Let people GO, it’s good for them…
Rules, most people would generally agree that rules are very much needed. We might disagree on the actual rules, but rules are a must, and are actually unavoidable.
Then, often we are happy or quick, to put rules on others, that we might have no intention of following ourselves, but “they” must.
It would seem that often we struggle with the personal application of rules, especially if we have to self impose the rules on ourselves.
Rules are a set of structures that are aimed at governing behavior in some way.
Most of the structure in our minds was given to us as a result of our social environment and was based on choices made by others. It originated from an external source, not an internal one.
So when children, young people, or anyone for that matter begins to “rebel”, are they simply exploring potentially new rules, new thinking patterns, original thought (for themselves).
This actually needs to be allowed to happen, but it’s best done within the safe structure of a loving relationship, hopefully a family. We must allow others to “explore the rules”. Exploration is how new things are discovered. Then of course the new things must be analyzed as to whether it’s good or bad, or how can be applied, if at all, but it must be “found first”.
Perhaps as parents, or even as leaders and disciplers, if we resist this process of “exploring” with aggressive enforcement of “our rules” upon our children or our disciples, this might be where “we” potentially fracture the relationship, and loose the ability to continue to guide.
We need the relationship to be in place, so that perhaps one day, we can lovingly tap them on the shoulder and say “hey, you have to have rules, then you have to be disciplined enough to live by them”.
People must be allowed to grow themselves, with genuine relational guidance in place to help with any adjustments…or as a Christian, the guidance needs to be heavily weighted, with a dependence upon the Holy Spirit first, and man a clear second.
We have allowed our youth leaders to make many decisions and guide their own paths, we have kept them close all of the time so that we can suggest other options, other ways. They have been allowed to “explore”, and they are doing great at finding their way with God and His Word.
Give freedom, it works.