Sometimes, love is a soft, warm blanket. Other times, it is a strongly built wall, lovingly enforced. Both are required for healthy relationships. Even God has boundaries. God's love is unconditional, and we have the 10 commandments.
Late last night, I insisted my son turn off video games due to an early departure for snowboarding this morning. He hassled me. "Just this one thing. It will only take 10 minutes." Having heard this countless times before and knowing that "10 minutes" in his time is equal to an unknown amount in my time, I held firm. He tried a new tact. "This is a game where people are trying to create a safer community by getting rid of the bad guys." "Hmm," I said. "And how do they get rid of these people? By giving them a fair trial by a jury of their peers?" He laughed, realizing I was serious about my boundary even in my lighthearted approach. He did not go to sleep, but ended up reading in bed instead of playing a questionable video game into the wee hours.
Other parents I know have to make much more difficult choices. I have good friends who are wonderful parents, who love their children to the core, and who have had to say, "You cannot live here if you continue with that behavior." And they've had to follow through. This, to me, is a form of love. Love for the child, love for the family unit, love for the parent him or herself. Embodying divine-like love, they willingly open their arms and homes whenever their children are ready to try again--sticking firmly to their rules, even though it causes them great heartache to do so.
It takes a strong and special love to love a child enough and love a family enough to do this. God has this kind of love for us. God loves us enough to let us make all kinds of mistakes and transgressions and still welcome us back whenever we are ready to try again.
What will help you love yourself enough to set the boundaries you need?