Laying Down the Law About Love
Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 28:1-6
If you fully obey the Lord your God by keeping all the commands I am giving you today . . . you will be blessed wherever you go. Deuteronomy 28:1, 6
Morgan had been putting off doing her chores all week. And when her parents told her they needed to be finished on Saturday morning—before she did anything else—she got sassy. Her parents calmly pointed out that if she wasn’t available to help with chores that morning, they wouldn’t be available in the afternoon to give her the ride she wanted to her friend’s house.
Morgan didn’t like that line of reasoning. She glared at her parents. And then she shouted, “If you really loved me, you would let me do what I want!”
Talk about it: When someone makes us follow rules, is that a good thing? How does requiring us to do what’s right show us love?
You don’t have to look hard to spot kids and teens who can’t understand how rules and love can ever get along. They don’t merely have a problem with parents or teachers laying down the law. They think that God must be a horrible guy to have handed us a book with so many commands. They figure one of two things:
(a) If God loves me, he won’t hold me to any rules.
(b) If God has rules he expects me to follow, then he can’t possibly love me.
Those folks have their facts mixed up. See, love is at the heart of the rules God makes. The introduction to the second commandment makes it clear right from the start: “I, the Lord your God, . . . lavish my love on those who love me and obey my commands” (Exodus 20:5-6).
When God gave the law, he said it was “for your own good” (Deuteronomy 10:13). Its purpose was to provide for and protect God’s children. His goal in giving his law was to ensure our prosperity and joy and spare us from heartache and hurt.
All of God’s rules show us love in another way. They are a sign of God’s love because they tell us how to enjoy love. The whole point of the Ten Commandments and other Bible commands is to explain exactly what love looks like—and steer us clear of unloving ways of getting along.
Maybe the words of King David sum it up best. He had an incredible outlook on God’s rules: “Oh, how I love your law! … I love your commands more than gold” (Psalm 119:97, 127). God gave us his lovable commands because he loves us!
TALK: Isn’t it great that God loves you enough to provide what you need to love him and others?
PRAY: Express your thanks to God for his wise love.
ACT: Spend some time today worshiping the God behind the Bible’s commands.