Does God want to stop us having fun?

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2Are God’s rules and commands there just to stop us doing what we want? No way! Think of it like this…

My eldest son learned to walk when he was only 9 months old. Soon enough he wanted to run everywhere; but I knew the dangers of him just running free. He could have easily dashed out on to a road. So I taught my toddler to come when I called him. Once he’d learned this lesson, he no longer needed to hold my hand everywhere. He could run ‘free’ safely because he listened to my voice (or ‘obeyed’ my ‘rules’).

I once heard a Christian speaker say, “God’s love means he is constantly trying to block your route to destruction.” This is a powerful explanation of why God gives us boundaries and rules. Just as I knew of the physical dangers surrounding my son, God sees the spiritual dangers we are unaware of.

We’re told “God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?” (Heb. 12:7) and “God’s discipline is always good for us… No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterwards there will be… right living for those who are trained in this way” (12:10-11). The commands God gives and the difficult situations He leads us through can feel like too much at the time. But as we obey Him, asking for His strength and leading, He will help us navigate any dangers and problems. Rather than trying to stop us having fun, God wants to keep us safe! “God’s discipline is always good for us”.

— Chris, an Our Daily Bread reader

3The Bible says that everyone who trusts Jesus becomes God’s children, and He becomes their Father. Many children think their parents’ whole mission in life is to take away all their fun, but we know that isn’t true. Any good parent knows that fun is an important part of life; the problem is that the parents and children don’t always agree on what is safe and what can lead to danger.

There is actually a lot of freedom in the Christian life. We are free to enjoy all sorts of things. But, like a good Father, God does not allow us to do just anything we want. There are limits. Just as a child doesn’t see the dangers or long-term result of certain things, so we don’t always see God’s reasons for sometimes restricting us.

Something happens when we trust Jesus Christ and become children of God; His Spirit comes to live in us. That means that we begin to agree with God more and more about what is good or bad, fun or dangerous. What we want begins to change. We might have followed our own needs without question up to that point, but once we have the Holy Spirit in our lives, we begin to have a much stronger sense of right and wrong. Things which once seemed like harmless fun (like getting blind drunk, for example) we now see as being dangerous. They don’t please God; but now they don’t please us either. We actually change from the inside.

The Bible tells us that the results of living by the Holy Spirit will be a life full of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians chapter 5, verses 22-23). There will be a great calmness and satisfaction, no matter what we enjoy doing.

God wants us to have a life full of joy, peace and love. But He knows, left to ourselves, we’ll mess it up. Like a manager who guides his players away from selfish playing so they can work together as a team and win, our heavenly Father leads us away from things which will drag us down so we can enjoy real peace. So no, God doesn’t stop us having fun, but He does help us change how we view what’s fun and what isn’t.

— Debbi, an Our Daily Bread reader

 3 people have responded to this question.
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