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The Rules

Each time my family purchases a new game, the evening goes down in a pretty predictable fashion. See, we have these kids who are (finally!) outgrowing Canyland and stretching into the land of stategy and thinking games. (Yes, it really does happen eventually.) So when we find a new game, we gather our tribe around the table and read through the rules carefully.

Our four kids frequently interject with a dozen questions because none of these rules and instructions quite make sense in the learning process, and my husband and I have almost no answer because we're still trying to figure it out as well. Welcome to the beauty and tension of family game night, where we typically end up pleading for everyone to be patient and it often turns out to be a learning opportunity in more ways than we bargained for.

Maybe you have been there?

I can't count the times I have heard a mama friend sigh the words, "I wish there was a rule book for this," as she moves into a new and challenging season of motherhood. One kid struggles with friends or seems to have hopped on an emotional roller coaster without warning, and there is always that second or third child who is doing things nothing like her older siblings did.

Motherhood is humbling and often we're thirsty for someone to just tell us how to do this well. We're all in just please, someone tell us how to handle all the nuances of relationship and personality, creativity and gifting, for the unique combo of kids God has given us. Tell us what to do and we'll get right on it.

But that is not quite what God has for us. We're begging for rules and he is after relationship. He looked his disciples in the eye and said "Follow me" because he wasn't just going to tell them; he was going to show them what it meant to seek first his kingdom.

Before his ascension, Jesus told us that it was to our advantage that he was going away because he was sending us a helper to guide us in all truth (John 16:7, 13). Do we even begin to understand how awesome that is for us? We have a helper - the ultimate helper - to call on in our frustration and confusion, our weakness and desperation.

The next time you find yourself looking for a rule book, a better instruction guide, stand firm on this promise: We don't need more rules, we need more Jesus. And when we ask, we can be certain he will be near.


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