Every family has house rules. Sometimes these are explicit, such as “take your shoes off inside the house” or “be home by midnight”. Other times, they are more subtle yet no less real. For example, a family culture of kindness and mutual respect may not always be explicitly spelled out, yet it is protected and preserved just as strongly as any other house rule.
In the family of God, just like any family, there are house rules to live by. Some of the rules are explicit, which the Bible calls “laws” or “commands”, and some of them can only be learned by being around the family. Yet all of them exist, not to be a burden or to make you feel like you can’t live up to the standard, but to preserve a particular way of life that is meant to keep us in places of relational safety and security.
God’s commands are given as a gift and means by which we live the victorious Christian life. As John says, they are not meant to be burdensome but are given to teach us how to live peacefully within the family of God. And within this family, we are taught what it means to be made like Jesus and find our hope and identity in him, overcoming the world as we do.
In the family of God we enter into a place where this new way of life can be learned and lived out. Like any family, it is messy and complicated at times! But it is God’s best for us. It is where we can take off our masks and learn to live together as his daughters and sons.
If you find yourself struggling with the law of God and what it means to live by his commands, perhaps it is helpful today to reimagine them as house rules meant to protect and promote a particular way of life. They come from the loving heart of a parent who knows what is best for their child and wants to see you flourish. Trust today in the goodness of God and give thanks for the victory and freedom that comes from keeping his commands!
“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love” (2 John 1:6).
Prayer: Father, thank you that you love us enough to create safe places for us to learn what it means to be your sons and daughters. Help us to show our love by faithfully keeping your commands, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Application: Has a distorted view of God’s law kept you from receiving his commands with joyful obedience?