My church has been discussing the Ten Commandments over the last few weeks. I really like my church because my pastors tend to bring up points that hit home for me. They’re not all preachy and high and mighty, they’re real, and I can relate. They’re also my friends so… you know. Anyway, discussing the Ten Commandments has opened my eyes to a couple things. The main thing being that rules don’t make a relationship, but rather a relationship makes rules.
I’ve always noticed that most of the Christians that I know or have heard about tend to be very rules oriented. “Don’t do this,” “Always do that;” you know, legalistic. I grew up going to a Seventh Day Adventist school and they believed that it was essential for one’s faith to not work, go to the store, or spend any money on the Sabbath. Furthermore, you had to take the Sabbath on a Saturday. I studied up on this last semester, and they basically believe that Sunday churchgoers aren’t really saved. That kind of rule following squelches my desire to follow God.
I have realized though, that God doesn’t want us to follow His rules because He is a demanding God, saying we cannot know Him in relationship if we do not obey Him. Rather, He is saying that we need a relationship with Him in order to even try to keep any of the commandments He laid out for us.
That’s not what this blog is about though.
On Sunday, Linna talked about the 5th commandment: Honoring your father and mother. She said that this was the most difficult of all the commandments for her to follow, and I concur. She brought up how a parent-child relationship comes in stages. As a kid it is all about obedience. They give you rules to protect you, and you follow them. However, as you get older things change. As an adult, honoring your parents no longer has to do with blindly following orders, but instead has to do with hearing them out and making decisions. See, like most people, Linna’s parents were not perfect, and neither are mine. They were not always worthy of honor, and did not always treat her with respect. I am often in the same boat. My mother often voices disapproval in the choices I make and often tries to control my actions from afar. And even though that’s not okay, I can still honor her. I will fail at this task over and over again, and be reminded often of my failure. However, I can still try.
God is a righteous and forgiving God, and as long as I stick with Him, He’ll hold my hand as I fumble my way through life. He doesn’t expect me to be perfect, but He does want me to try to follow Him. He is still teaching me how.