From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Dr. Graham:

I don’t believe parents can really love their children when they heap on them rules and regulations that steal the fun away from life. Isn’t life to be enjoyed?

— G.C.

Dear G.C.: There was a woman who cared for an orphan girl. While waiting to be adopted by this woman, the orphan was given instructions to obey and was also given beautiful clothes, outings, good food, and the security of a loving home — until her friend taunted her that once she was adopted she would be “stuck” with only the rules to follow. The rules had been pleasant to her — until then.

When the teenager stood before the judge, she would not agree to abide by the rules required, and she walked away from the woman who loved her. The woman was crushed as she saw the shadow of a daughter walk away. Distraught over her bad decision, the young girl eventually took her life. The woman who had cared for her had a headstone engraved with the words, “She was almost mine.” This is love.

God loves us even if, like that rebellious teenager, we choose to walk away from Him forever — but we will never know the security of His eternal home.

Those who believe they are not loved are deceived by feelings. Jesus loves those made in His image so much that He laid down His very life to redeem us and has given us rules to guide us through life.

If a child wants to learn how to drive a car, he or she must know the rules of the road. If the child desires is to become a ball player, he or she must learn the rules of the game. The Bible says: “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me” (John 14:21, NASB). Do we love Him to the point of obedience?