Freedom and Responsibility
We live in a land of law, and that is good. Civil laws, physical laws, and spiritual laws of the universe create a context that allows freedom. That's right - freedom. The luxury of a law-bound world is liberty. So, our Creator said in a sermon while standing on a hillside,
I have come to fulfill the Law, not to abolish the Law.
Christ was responding to claims that He was removing the Law and the Prophets. But to the contrary he was fulfilling - meaning demonstrating a full expression of the Law and demonstrating love for the statutes of God. In the next part of sermon we call "The Sermon on the Mount" Christ gave six examples of human endeavors. He calls all of us to live freely and that when we exercise our choices, we are called to make right decisions.
Six categories can be summarized: holding grudges, jealousy, anger, fairness, contentment, and truthfulness. Christ highlights these with demonstrating the wrong ways to consider these issues by saying "You have heard it said..." and then he (with all authority) says, "But I say unto you." The rhetorical parallel is beautiful, symmetric, and liberating.
On occasion people (maybe your children, students, or athletes) wonder why there are rules (laws) that govern them. Tell them that the construct around them frees them. Tell them that enjoying legitimate pleasures of life are truly pleasurable when they are fulfilled in legitimate ways. Tell them that you care enough about them to give them rules and structure. Tell them that actions have consequences. Tell them that you have made good and bad decisions, and that you want to avoid bad decisions.
Here is one thing to remember: the more your child demonstrates the connection between freedom and responsibility, the broader you should allow them to venture. Your fences (home laws) demonstrate your love for them. And, before too long, they will be away from your fences. So, train them early and train them wise.
Note: I shared some these thoughts in 5-8 chapel and 9-12 chapel today. For a laugh, ask your child about the laws associated with a car crash involving a Porsche.