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Family Rules

“You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.” – Psalm 119:68, NIV

Michael went to live with his grandmother when he was around four years old. She gave him one simple rule: “Don’t run through my rose garden.”

Being young, Michael didn’t listen. With all of the gusto he could muster, he took off running from one end of the yard, straight into the rose bushes. He was quickly met with sharp, pointy thorns. Since he was barefoot, one pierced his toe, and another scratched his ankle.

His grandmother came running as soon as she heard his cry of pain. Looking at him standing there, she carefully moved into the bushes with him. “This is why I told you not to do this.” She gently chided as she pulled the thorn from his foot. “I wanted to spare you the pain.”

It’s easy to understand why Michael’s grandmother said what she did. She set boundaries – not to keep Michael from fun – but to protect him.

The same can be said of God. Sometimes, people will tell you that God gives His children decrees because He’s mean or strict. But that’s not the case. In His wisdom and His love, He warns us against running into what looks like an innocent rose garden.


Lord, when I’m tempted to sin, help me to remember Michael. Let me remember that there are consequences You’re protecting me from. Show me how to walk in the way of Your decrees. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

December 13 Devotional

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