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Love and Parameters

by K. J. Kehler

“But the fruit of the spirit is . . . self control” (Galatians 5:22).

“I wanna hug Bobbi,” Tia exclaimed.

Tia, my two-year-old granddaughter, was totally fearless. Bobbi is our eight-month-old Saddlebred foal. Tia is tiny, and Bobbi is tall. Both of them are young, affectionate, and unafraid.  As Tia leaned her head on the colt’s neck, Bobbi responded by nuzzling her neck. 

Children and horses alike respond to gentleness and affection, but they both need a firm hand once in a while. Tia wanted to walk into the field with the horses, and I had to firmly tell her that it was very dangerous, as the foal might trample her.

Then Tia decided it was time to go see Mommy. She was half way down the driveway before I noticed. I couldn’t call, “Tia, come back here!” because I knew she would run away from me toward the highway.So I began asking her questions in a loud voice, and she stopped and listened.  I caught up to her and carried her to the house, explaining that going to the road was dangerous. Children need love, guidance, and parameters.

Most of us respond to love and gentleness, but we also need parameters. Many times the satisfaction of momentary pleasures can be tempting, but the results can be devastating. God has set up boundaries in His word because He loves us. They are there to keep us safe. Practicing self-control means saying, ”No” to the things that God says “No” to. God’s rules are for our benefit, and we can follow them fearlessly.

Father, fill us with Your Holy Spirit and You will produce


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