A heart of love vs a heart of law…
In effort to stay right with God, stay inside the boundaries of what is good and acceptable, many Christians have wrongly hedged themselves in beyond a reachable distance. Boundaries are a good idea…indeed I have many boundaries in our home, in place in our relationships, and these are kept in place to protect the people and possessions I most hold dear. But I think focusing on the boundaries, on the “Thou shalt nots” is a wrong outlook. Let me give an example.
God says “Don’t covet.” If I fix my focus on NOT coveting, I am bound to see my many failures. Instead, I focus on all the blessings I have, on how much I have to be thankful for…and suddenly any covetousness disappears.
The Lord told us not to steal. If I think about the many things I could potentially swipe from someone, instead of how much I could be giving to others, I am bound to begin coveting, and eventually steal…rather than being generous and sharing.
God also commands that we should not commit adultery. Jesus took it a step further and said don’t even look at someone lustfully. If I keep careful guard to make sure I am not even eyeing someone lustfully, I will surely see how prone I am to sin and continue in a downward spiral. Instead, I choose to engage with my husband and enjoy him fully…satisfying one another…and then my propensity to look elsewhere for physical satisfaction is droned out by my satiation.
I mean, if I focus constantly on “Do I really love God enough? With all my heart, mind, soul?” I will quickly drive myself crazy! Instead, I remind myself constantly of HIS perfect love…that is a peaceful, comforting, reassuring reminder! I’m not left to wonder if my love is adequate, I am reassured that His love IS.
The law is for the unrighteous, those who do not have right standing with God. The boundaries are there to keep the “bad” out…but the beloved child, adored spouse, does not stay within the boundaries out of fear. The beloved stays because of LOVE, not rules. So as you train up your children and teach them the boundaries, you must remember as they grow to not remain focused on those boundaries, rules, and laws…or else you will raise legalistic and fearful adults. Instead, transition to teaching them increasingly about HIS love, HIS perfection, and how Jesus fulfilled every law that they may be made perfect in God’s sight. That, my friends, is how you raise a BOLD and FEARLESS young adult.