Thursday, September 12, 2013

Boundaries Equal Love

We were talking about Christianity as a whole at church on Sunday and our pastor mentioned how it can tend to get a bad rap because people see it as restrictive.  To be a good Christian, I can't say swear words.  To be a good Christian, I can't see that kind of movie any more.  To be a good Christian, I can't drink a few beers on a Saturday night.  And while there are rules in the Bible (10 Commandments anyone?), most of the Bible encourages us to be a better person.  It encourages us to learn from past mistakes and ask for forgiveness when we do mess up.  Because we all mess up.  Plenty.  

Our pastor paralleled this to parenthood.  Good parents don't have a child and say, "Okay go for it!"  Good parents have clear rules and expectations.  Good parents hold their children accountable.  God is no different.  I decided to bring the topic up at dinner to see what my boys had to say about it.

"Did you know grown-ups have rules to follow just like kids?" I asked them.  "No!" my oldest said in a silly voice.  "Grown-ups don't have rules!"  " Rules, No!" my youngest echoed.  "We do," I continued.  "We have laws that we have to follow but most importantly, we have to follow the rules in the Bible.  Why do you think there are rules in the Bible?" I asked them.  "Well, probably to protect us.  That's why kids have rules, right Mommy?" he said matter-of-factly.

Ummm...yes.  But I surely didn't expect him to understand that.  It was so cool to see that he really does understand that the rules are not there to hold him back.  They are there to make sure he is safe.  I don't expect this same sentiment to come out over the teenage years but that's why we all try to build a foundation now, isn't it?  We want them to have this stuff in the back of their mind when they have to make a decision without us.   It sure helped to remind me to do the same.

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