Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Allison Bottke’s new book, Setting Boundaries for Women: Six Steps to Saying No, Taking Control, and Finding Peace (Harvest House, 2013).

Your adult children ask you for money yet again, and you go ahead and give it them against your better judgment even though they haven’t paid you back for prior loans. Your coworkers delegate tasks to you that they should be doing, but you do the extra work because you want to please them. Your husband tells you that he doesn’t want you to go out with friends, and you stay home for fear that he’ll get angry if you do try to enjoy a night out. Someone from your church contacts you about volunteering for a new project, and out of guilt you say “yes” when you really should say “no” because your schedule is already overloaded.

Sound familiar? All of these scenarios reflect a lack of boundaries – limits that can help you avoid unnecessary stress and enjoy the peace God wants you to experience.

As a woman, you may tend to respond to other people’s needs at the expense of your own and then suffer from the chaos that comes from a life without proper boundaries. Here’s how you can start setting boundaries in your life and start enjoying peace:

Shift your focus from your circumstances to how you respond to them. Dwelling on your current circumstances will only frustrate you because it won’t change anything. But God will empower you to change your life for the better if you change the way you respond to your circumstances. While you often can’t control your circumstances, you can always control how you respond to those circumstances as you surrender them to God and follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance to set the appropriate boundaries. Doing so will honor both God and you, because it will please God to see you living with the respect He intends for you.

Keep in mind that taking control isn’t the same as being controlling. Setting boundaries isn’t about trying to control other people; instead, it’s about being clear about what you will and will not accept in your life in order to claim your God-given spiritual authority and guard your heart from harm. You never need to feel guilty about setting boundaries with the people in your life.

Distinguish between helping and enabling others. Consider whether or not you’re actually helping the people you’re trying to help. Helping is doing things for people that they are not capable of doing for themselves. Enabling – which leads people to depend on you in unhealthy ways – is doing things for people that they could and should be doing themselves. Recognize that when you’re enabling people rather than helping them, you’re creating an atmosphere in which others can comfortably continue their unacceptable behavior. Even though you intend to help, if you’re enabling you’re actually hurting other people, and yourself, in the process.

Become a strong woman of faith. Resist the myth that women shouldn’t set as many boundaries as men should set. Expect God to use you just as fully as He uses men, and recognize that setting boundaries is vital in order to fulfill God’s purposes for your life. Instead of letting other people distract you from living the life God intends for you, claim the spiritual authority God has given you by setting the boundaries He leads you to set in your life. Pray for the confidence you need to overcome whatever fears have been holding you back from setting proper boundaries in your life.

Let the wisdom of God’s Word change you from the inside out. Every day, make time to read, study, and meditate on passages from the Bible, praying for God to give you the wisdom you need to apply its principles to the situations you’re facing. The more you learn how to apply biblical wisdom to your life, the better you’ll be able to set boundaries that will help you accomplish God’s will.