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How’s Your Fence? Morning Glory II

After publishing my blog “The Morning Glory Story” I heard back from several women who commented on their own Morning Glory stories. These are great stories and, much like parables, are aimed at sharing truth. I thought I’d share this one from Doris with you.

“I have lived here 33 years and we have never had any Morning Glory vines until last year. They started growing up one side of my fence. This just happened to be a time when my husband’s lies were exposed. Our marriage has taken a nose dive. This summer, God has overwhelmed me with His love. In the midst of all the craziness, struggling with fear… also the world…my own family, has stolen my voice. I want it back. My name means ‘gift.’ I want to use the gift(s) God has placed in me for His glory.

This is my fence. God has been so, so good to me!!”

Wow Doris, thanks for sharing both your story and photo with us. It’s such a powerful word picture. And by the way, what a beautiful meaning behind your name.

You are ‘a gift’ to us as well.

Doris’ story struck me in particular because the Morning Glories were covering her fence. When I saw the photo, the fence made me think of boundaries. So, I looked up the definition of ‘fence’ and it carries with it the idea of ‘defense,’ ‘protection,’ and ‘boundaries.’1

In my book, chapter 15, “No is a Complete Sentence,” I talk about the importance of boundaries in establishing sexual safety in our relationships.

“Bestselling authors Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend define boundaries as “personal property lines that promote love by protecting individuals.”2 Boundaries define who we are and what we are responsible for. There must be limitations and lines drawn between an unfaithful husband and a betrayed spouse. It’s what we ask them for to protect the fidelity of our relationship. Boundaries help us define what I can’t control and what choices I need to make. When sexual deception leaks through our walls, setting boundaries invites our spouse to look at what’s threatening the relationship and compromising our safety.” (Intimate Deception: Healing the Wounds of Sexual Betrayal, pgs. 222-223)

Establishing safety is so important and boundaries are the fences (purposeful protections) aimed at repairing trust.

When we confront these dark times and the sexual betrayals that greatly impact our families, we protect what matters to us – love, trust, and fidelity. Our boundaries are fences that keep us safe and can call the ones who are betraying us into responsibility and sexual sobriety.

Doris, you shared with us how the Morning Glories started growing 1 year ago, right after you discovered your husband’s lies and sexual betrayal. Take a look at how they’re blanketed over her fence. God is for us. As Jehovah Ezer (Defender), God ‘surrounds’ and ‘encircles’ our camps with love and protection. It takes tremendous courage to defend our families by standing up for what’s right. “When we defend what we love, it’s not out of obligation. Instinctively, as with a mother bear and her cubs, it’s innate to us. From our first breath to our last, we were made to rise up.” (Intimate Deception: Healing the Wounds of Sexual Betrayal, pg. 202)

 

Brave On!

Dr. Sheri

 

Because setting boundaries for our specific situations can feel tricky and overwhelming; you can reach out to loving and supportive others who ‘get it’ and can assist you as you walk this out. For more support, check out my resource page under “Sexual Betrayal and Addiction Recovery.” https://www.braveone.com/resources/

 

1 https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fence

2 Henry Cloud and John Townsend, Boundaries in Marriage (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012), 10.

3 Thank you to Dottie who took the beautiful picture that captions this blog http://seasaltandsailorstripes.com/favorite-things-5/

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. I think as women we naturally want to give of ourselves to everyone and we consider boundaries to be offensive to the ones we want to show love to. We believe that love can overcome the sinful nature of our spouses, but only God can do that. Boundaries actually demonstrate a stronger level of love to others and ourselves, and I hope that the younger generation of women are able to learn that, especially with the increasing prevalence of sexualisation and pornography in our world. Boundaries are going to be essential!

    1. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us Kara-Lee. You’re absolutely right. Boundaries are aimed at loving ourselves and others better. Ultimately they’re about honoring what we need by creating safety, love and respect.

  2. I will never look at morning glories the same way again. Growing up on our family farm, my dad considered morning glories a weed. It is called “bind weed” by many, because it chokes out the good plants and crops and becomes tangled in the cultivator and hoes and other gardening implements that are used to weed and tear it out. I was afraid to appreciate the beauty of its blossoms, even though I love climbing vines. All the men in my life have betrayed me, from my father being unfaithful to my mother, to my ex-husbands, (yes, more than one), cheating on me in sexts, texts, phone calls, emails, pornography, and inappropriate relationships. I pray daily for God’s help to forgive them (and myself) and to bless them with healing and salvation. But it is an ongoing process. Just today, I realized that the mention of their names still makes me angry and hurt, and I must confess that bitterness as sin. I am looking forward to hearing you, Sheri, speak at the CONQUER conference in Lincoln, NE, in October. I am taking a step out in faith to attend what I know will be a transformational weekend,

    1. I’m so glad you’ll see them in a new way – thanks for vulnerably sharing the deep layers of your betrayal story with us. I’m thrilled that you’re coming to the CONQUER conference in October – please make a point to come up and say hi. I’d love to meet you. Bitterness wrapped itself around my heart as well – I’m so proud of you for pressing into your healing until your heart is FREE.

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