaries, check out this great read by Dr. Henry Cloud, titled…Boundaries

Thank you for reading….thecowboypastorswife