The Fence

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"I think Sooki wants to be let off her chain," said Todd when the puppy yelped and whined a few times.

"I'm sure she does," said Dad. "Why don't you bring her in for the night?"

"Okay," agreed Todd. He went out, released the puppy, and brought her in. "Silly dog," he said. "We have a nice fence so you can run all around the yard and not get hit by any nasty old car, but do you appreciate it? No. You dig out, so then we have to chain you even though you hate it. It's your own fault, see?"

"Yeah, Sooki," said Todd's sister Carrie. "If you could just understand how much we want you to be safe and happy, I'm sure you wouldn't even try to get out."

"She's a lot like us, isn't she?" said Dad with a smile. Everyone turned and looked at him. "God loves us, so He has put up a fence for us, too--He set rules for us," Dad explained. "He did this so we'll be safe and still have all the room we need for our activities. But sometimes we feel sure there must be something better outside His fence. We think God's laws limit and restrict us too much, though they actually give us freedom."

"Are the Ten Commandments the fence God set for us?" Carrie asked.

"Yes, along with all the other principles for living found in the Bible," replied Dad. "They provide a guideline for us."

"Don't forget that obeying parents' rules is part of those guidelines," Mom reminded them with a twinkle in her eye. "It's part of following God's laws."

Dad nodded. "When we realize how good God is to us and how much He loves us, we'll want to live to please Him because we love Him," he added. "Then we don't feel like the fence God gave hinders us in any way. Instead, we see that it keeps us safe." Dad grinned. "The same is true regarding parents and their rules."

"Well," said Todd thoughtfully, "whenever I start to feel like God's laws or your rules are too strict, I'll think about Sooki and how fences keep dogs--and me--safe."

"Me, too." Carrie nodded and gave the dog a pat. "You're a good teacher, Sooki," she told him.

How About You?
Do God's guidelines for living sometimes seem too strict to you? All the blessings He has given you show that He loves you very much. He doesn't want to spoil your fun, but He wants to keep you safe. God knows the dangers you face if you leave the protection of His fence. Believe that His laws--including the rules from your parents--are for your good. Ask Him to help you stay within His boundaries so that you may live a happy life of service.

Today's Key Verse:
This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. (1 John 5:3)

Today's Key Thought:
Live within God's limits