Tuesday, July 3, 2012

rules, rules

I love rules.  I believe rules were created for a reason, and in most cases I strongly believe that rules should be followed.  Intersection says no right on red?  I don't turn even when there are no other cars in sight.  Instructions say to put pieces A & C together before adding piece B?  Hand me pieces A & C, please.

But sometimes life gets complicated.  Sometimes there are so many rules...and different sets of rules...and rules that contradict other rules.

Every aspect of our life comes with some set of rules.

As a mom, I am bombarded by rules from other moms, TV, and books.  Rules about when kids can eat what foods, how I should make my kids sleep, how I should or shouldn't structure their day.

As a Christian, I constantly hear people espousing rules allegedly supported by the Bible.  There seem to be as many different sets of Christian rules as there are Christians in the world.

And on top of that, I'm Catholic.  Talk about rules.

As B&F get older and start to somewhat understand that some things are off limits, I've been thinking about which rules really matter.  In this world of advice, guidelines, laws, etc., how do you know what's actually important?

While I'm not so sure about many rules that allegedly come from the Bible, I think Jesus was pretty clear on this.  When it comes to rules, He gave us some clear advice.  First, love God.  Second, love everyone else.  That's it.  Love.  Love your Lord and your neighbor.  

When you think about it, all other important rules, the ones that are vital to follow, really come back to these two.  Rules about safety?  If you love the Lord, you will protect the body He gave you.  If you love others, you will do what you can to ensure their health and safety as well.  Rules about helping the sick and the poor?  That's really all about loving them.  Sharing?  Loving.  Obeying?  Loving.  

As we begin guiding B&F into this world of yes/ no/in between, I pray that, above all others, I can impart these two integral rules.  I pray that they will love their God.  I pray that they will love other people, both those that are easy to love and those that they find more difficult.  And I pray that they learn to judge all their decisions by these two most important standards.

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