By Krissa Rumsey

I am the Law. In my house, that is. But, I would rather be the Spirit. I made this connection after rereading the text Romans 8: 1 – 11.

The connection struck me when I found myself—as I do more and more frequently these days–knocking on the door of my pre-teen who had shut it once again. Why does she need to shut her door? What could a 12-year-old possibly be doing that would require her door to be shut for more than five minutes at a time?

The answer, from everything I have ascertained, is nothing of alarm or significance. She wants to be left alone. This is a dialog I have with myself over and over. But here I go, rapping on the door … again. What? she asks. “What are you doing? I reply. Nothing,” she responds. Can I come in? I persist.

I’m not even sure I hear the response, but in I go. I just have a problem with closed doors. And though I know she’s annoyed with me, I need her to know that I’m her mother and it’s my job to be intrusive.

I am not polite, I am not subtle, I’m intrusive. I am the Law. I am there to be the moral compass and guide. To always ask why. To always say “do” or “don’t do.” To knock on closed doors.

But there is no real power in this.

Romans 8 describes the Law as powerless. “For what the Law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending His own Son …” The Law, try as it might, could not overcome our sin. Just as I, try as I might, cannot make my children obedient, nor can I make myself obedient.

The Law cannot be completely obeyed. So why do I spend so much time being the Law to those around me?

The Law, try as it might, could not overcome our sin.

In verse 2, Paul explains, “the law of the Spirit of life sets us free from the law of sin and death. I hear the Law of sin and death knock on my door all of the time. And just like my daughter, I get really annoyed by it. But God sent the Spirit, His Son, to create a new law that sets us free and gives us peace.

But God sent the Spirit, His Son, to create a new law that sets us free and gives us peace.

How much more joy would my kids and others around me feel if I knocked on their doors with a message of life, not condemnation? What would happen if my vigorous pounding was because I was eager to share Christ’s message of salvation, which has far greater power? I don’t know, but I think I’d like to try it and see what happens.