I previously wrote about how I try and balance rules with practical considerations. I believe my rules are 100% correct, if I thought otherwise I’d change the rule. However, I try and balance my “perfect” rule with another principal I believe equally strongly in – independence. I believe you should agree with me and be willingly to follow my rule, but I have no desire to force you. If you disagree with me, it doesn’t really bother me.
But I run a household. How can I balance my role as a leader in my home to all the crazy rules I like to come up with? It actually hasn’t been challenging to come to an agreement with my wife, we have very similar personalities. I simply state my case and my decision and let her make her own call. She tends to respect my leadership in a decision and usually follows it, even if the rule seems (is?) crazy.
Where rules cause heart ache is with my kids. I want my kids to have and do everything, but much of Las Vegas is centered around casinos. Bowling, movies, restaurants, meeting rooms, even something as benign as a school field trip to an aquarium is centered around a casino. I don’t want to force my rules on others, but I believe casinos are wrong and I’m supposed to train my child – even if my Church holds a less dramatic position.
My oldest child is now able to go to church “teen group” activities. The signature event is a teen all-nighter with various activities, including bowling at a casino. And it was really really important to my daughter to attend. The event is chaperoned, and the group is filled with “good” church-kids. Bowling has a separate non-casino entrance. How important are my rules? That was the challenge I was facing.
God can be funny. The purpose of the law is that of a schoolmaster (Gal 3:24). School works best when you think upon the rules. While I was internally debating my rule, I heard the pastor that runs the event speak. I don’t recall message, but he had 2 relevant illustrations. He talked about an inappropriate incident that occurred while his family was watching the Bellagio fountains and another inappropriate incident that occurred at the bowling alley at a prior year’s teen event. I believe the message was some sort of leadership message as both incidents ended safely because of strong leadership.
But those incidents confirmed my rule. Consider this: What do you think when you hear of a person placed in a bad situation that continues to stand for what is right? That’s the type of child I want to raise – one that does right even in adversity. But is that a biblically good situation to be in? Aren’t you supposed to ask God to keep you away from temptation and evil (Matt 6:13)? My child is not being blessed if they are being tempted, rather they are being blessed if they are not tempted. A Christian should not unnecessarily place themselves in an evil situation.
Sometimes target fixation occurs. I believe it was my wife that pointed out the solution. I wasn’t opposed to the event in general, just the bowling portion, which occurred towards the end of the night. Just leave early. Duh.
My daughter wasn’t pleased with that solution, but it was better than staying home.