If you missed yesterday’s post, you’ll want to read it before this, or you’ll be lost. Besides, I don’t want you to miss a thing. This “Margins” series has been one of the most difficult to write. For one thing, I’m well aware I don’t have it perfected in my own life, but on the other hand I’ve been studying and working these principles for years. So it’s hard to know how much information to include.

            Since this is a blog and not a book, these posts are just a taste from my four decades of Bible study (My that makes me feel old!), as well as numerous books on the subject. I pray this whets your appetite to learn more. I recommend Boundaries and Safe People by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend.
            Here, again, is our “page” for margins in Relationships. The last two are biggies:  
INTIMACY W/ GOD
PERSONAL SPACE
RELATIONSHIPS
OTHERS’  SPACE
SOUL TIES
Giving Others’ Space:
            As I said yesterday, we each need alone time to replenish our soul. We also need to allow others the same courtesy when they’re exhausted or overwhelmed – even if it doesn’t fit with our agenda or they need more time alone than we do. We need to care about their emotional health as much as we do our own. This does NOT mean one can go off for hours anytime they want and leave the other feeling abandoned. Compromise and communication are essential.
            My husband requires much less time alone than I do, but when he does, he simply says, “Hey, do you mind if I look at cars on my computer for a while and get some “me” time? I need about 30 minutes. Then maybe we can watch a movie (or, read, go for a walk, have a fire in the fire pit) after that?” I’m free to say the same to him. It’s how we let the other one know we’re not angry or avoiding them, and it gives the other person a chance to do their own thing for a while.
            The Bible also talks about – allowing for different styles of communication (Prov. 15:23, 18:13); being considerate of the timing and length of our stay (Prov. 25:16-17, 27:14); and most of all, looking to God to meet our emotional needs rather than depending on other people (Psa. 23:2-3, Matt. 11:28-30, Mark 6:31).
            This leads to the last margin of relationships…
Soul Ties:
            Soul ties are deep emotional bonds that develop between two individuals. It’s a connection of mind, will, and emotions. We attach to others through common ideas, passions, or sexual union. Soul ties can exist between husband and wife, friends, co-workers, and even virtual strangers. These ties are either blessed by God, or of evil origin.
            A soul tie is not to be entered into lightly; these bonds have deep spiritual and emotional consequences. When we link with another in an unholy connection, it will become a heavy chain that enslaves us until we seek release from the relationship, and the memories, through the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit. If you’ve never heard about this before, but suspect you’re suffering from a past relationship, I encourage you to research “breaking soul ties” and pray specifically for God’s healing.
            Modern Bible translations don’t use the phrase, but the KJV speaks of being “knit together” with another. And the Bible is full of examples of how soul ties can either bless our lives, or destroy us. A perfect example of a well-meaning godly man in an unholy soul tie is the story of King Ahab and King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chron. 18:1-19:3. It’s what happens when we try to rescue others, instead of letting God do the saving.
            Three nonnegotiable soul tie margins for Christians are: 1. Our best friends and spouse must be believers (1 Sam. 18:1-4; Amos 3:3; 2 Cor. 6:14); 2. Spending time with other believers is priority (Acts 2:42-47; 1 Cor. 5:1-2; Heb. 10:24-25; 1 John 1:7), and, 3. Sexual intimacy is to be reserved for marriage, with one partner of the opposite sex (Gen. 2:24; Mark 10:8; 1 Cor. 6:16; Heb. 13:4).
            I hope I’ve given you some things to think about, pray about, and put into practice in your life. The next post in this series will be about practicing margins in the physical realm.