Don't Change the Rules

A few months ago, we introduced the "Punch Buggy" game to our kids.  The gist of this is that whenever you see a Volkswagen Beetle, you call out "Punch Buggy ______" and then the color of that car.  If you're the first one to do this, you get to punch someone in the arm or leg.

My wife and I each played this as kids, and, especially for me (with an older brother and groups of guy friends), the game would continue until the bruises and tears were too much to bear.  Fortunately, our kids have been satisfied with light taps instead of full-strength hay-makers; for them, the reward is not in the punch but in being first.

The nice part of this game is that it provides a nice challenge and distraction for them while we are in the car.  The negative part is when you're in the middle of explaining something important (which is pretty much everything I have to say), and your kids yell out, "Punch Buggy blue!!"

Recently, we discovered that our kids changed the rules of this game.  They started playing that you "win" if you just see the car; you don't have to be the first to see it.  Why?  "Well," they explained, "we kept arguing over who saw it first, so we changed the rules so we wouldn't argue."  That sounded good to them.

After all, isn't the goal for them to just get along and not argue?

No, not really.  I pointed out that what God wants isn't for us to make up more rules so we can have an illusion of peace.  He wants us to go the extra mile for our enemy (Matthew 5:41).  If we are taken advantage of, or if someone beats us in a game, we should look for ways to love that person even more.  Why is this a big deal to God?  Loving our "enemies" shows that we trust God to take care of us, more than we are able to care for ourselves.  It shows we love Him and others more than we love ourselves.  And it follows the example of Christ, who died for us while we were His enemies (Romans 5:7-8).

I explained to my kids that Jesus calls them to play the game by the rules, but even more so that they need to be willing to lose in order to be at peace.  The main goal isn't to have peace, but to have their hearts changed so that they would trust Him and love others more.

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1 comment :

  1. I am way late to the game here, but as a past VW Beetle driver, it was so fun driving down the road and watching families battering each other at the sight of my car! I miss the good ole days!