I can tell that we are at the end of the school year. Just over a month left to go. The eighth-grade students will graduate in less than a month.
How can I tell we are at the end of the year? Lately, I seem to be saying the word NO a lot. It seems as if most everything my students have been taught is quickly being unlearned. We have rules and procedures for how our classroom is to run. These are put into place for the benefit of everyone, not just one or two students but for all who dwell within the walls of the classroom as well as those who dwell within the walls of our school building.
I go home many nights wondering if I should just suspend ALL RULES and let the children run the room. Yes, I said it. No, I would not do it. The sinful part of me wants to "give-in" and "give-up" enforcing the rules that are good for the children. Would it make my life easier? Maybe. No! Chaos would rule the room. Chaos would rule the school.
When our LORD created the earth and planted the garden, He had one simple rule, "Do not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil". But no, it wasn't followed. As a result, God had to make more and more rules to keep his children safe.
What if our God hadn't put in any rules after The Fall? What if He had just washed His hands of His creation? Just think of the chaos there would have been!
As time went on man tried to hide from the rules that were written on his heart but our God gave those rules to Moses in the form of the Ten Commandments. A list of "eight thou shall nots" and "two thou shalls". Have you ever noticed that the LORD gave us eight things we should not do in the Ten Commandments? Rules that were commands of what NOT to do. The other two were Commands of what to do.
The Third Commandment tells us, "Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy".
The Fourth Commandment tells us to "Honor our father & mother". This Commandment also comes with a promise, that we will live long on the earth.
It's like that in our lives as we deal with the children. We are warning them about the dangers that they may face by telling them what not to do, but along the line we are also telling them how to live.
As our LORD tells us in the Ten Commandments not to have any other gods before Him and not to use His Name the wrong way, He is telling us this for our protection. This is just the same as when we tell the children rules for their protection.
The Ten Commandments are for our benefit and for our protection. The rules we make for our children are for their benefit and protection.
Yes, the school year is almost over, but their learning and growing isn't and neither is ours. We continually grow and learn as well. The LORD has a plan for all of us. His Ten Commandments are just that, commands. They are not suggestions to help us get through life. They are the rules that guide us to live in Grace and Knowledge.
Vicki Helmling is a teacher at Grace English Lutheran School