I Don’t Want To Live By Your Rules…


A New Jersey teenager claiming that her mother and father tossed her out of their home and cut her off financially is suing them for immediate support $$$of unpaid phone bills, unpaid rent (to live with her boyfriend), food, as well as current private-school fees and future college tuition. The parents, meanwhile, say that daughter Rachel Canning, 18, moved out voluntarily after refusing to abide by their rules.

Meanwhile the parents of the New Jersey teenager responded with this statement “We love our child and miss her. This is terrible. It’s killing me and my wife, but she is an adult now and she made an adult decision she refused to follow our rules (which are not ridiculous) she chose to leave our house and move in with her boyfriend. Now she is suing us because she doesn’t have the money to continue her exuberant lifestyle.” Rachel’s father, Sean Canning, a town administrator and retired police officer, told reporters. “We have a child that we love very much and we want her home. We’re not Draconian, we’re flexible with rules but we are adults and we are her parents, we feel we have a right to have things a certain way in our home and now we’re getting hauled into court. She’s demanding that we pay her bills but she doesn’t want to live at home, and she’s saying, ‘I don’t want to live under your rules.’”

When I first read this article I must say, I was extremely angered by the selfishness of this young woman. Until I began to think about myself and my past relationship with God. I was immediately reminded that I was just like this (at one time). If we’re honest with ourselves we can say (we) were rebellious like this young woman; in fact Ephesians 2:3 says, “All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.”

We live in a nation that places a high value on freedom.  Much is said in this country about a person’s individual freedom and their right to make their own choices.  A writer by the name Fyodor Dostoevsky expressed what may be the prevailing view of people in the U.S. on the importance of free will. In 1864, in his Notes From the Underground, he wrote of our need for self-determination: “Man needs only his free will, no matter what it costs and where it leads.”

In Scripture, there are countless verses that state God created man with the freedom to choose for or against Him.  God could have chosen to create us as robots programed only to worship and obey him. However, God designed us with free will. This way we can offer God true love, true devotion and not a fake robotic programmed love and devotion. However, human nature is to want our own way and to think we know what is best. We are through sin rebellious.  Unfortunately, apart from the wisdom of God, we rarely know what is best.  Proverbs 14:12There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” 

Joshua similarly spoke in Joshua 24:15, “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”  Ironically, man wants the freedom to choose BUT he also wants the freedom from suffering.  Unfortunately, we cannot have one without the other.  The very fact that God allows us to choose the paths for our lives means we may pick paths that lead to suffering or that are at least less than God’s best for our lives.

Sin leads to death, destruction, evil, separation, fear, racism, injustice, malice, deceit, theft, murder, conspiracy etc… However, we just like the teenage girl (in the story above) point our finger back at God and angrily shout “If there was a God where were you when… If there is a God then why does He allow…” etc…

Romans 6:23 says, For the wages of sin is death, BUT the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Here is the choice: you can live at home with your Father God abiding in His rules which give eternal life, peace, unimaginable love, acceptance and enjoying eternal life OR you can move out and be your own savior.


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