The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Hebrews 10:1
Ever since Lent, I have been watching The Chosen with my kids. It’s a high-quality TV series about Jesus as The Chosen One and how people are transformed when they are chosen by Him. Not wanting to compromise the message, or be restricted by Hollywood, it’s creator, Dallas Jenkins, films it independently, relying on funding by anyone and everyone who wants to donate. It’s the largest crowd-funded production ever.
Watching it together has been a wonderful way for me to teach my kids more about our faith. I’m also finding I have to refer to my Study Bible to teach or reteach myself certain things before I can share them with my kids.
I spent some time on Saturday learning more about the Pharisees. Nicodemus is a major player in the episodes we’re on right now. I wanted to be able to talk to my kids more about him and the transformation we’re seeing play out.
As I was reading about how the Pharisees were all about the laws and rules, I felt like I was reading about myself. They couldn’t see all the good Jesus was doing because they were too consumed with Him not following their rules. Lately, I’m finding it’s hard to see the good in my own kids because they’re in a big phase of rule-breaking themselves.
I do think it’s critical for parents to tow the line at home, making sure our kids respect the rules and boundaries established in our homes. If we don’t, we can’t expect them to do so when they go out into the world.
But somewhere in there is the fine line between consequence and compassion. If I’m just about the rules, with the haze of frustration blinding me to the good, I’m no better than the Pharisees. I’m left standing in condemnation, at risk for missing the very heart of God within them.
Jesus didn’t choose just the Twelve Apostles to follow Him. He chose each and every one of us too. But in order to answer the invitation, we have to loosen our grip on the rules and remain open. Regardless of all the ways we fall short, when we allow Him into our hearts, we too will be transformed.
Questions for Reflection:
- Do I allow my kids’ rule-breaking to blind me to the good in them?
- Do I keep my heart open so Jesus can constantly transform me so I become a bit more like Him?
If I’m just about the rules, with the haze of frustration blinding me to the good, I’m no better than the Pharisees.Tweet
Watch the Official Trailer of The Chosen here.
Watch the series here.
- Photo and links used with permission from The Chosen.
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As I read your reflection here, Claire, I immediately remembered the event in Jesus’
Ministry when the Pharisees accused Him and His Apostles of eating on the Sabbath,
and His answer, in Matthew 12:1, reminding them of what David did when he and his followers were hungry(ate the sacred loaves of the Temple, which was forbidden in the Law of Moses)and even the Priests of the Temple did as well … and His closing, “What I want is mercy, not sacrifice. The Son of Man is Master of the Sabbath!” And then, earlier in Matthew 9:14 where John’s disciples ask Jesus why they and the Pharisees fast but Jesus’ disciples don’t, and His beautiful answer…as long as the bridegroom is with them, why should they fast! So Claire, you’re right on target as a parent when you say “we have to loosen our grip on the rules and remain open.” As long as Jesus is your guiding Presence in disciplining your children, you’ll always balance that discipline with His mercy and your maternal love!
From your lips to God’s ear, Jackie! Please pray that I can loosen that grip, and keep it loose so I’m more focused on Jesus than I am on my rules.
I’ve learned that when I try to be too much of a “control freak” it comes from a place of fear: will my kids be responsible adults, if I let this slide? Will they be kind? If I loosen the grip, they will become lazy slobs….what will people think of my kids (and me as a parent!) if they don’t dress up for church? And the list goes on. I’ve decided I don’t want to parent from a place of fear. Yes, there needs to be boundaries; they need rules; and they need to know we are their parents and the authority. But I also want to be compassionate, understanding, and I want them to know they can come to me any time without judgement or condemnation. I know I won’t always get it right and I’m not perfect, but I’m looking to Jesus for help and as the example. He is my personal trainer! 😉
You make an amazing point, Sandra! I’ve never considered the fact that my “control freak” issues do stem from the fear of what others will think of my kids – almost to the letter of what you described above. Thank you for making me aware of that. As you look to Jesus to be your personal trainer, it seems He’s used you for a bit of personal training for me. Thank you!
I remember finding a quote that compared parenting to kite flying. The purpose is to lift the kite up to fly freely but it is a trick to let out just the right amount of string so it can stay afloat ,yet yank it back if it approaches tree or wire.
Discipline never works without the declaration of love and compassion. God gives us rules and free will.And He never stops calling us to himself.
Wow, Lorraine! I am such a visual person. So this analogy is perfect for me! Now that you’ve shared it, I hope to fly my kids’ kites high and free with an eye toward keeping the string just taught enough so I can protect them from danger. Thanks so much for this gem!
The ultimate struggle; man wants to be in control of his own destiny. And God lets him be!
When we disobey God’s rules it is because we want to gain control from Him. Just like Satan did.
Short and sweet, but incredibly well said! Thanks so much, Victor!