Six-year-old Heidi pressed her nose against the car window and looked down the mountainside. "It's a long way to the bottom!" she squealed.
"I know. I'll drive very carefully," Dad promised.
"There's a guardrail to keep us from going over if Dad happens to slip off the road, Heidi," said her brother Gabe. He sighed. "I still wish you had let me stay with Luke instead of going on this boring picnic way up on the mountain."
"Your aunt and uncle weren't going to be home," Dad reminded him. "You know you're not allowed to stay with your cousin when an adult is not home."
"You treat me like a little kid," Gabe grumbled. "Rules, rules, rules!"
"Rules are boundaries for your safety and protection," Dad explained. "We all need them--just like drivers need the protection of that guardrail."
"Besides, picnics aren't boring!" protested Heidi. "And Daddy says you can fish there." Gabe just sighed and stared out the window.
Back home later that night, Gabe helped unload supplies from the car. "I did have fun today," he admitted. "I liked fishing in the mountain stream." Dad smiled and went to answer the phone.
"Bad news," Dad announced when he hung up. "Your cousin Luke had an accident on his dirt bike this afternoon. No one was aware he was riding it until your aunt and uncle got home and found he wasn't there. Now he's at the hospital with some rather serious injuries."
Gabe stared at Dad in horror. "Uncle Lee doesn't let Luke ride that bike without somebody watching," protested Gabe.
"I know, but unfortunately, Luke didn't obey the rules," Dad replied.
"Remember our discussion about how rules are like guardrails in your life?" Mom asked. "Kids don't always like them, and Luke chose to ignore a rule his dad had given. But God commands children to listen to and obey their parents. Sometimes the consequences of not doing so are pretty severe."
"Maybe we can visit Luke," suggested Dad. "He'll need forgiveness, love, and encouragement. Your aunt and uncle could probably use some company, too."
"Okay . . . and thanks for putting up guardrails in my life," whispered Gabe.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Are you grateful for the wisdom and guidance of your parents? God has given them authority over you, and many of the rules they make are to guide you away from dangerous
and harmful behavior. The next time you’re tempted to disobey, think of rules as guardrails. Remember that God often uses parents or other family members and their rules to protect you from danger.
TODAY'S KEY VERSE: Ephesians 6:2-3 (KJV)
Honor your father and mother . . . that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.
*Verse displayed is NKJV