Clues to Character - A Family Devotional


Josh McDowell explains how God's commandments reveal His character.

God's rules show His character.

Bible Reading: Exodus 33:7-13.

Teach me your ways so I may know you (Exodus 33:13, NIV).

“You sure do have a lot of rules in your house,” Ben said. He was spending the night at his friend Jeremy’s house.

“Like what?” Jeremy asked, without taking his eyes from the video game he was playing.

“Like, what your mom just said,” Ben answered.

“What, you mean because she said lights out when we’re finished with this game?”

“Yeah. You have a bedtime?” Ben asked.

“Don’t you?” Jeremy asked.

“No. My parents don’t care what time I go to bed.”

“Well, I have to go to bed so I’ll get enough sleep. That way, I won’t fall asleep in church tomorrow.”

“That’s another thing. Your parents make you go to church!” Ben said.

“I like going to church,” answered Jeremy. “But even if I didn't, Mom and Dad make sure I go because we’re Christians. Their rules show that they love me.”

“Yeah, right!” Ben said, picking up the video control to get ready for his turn.

“Really,” Jeremy said. “The rules they make show what kind of people they are. They like a clean house, so they make me keep my room clean. They’re really honest themselves, so they expect me to be honest. And they love me and my sister, so they get on me if I’m mean to her, or if she’s mean to me.”

“You mean you have to be nice to your sister, too?”

“Yeah, even though she’s a pain sometimes,” Jeremy said with a shrug. “That’s not all,” he added.

“What? You mean it gets worse?”

Jeremy nodded. “Yeah,” he said with a smile. “I have to be nice to you, too.” Ben looked at his friend with an expression of surprise, then punched Jeremy’s shoulder. The boys ended up wrestling together on the floor.

TO DISCUSS: What are the rules of your household? How do they reveal what your family is like? How do God’s commandments reveal what he is like? Talk about one of God’s commandments and how it reflects God’s character.

TO PRAY: “Lord, may our family rules reflect your character. We want to be loving and fair in the way we treat others.”

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