How many times did you tell your 2-year-old “no”? Not because you didn’t love them or wanted to be mean, but because you were protecting or teaching them. Many times it was simply for safety. Don’t put your finger in the light socket! Don’t touch the hot stove! Don’t run with scissors! Don’t jump from the roof!
Our children often complain about all of the rules: keeping curfew, cleaning their room, finishing homework before they can watch TV, asking permission to go play with a friend, notifying us of where they are, and so many more. Parents provide the boundaries because we are the wise ones, the ones who understand what can happen. There’s a reason for every single instruction and restriction.
I’ve heard many people question God in the same way our children question us. Just like our teenagers rebel, they rebel against the edicts listed in His Word. The laws in the Bible are there to protect us. God understands what is best for us. He directs our paths because He’s aware of the consequences.
Joshua 1:8 exhorts: Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
The Bible isn’t a rule book to make our life hard or boring or restricted. It’s a love book written to protect us and help us prosper. It’s the protective orders to keep us from getting burned or hurt.
It’s like the story of the mother standing at the curb explaining to her child why he should look both ways before crossing the street. On the road in front of her a bug crawled merrily along its way. She reached out with her foot and squashed it. The child looked up at her in surprise. She stated, “See that bug. See how smashed he is. That’s you if you don’t look both ways and get hit by a car.” Point well made.
God stands at the road of the world, our hand grasped in His and whispers, “Child, there are lots of bad things out there. I love you and desire to keep you safe and make you whole, happy, and complete. Follow my guidelines or you will be hurt, defeated, and disheartened. I don’t want you to become a squashed bug.”
The next time you read God’s Word and see a guideline, parable, or tidbit, I challenge you to identify what God is trying to protect you from or how He’s trying to prosper you. It will change your perspective, and you might just look both ways before stepping off the curb.
About Shelley Pulliam
Howdy! (A girl from Oklahoma has to use this as her greeting) I’m Shelley Pulliam, executive director of Arise Ministries and former teacher of hormone-filled 8th graders. But my real claim to fame rests in my award as second grade spelling bee champ and my recent gun-handling skills as I train to competition shoot. It helps me be on guard when Satan comes knocking. I’m a voracious reader and can frequently be found at the theater enjoying movie marathons where my record stands at six in one day. I’m a single, never married, who loves to pour into children at every opportunity. Let me know if you have any for sale. You can connect with me on social media. https://www.instagram.com/shelleypulliam/