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How to Set Boundaries and Still Live Wild and Free

What if we explored the idea of boundaries in pursuit of the maker’s pure intention rather than a perceived enclosed life of rules and regulations? Will you join me on the adventure to ultimate freedom?

Author and Podcaster
Updated Nov 15, 2023
How to Set Boundaries and Still Live Wild and Free

Boundaries feel, sound, and seem restrictive. As a puppy needs a fence and a leash and a child needs a gate on the stairs and locks on the doors, we can formulate an understanding that it is generally out of a lens of protection that the caretaker gives boundaries rather than mandating enclosures as a limiting force.

However, as one grows (puppies and kiddos alike), their exposure to freedom allows them to expand their territory and develop their sense of wonder.

With the gift of free will trust is the conversation at hand, no different than in the Garden. And yet, our curiosity and distraction (often from the enemy or our immaturity) continue to summon us into situations and habits that lead to missteps and ultimately sin.

The puppy finds a hole in the fence and a bunny at the same time. The child finds the one electrical outlet you forgot to cover. It’s inevitable.

Exploration is a part of our human design. However, with the shiny light-infested world we live in, that sense of curiosity can be the bane of our existence unless boundaries are adhered to.

So let me probe a question that allows your curiosity and sense of wonder to still adventure and enjoy a wildlife of freedom.

Explore God’s Created Boundaries

What if we explored the idea of boundaries in pursuit of the maker’s pure intention rather than a perceived enclosed life of rules and regulations?

The Father’s intention is to protect out of love, to support growth in a healthy timely manner, and to equip as a good teacher does. And even when we stray from His good plan and path, His open arms are there to receive us and correct us (Luke 15; Revelation 3:19).

Another word people don’t like is discipline. But you see all of it is connected. It’s been constructed at the genesis of time for it all to work in unison for our good.

So, several years ago, I decided to take a normalized tradition that often is associated with discipline, goal setting, and sometimes rulemaking, into a proactive and yet flexible fence line for my life.

This helped me find alignment and fresh perspective in boundaries, without feeling the shame of disappointment for not keeping to my own word or intended will. So, I shifted from my will — to His will. Novel, right?

So, let’s talk about boundaries in the context of New Year’s Resolutions. We recently celebrated the Jewish New Year and this week I’m celebrating the birth of my new year in age, so reflection and intention-setting are natural thought patterns and practices in any transitional season.

With the old tradition of resolutions getting a bad rap due to inconsistency and lack of discipline — often even poked and prodded as a joke to the habitual gym-goers — I chose to lean into a concept fortified by Dan Britton, Jimmy Page and Jon Gordon, authors of the book “One Word that Will Change Your Life.”

I was exposed to the concept six years ago and have made it an annual practice to sit with the Lord and ask Him for a guiding word for the next adventure around the sun with Him here on Earth.

I hunted and sought after the word for a week or two prior to my birthday and as always when we seek, we find (Matthew 7:7-8).

The words He has brought to my attention, whether through time in Scripture, prayer, worship, or listening to a podcast or a sermon, perhaps even a sweet God-wink on a sign or social media post, I am always certain of the sealed word. And not shockingly, each year is an adventure of discovering how this word will come to life.

I feel like a free puppy and yet because it’s a gift out of love from the Father, I know there will be boundaries, structure, and discipline required to proceed into the exploration of its depths.

You may be asking, “Once you get the word, what next?” Just as any puppy would do — we sniff the fence line!

I set out scripturally to discover what it means, where it’s first found, how it’s navigated in the Old and New Testament, and I simmer and pray into its fruition in my life, whatever that means.

And every single year, it’s wild and new. And I need that in my life…I’ve lived fenceless without God in past seasons, and it’s never turned out to my advantage.

Embrace His Delight Within Limits

Let me share several revelations that I’ve discovered in the process of setting an annual word boundary:

1. His tender love is always awaiting our attention — no matter if we bury the word for a season out of thoughtlessness or laziness (like a resolution, it/He begs to be known.)

2. God has quite a sense of humor.

3. His Word is alive and it will jump off the page when we come eager for fresh revelation.

4His guideposts (fences) aren’t moveable. He is steadfast in His meaning.

5. His character never changes and therefore His intention doesn’t either.

6. And no matter how “wise” I may become in pursuing Him…I have a lot to learn.

Here’s a quick snapshot to share the words per year that I’ve abided in. Perhaps this will even ignite your desire to prepare your word for your next birth or calendar year, while also giving you context to number two above. You can even do this as a family, a team, a church, etc.

  • Fruitful in 2018: He helped me grow exotic fruits like pomegranates and starfruit that I had no idea how to cut or eat. 
  • Rooted in 2019: I was anticipating higher and exposed growth because of my abiding from the year prior…He made me go deeper without any surface recognition. 
  • Maturity in 2020: See a trend in my words, yet? This year my eyes were opened to greater needs outside of myself as well as adjusting my pace. Maturity was the first sign of budding, not the last.
  • Release in 2021: I released old ideas, societal norms, and expectations of others, but mostly expectations of myself and false narratives I had of God. He released a new revelation. 
  • Risk in 2022: He asked me to go all in for Him. Risking my ego, risking what we had built already, risking financial safety, and a lot more! In the end, I realized He wanted me to color outside the lines. To be willing to create boldly.

And now for the drum roll for the reveal of the 2023 word: The word is “delight!”

So many scriptures call out to me. I hunt for the Hebrew roots of the word and the Greek understanding of the written text. It means to bend towards, to be inclined towards. It also shares context to being “pleased with” and pleasure.

While delight could have a selfish intent or a surface-level concept of emotion and feeling, there are many depths I can’t wait to explore when it comes to obedience and discipline, knowing that “to delight” is an action word.

Therefore, that means that there are rules and boundaries connected to action that pleases the Lord and while He delights over me as I abide, I, too, can recklessly pursue being delighted by Him. And I’m a sucker for surprises…so I know He’s got something supernatural up His sleeve.

Stay True to Your Wild Spirit and the Holy Spirit

So now that I have the destination in mind, I set out on a new journey of discovering the good-natured boundaries of living a wild and free life in the protection of my Father.

Will you join me on the adventure to ultimate freedom?

Pick a word. I dare you to commit to it all year long.

For further reading:

Did Jesus Address Mental Health in the Bible?

5 Biblical Boundaries to Set with Others

3 Ways to Set Healthy Boundaries Between Yourself and Toxic People

Photo Credit: ©TamraAndress

Tamra AndressTamra Andress is a 6x #1 Best Selling Author (5 books, 2 forewords), International Speaker, Top .3% Globally Seasoned Podcaster in spiritual and business categories (The F.I.T. in Faith Podcast), and a recognized thought-leader in Spiritual Entrepreneurship. She is an Ordained Minister in the Marketplace and spends her time speaking, coaching, and hosting events. Her time is spent serving as the founder and lead visionary for F.I.T. in Faith Media & F.I.T. Press Publishing House, a business and broadcasting company focused on podcasting, publishing, and platform development - ultimately selling words! 

She’s also the President of The Founder Collective non-profit, which serves as a collaboration zone for other faith-driven entrepreneurs to be discipled, equipped, and commune through weekly gatherings and an annual conference with sights on an integrated faith and business collision school - this is the mobilized church. All of her initiatives are centralized to catalyze faith-filled leaders into messengers with movements so that they can broadcast Truth and advance the Kingdom. She and her husband and two children reside in Virginia Beach, VA, but you’ll likely see them traveling the globe in their bathing suits! Check her out on Instagram and Facebook.


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