photo by peasap
I’ve been running a series about how to teach the Ten Commandments to your children. We’re going to spend a little bit of time looking at each commandment individually.
This is a commandment that has been part of some very hotly debated topics in the last few decades. It’s one of those snippets of verse that has been used just as often by non-Christians to slam a Christian stance on something as by Christians who are trying to support their convictions.
If you ask young children what they think the verse means for them, most will probably conclude that they have to treat all living things with care. That means you don’t take a pellet gun to little birdies or step on mushrooms or squish a beetle or…. They generally apply it to what they’re immediately familiar with.
What about sending our men off to war, or capital punishment, or abortion? Wow, that’s where we can get battle lines drawn, even between Christians. How do we teach our children what this commandment means?
It’s important as Christians that we don’t base our walk of faith on snippets of verse that become absolutes in and of themselves. Our walk needs to be based on the whole of the Law and the fulfillment of it through Jesus Christ. God ordered the slaying of entire nations - men, women, children and beasts - because they had turned their backs on Him in disobedience and stood in the way of the establishment of His people as a covenant nation.
We need to be sure that our following of rules isn’t to the point of standing in the way of God and His kingdom. Jesus scorned the Pharisees for being too rule conscious in their approach and neglecting what mattered most.
Which was, is and forever more will be putting God first in everything, all the time and loving others.
First and foremost we seek the Lord’s face in everything. That means spending time in His Word to know what His will is for our lives. It means teaching our children from the Bible so they can know for themselves what it says. It means spending time in prayer, in meditative communication with the Lord so that His voice comes through in our thoughts.
Then, and only then, can we know what the Lord would have us do about hunting, using life support, joining the military during time of conflict and the myriad of questions that arise regarding life.
Love God. Love each other. Respect life. Everything else hangs on these.
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