Some people are difficult to deal with because they act like butterflies. These are lovely folks who enjoy soaring on the updraft of whatever intrigues them. They are generally pleasant, nonconfrontational, agreeable, and fragile. They are frustrating to deal with because you never know which way they’re headed or if they will stay on course until they get there. Butterflies shouldn’t be pinned to a desk and pressed behind a glass where they can be inspected by supervisors. Butterflies need freedom. They need space to move in the direction of their inspirations.
Butterflies also need boundaries in order to have productive lives and make contributions to society. They need assistance in developing self-discipline. We can help them appreciate that God sets boundaries for all people with things like regular seasons (Psalm 74:17). He does it so there will be order in our world and in our individual lives. Boundaries are expressions of God’s love because they outline the pleasant places through well-tested norms and procedures. Playing by the rules can help butterflies have a delightful existence (Psalm 16:6) and avoid a big crash.
If you have a butterfly in your family, company, or school, learn to enjoy them. Try to capture the value of their creativity without damaging their wings. Establish limits but make them very broad so your butterflies can do what they do best—fly. But you can’t leave the door wide open, or they’ll be gone.