Romans 13:7-10 – Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
When our kids were little, I was not a very rule-based dad. I know that may shock you that I’m not big on rules. But I am really big on relationship.
I didn’t want to tell our kids everything to do; I wanted to build a loving relationship where they trust me, so that as things come up, I can coach them and help them walk through life. So, I told my kids we weren’t going to do a lot of rules, we were going to do a lot of relationship.
So, I only had three rules for our kids growing up:
- Be safe – Kids, it seems, are always trying to kill themselves, especially boys. If it’s sharp or high, they’re like “Let’s do both!”
- Have fun – If you put Jesus and family and fun together, you don’t need to rebel against Jesus and parents to have fun. You’re having fun with your family and your Jesus.
- Love each other – You can say don’t hit each other, don’t take each other’s toys, don’t flick one another in the car (hypothetically of course). But love one another covers everything. I could’ve given them a ton of rules, but they’re not needed, because loving each other covers it all.
At the end of the day, I wanted my kids to be safe, have fun, and build relationships that were loving and healthy. That’s my endzone as a parent, starting with Jesus and one another.
God is our Father, and in this section of Romans, His rules are pretty simply summed up that, if we love one another, we can have fun and keep each other safe. Sometimes, we make things too complicated but, in the end, love fixes most of our problems.
If you’re a parent, do you have too many or not enough rules for your kids? If you want to be a parent one day, think about what rules you would like to set for your future kids.
To find the free Romans 12-16 digital study guide for individuals and small groups, hear Pastor Mark’s entire sermon series on Romans, or find a free mountain of Bible teaching visit realfaith.com or download the Real Faith app.