Boundaries vs. Margins

At Adora, we stress the difference between creating boundaries for teens versus giving margins. God gives us very specific margins in scripture through the Ten Commandments. Lying is sinful. He firmly tells us to to worship God, and Him only. God’s Law does not change and is not negotiable.

Unfortunately, when margins are cracked, relationships often crack with them. Childhood trauma complicates the issues even more with shame and the inability to understand true repentance and accept real forgiveness.

Boundaries are not the same as margins. However, we often confuse the two. Boundaries are not rigid. They flex and stretch. We give active guidance—boundaries—to our children based on their maturity.

When kids arrive on campus, they usually need smaller boundaries to help keep them safe. As they mature, we are able to slowly stretch out the boundaries by giving more freedom which comes with more responsibility. When mistakes are made, we correct with connection and help kids grow and learn.

Confusing boundaries with margins can create a rigid, authoritarian system where parents feel great frustration and children rebel.