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  • Writer's pictureA is for Agape

Love AND The Ten Commandments

The kids and I had a discussion in the car the other day. Most of our really deep moments happen this way. There is no distraction from toys or friends or cartoons, just us talking. So, my daughter, who is one of those little ones who like to make sure everyone is on the same page, “lying is bad, right mom.” Of course, she usually knows the answer to her own questions and is just making sure the rest of us know also.

But I took the opportunity to make it a teaching moment. I said that she was right, lying is bad. “God even says so in the Bible. He wrote a whole list of things we shouldn’t do…it’s called the ten commandments.” I then proceeded to go down the list making the commandments a little more kid friendly since I didn’t really want to explain adultery quite yet.

As usual, I thought I had made the point quite clear until my son said, “Our Sabbath School teacher taught us at the greatest commandment is to love God and to love our neighbor.” I nodded that this was true but that we also had the ten commandments because…oh, right, because if you love God and you love your neighbor you won’t do any of the bad things from the ten commandments. I proceeded to give examples of how when you lie you can really hurt people and that’s not love. When you steal you are taking something that is not yours and that isn’t love. I had lots of examples and made sure everyone understood which ones hurt people and which ones hurt God. I am always so proud of myself for my quick thinking.

However, once again I mistakenly assumed that my clever children just wouldn’t understand why there had to be the ten commandments as well as the later more concise commandment. In his sweet voice that rings of self assurance as well as a touch of “I told you so,” my son said, “Oh you mean they work together.” Why do I ramble on with my pseudo brilliant analyses when I could just as easily let me son summarize for me.

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