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Publisher's Summary

Christians often focus so much on being loving and giving that they forget their own limitations.

Have you ever found yourself wondering:

  • Can I set limits and still be a loving person?
  • What are my legitimate boundaries?
  • How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money?
  • Why do I feel guilty when I consider setting boundaries?

Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend give you biblically-based answers to these and other tough questions, showing you how to set healthy boundaries with parents, spouses, children, friends, coworkers, and even yourself.

You'll see vital principles of boundaries at work as Drs. Cloud and Townsend take you through a day in the life of "Sherrie", first as she lives with almost no boundaries, then as she begins to apply proper boundaries with others in her life.

©2001 Henry Cloud and John Townsend (P)2001 The Zondervan Corporation

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Louise
  • New York, NY, USA
  • 03-05-05

Changed my life

I read this book several years ago and have reread it and used if for reference many, many times. I'm not so religious so I was unsure of the religious aspects of the book. They were pertinent and illustrative points. This book literally changed my life. I felt like I had been missing some pieces to being an adult for years and those pieces were boundaries. Setting boundaries was probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do but the process has made me happier and more at peace with myself than I ever would have thought possible. I'm downloading it now, since now it's audible.

75 of 79 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Very good

The content is outstanding and very helpful, a must for everyone. A suggestion could be to make use of a female voice in the female parts. Thank you.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good content, terrible narration.

The content was great, but the narrator was ridiculous. Every time he depicts a woman, she has a little mousy whine to her. It is a hard listen.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kathryn
  • Kleinburg, ON, Canada
  • 11-21-10

A Classic Christian Book

This book is incredible. So many of us were raised without any boundaries or with boundaries that were too harsh. So we developed problems later in our lives as our own boundaries are messed up and we don't even realize it. This book will teach you what a life with healthy boundaries look like - along with Biblical examples. I loved the part where Dr Cloud and Dr Townsend point out that we are to be active (not passive) agents in our own lives and that we have a responsibility to let people know where are boundaries are (instead of just getting hurt, keeping it inside and never saying anything). This book is highly recommended and well worth your time.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Randy
  • Adrian, MI, USA
  • 12-30-05

Book was good.

Book's content was good, the narration did leave something to be desired. Once you set your mind to get past that and actually listen to the book, there is alot of good information to be gleaned from it. Please grit your teeth and get past the not so good to get to the good. Never know, you might find a gem in all the rubble.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan
  • Corvallis, OR United States
  • 12-06-05

Good Book

I thought the book was very good. I didn't like the woman's voice used by the narrator (as mentioned by another poster here). Ignore the narrator and listen to the content. It's worth getting through.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Horrible narrator!

I personally did not enjoy the book. I found myself in a daze for more than half the book. The narrator is just awful.

22 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Good information, far beneath the bible.

In places, an over abundance of bible quotes, only serves to muddy the waters and doesn't uplift the information. The material, though valuable, is hard to dig out behind it all.

The performance of the characters in the story was terrible, clinging to stereotypical women's voices was tiresome from the get go. He would have done better just reading the material straight.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Christa
  • Coastal Maine, United States
  • 03-26-11

Too Much! Please be warned by a fellow Christian

Let me start by saying that both my wife and I met at a Baptist University and have Minors in Religious Studies.

I have never reviewed a book before but felt compelled to because of our inability to complete this book. We travel a lot and have listened to over 150 Audible Audio Books and this is the first we have been unable to complete. We heard about this book from Dave Ramsey and know it would be useful but, we cannot get past all the Biblical references. Trust me, we enjoy Biblical references, the references are so over the top that on MULTIPLE occasions my wife would turn to me and say, what was the lesson we were trying to learn? (After 10 different verses, I can't remember what the point was either). It's really absurd. I can't stress how difficult it is to follow. Perhaps in a written form it is easier, but, I can honestly say, this is one book I was really looking forward to and I am tremendously disappointed I can't bear to finish it.

I'm sad to say I cannot recommend it.

26 of 33 people found this review helpful

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  • sarah
  • wildwood, MO, United States
  • 02-09-11

Challenging, refreshing, painfully objective

This book has meaty content that was very challenging and relatively painful for me to hear - hence the harsh reality as to why I so desparately needed to read it! On first blush many of the concepts seem too simplistic to be realistic. After continuing to review and re-review poignant sections in many chapters I've finally started to fully realize the importance of Biblically sound KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) techniques for setting boundaries in my life. This book is seemingly underwelming in some parts but if you pay close attention you will find it to be affective to the point of life changing.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Dee
  • 11-12-16

For all those who which for better relationships

I have really enjoyed listening to this. Many thanks to the authors and to Dick for such a characteristic narration.
Please please do not take personal
The comment by JSM about the author condoning spanning. Please listen and make your own judgement.
I loved it and have recommended it to everyone I care about.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Hephzibah
  • 09-01-15

love it

love the book . audio was crystal clear. would get the book too. thank you

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • JSM
  • 07-17-14

Very useful book with a fatal flaw

What disappointed you about Boundaries?

Excellent primer on personal boundaries BUT I stopped listening when I heard the writer condone spanking a child.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Fatimah
  • 02-08-17

Excellent guidance for setting priorities

What did you like most about Boundaries?

I enjoy listening to this book. It has provided me very useful guidance for how to manage relationships without compromising my wants and desires. However, it will be more useful if in the beginning of each chapter there is a quick summary of the key messages of that chapter. This can be helpful in staying focused, knowing what to expect and getting more out of the book. I listen to this book while driving so such a summary will be more useful, particularly when people like me are navigating through hectic traffic.

What about Dick Fredricks’s performance did you like?

The reading style is engaging, and there's something very comforting about the narrator's voice/style of narration.

  • Overall
  • Mrs G Keen
  • 01-10-16


I would highly recommend this. Very good biblical advice for setting boundaries with people . It would improve your relationships

  • Overall
  • Zaher
  • 09-27-08


This is an excellent book.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • michael
  • 04-06-16

Amazing! best book ever!

i got so into this book and loved it how they wrote about Jesus boundaries in the bible.

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  • Adam
  • 11-10-15

A book worth repeating!

Great life principles here on avoiding being controlled, manipulated, having guilt trips put on you, over works & many other life principles. I also recommend "Pulling Your Own Strings".
I hope you find this book liberating as much as I have!