How Freedom and Responsibility Can Transform a Relationship

Boundaries DatingMany of the struggles people experience in dating and marriage relationships are, at heart, caused by some problem in the areas of freedom and responsibility. By freedom, we mean your ability to make choices based on your values, rather than choosing out of fear or guilt. Free people make commitments because they feel it’s the right thing to do, and they are wholehearted about it.

By responsibility, we mean your ability to execute your tasks in keeping the relationship healthy and loving, as well as being able to say no to things you shouldn’t be responsible for. Responsible people shoulder their part of the relationship, but they don’t tolerate harmful or inappropriate behavior.

Dating and marriage is ultimately about love. People seek it through dating. When they find it, and it matures, they often make deep commitments to each other. Freedom and responsibility are necessary for love to develop in dating. When two individuals allow each other freedom and take ownership of the relationship, they are creating an environment for love to grow and mature. Freedom and responsibility create a safe and secure environment for a couple to love, trust, explore, and deepen their experience of each other.

Actually, these two elements are necessary for any successful relationship, not just dating. Marriage, friendship, parenting, and business connections depend on freedom and responsibility in order for the attachment to flourish. God designed love so that there can be no fear (loss of freedom) in love, for perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). We are to speak the truth in love to each other (Ephesians 4:15), taking responsibility to protect love by confronting problems.

Healthy boundaries are the key to preserving freedom, responsibility, and ultimately love. Establishing and keeping good limits can do a great deal to not only cure a bad relationship, but make a good one better.


Learn how boundaries can transform any relationship with Boundaries in Dating and Boundaries in Marriage.

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  • Debbie Seibert on

    I would say your going in the right direction. Maybe when there are things you know she can do you could ask her to help. Say to her you would like some help then start to back off a little bit each time. It is like handling a child. I know I have had to do this with my mom in the past. She is now in a nursing home she is 87. Hope this helps. God bless you and your family.

  • Tammy Bennetch on

    I have a 80 year old mother who loves to have everybody do everything for her that shes afraid to do since her life is ruled by fear. I would love some input. I have been told to do for her what she cant, but not what she can and I’ve been doing that and I love serving her but I hate to enable anyone. I’ve spoken to her about this and she just pouts when I dont do everything she thinks I should. I know theres more here than just a simple one answer , but can you tell me if that’s the right thing to do. I’m really working hard to not feel like" the bad daughter" and with the Lords help His is enabling me to overcome this whole thing. I praise and thank Him!

  • The Boundaries Books Team on


    Thanks for your question. To find a local counselor in your area, use this link:


    The Boundaries Books Team

  • Chris Reeves on

    I live in Birmingham, AL. Is there a counselor here who I could see who understands Boundaries? I am having difficulty in my marriage and need help.

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