Running head: CRITIQUE OF THEORY
A Theory Critique:
Boundaries in Marriage by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
Summary: Boundaries in Marriage by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
The determinants of marital heartache are diverse. Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend address boundaries that have sustained multiple marriages and have advocated for the happiness between married couples. When one reads the title, he or she might think the boundaries the authors are trying to set in marriages are on their spouse but “Boundaries are not something you “set on” another person. Boundaries are about yourself” (Cloud & ...view middle of the document...
17). With the truth of God behind each boundary set in a marriage and relationship, each is able to thrive and in the end happiness will prevail.
Cloud and Townsend (1999) state the triangle of boundaries in marriage are freedom, responsibility, and love; these realities have been established since the beginning of time (p.24). This success of the boundary theory is outlined throughout the Cloud and Townsend text. Examples of couples before and after are exhibited and the different struggles the married couples or spouse accomplish to make their marriages greater are recounted. Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend present a powerful example through a woman named Sandy. Sandy was unable to stand up to her husband, Jerry, and this lead to her troubles setting boundaries with him. Cloud and Townsend (1999) explain that self control serves love, not selfishness, taking better control leads to being able to love better (p. 29). This is observed in Sandy’s progress. For example, while the counselor was present they observed Sandy only addressing certain issues with her husband. However, after numerous counseling sessions with the counselor acting as the mediator, Sandy and Jerry’s marriage had finally taken on an untrodden path.
Cloud and Townsend (1999) explain that God designed marriage to be a place not only for love, but for growth (p.40). By utilizing a third party such as the counselor and a support group Sandy had accomplished the undertaking of teaching herself boundaries. Sandy flourished in boundary making because the she put her emphasis on the learning what boundaries are. Because Sandy taught herself the boundaries, she could then stand up to her husband Jerry. Not having the boundaries created pain for Sandy in her marriage. Cloud and Townsend (1999) explain that just because someone is in pain doesn’t mean something bad is happening; maybe something good is occurring (p.51). The boundary Sandy drew was her action of standing up to her husband and by doing that, her whole marriage transformed. Jerry finally realized she processed a backbone and this backbone would not allow for the occurrences that happened in their earlier marriage. Indeed something good did occur Sandy was able to set boundaries and grow.
Strengths and weaknesses
Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend create a book that addresses all facets and values that are important for this union to succeed. Their perspectives include love of God, love of your spouse, honesty, faithfulness, compassion and forgiveness, and holiness. Cloud and Townsend (1999) explain oneness is God’s design for marriage and this equals the premise of two becoming one (p.85). All of these facets have crucial aspects that can affect any marriage. “When loving God is our orienting principle in life, we are always adjusting to what he requires from us” (Cloud & Townsend, p. 114). In Mark 12:30 Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God with every ounce of yourself: “with all your heart and...