My kids have lots of different rules they must follow. They also must distringuish the implication behind the rules. For instance, some rules are non-negotiable. "No R-rated movies." My 12 yr old knows that this rule is not only in place at our home, but even if she goes to a friend's home, she still may not watch an R movie, even if her friend is allowed too.
Then there are negotiable rules. An example is our livestyle of moderation. But my kids know that if they are at the grandparents house - anything goes! They can watch more TV and eat more dessert than usual, realizing that when they come home the moderation rules come back into play.
Finally there are rules where the meaning can change. Playing outside until dark may mean coming in at 4:30 in the winter, and 8:30 in the summer. Yet, my kids do a great job of understanding what the different rules mean and which are negotiable.
I've recently been studying God's rules...his "laws." Did you know that there are civil, ceremonial, and moral laws in the Bible? Civil laws were the laws of that day to maintain order in society. An example is Gen 9:6, "Who ever kills a human being will be killed by a human being." That isn't a requirement. It is a civil law, like today we have the death penalty. "Drive 55" is an example of civil law. We have our own civil laws today, and are not bound to the civil laws of Israel's Biblical era.
Next are ceremonial laws.Ceremonial laws include the animal sacrifices and atonement. They were required before Jesus came as the last blood sacrifice to pay the price for our sins. We are no longer bound to ceremonial laws because Jesus fulfilled those laws.
Finally, there are moral laws. The moral laws are still in effect today. They show us our wickedness, because we cannot keep them perfectly. They show us our need for Jesus, and they show how we should act and treat each other. The moral law keeps it's followers from being perverse.
It can be confusing negotiating all the laws. But I'm glad to have discovered the different types of laws, as I try to learn more about what God calls me to do. I don't have it all together, but this is what I am understanding thus far.
My kids do a great job keeping up with my rules, and they know they are in place because I love them and care for their safety. I'm thankful for my heavenly Father who has his rules and laws in place for us, for the same reason.
Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com