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Rules without Relationship

I had a friend in high school whose parents governed only through rules. “Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Don’t even think about this. Don’t even think about thinking about that.” There was no relationship, no communication, and absolutely no trust. They even sent her to one of those Christian colleges known for its strict system of regulations. It was more like a concentration camp. She couldn’t even use the same elevators as the boys. The result: she rebelled, went off the deep end, and as far as I know, she never came back.

Don’t get me wrong. Rules are necessary, but rules without relationship can lead to frustration and rebellion. The same is true in the spiritual realm. If your view of God is a strict prison guard whose main job is delivering the code of conduct for you to dutifully obey, then more than likely, you’ll eventually decide to throw in the towel because that spiritual system is all guilt and zero joy.

On the other hand, our Heavenly Father wants us relating to him and making decisions based on our love and admiration for Him, not out of our feelings of obligation. Rules without Relationship…our Father doesn’t play that game!

Andy Knight

About the Author

Andy is the user interface designer for YouVersion, the Bible App. He has a passion for sharing God's story of grace and freedom through the internet. Andy lives in Roswell, GA, with his wife and three sons. You can follow him on Twitter at @andyknight.