The Ten Commandments: So Much More Than a List of Rules

Have you ever thought to yourself, “How relevant could a list of arbitrary Commandments, given to an ancient civilization, possibly be in our modern world? They are just a list of rules that restrict my freedom, and besides, they really aren’t all that relevant any more. Are they?”

To dispel any doubts, let’s consider just one of the many other sets of rules that help us in our everyday lives, such as rules for driving.

The roads were created by our local, state and federal governments for everyone’s benefit. Having created the roads, the government has the authority to make and enforce the commandments about driving, and we are obliged to follow them. A few of the rules are:

  • Thou shall not run red lights
  • Thou shall not speed through school zones
  • Thou shall not cross over the yellow line

What would the roads look like and how dangerous would driving be if “enlightened thinkers” convinced society that the rules were arbitrary, restrictive and unnecessary, and everyone should decide on their own rules. Without a common list of rules that govern how people drive, the roads would be chaotic and dangerous. It is because there are rules that it is possible for you, me, and everyone to use the roads for the purpose for which they were designed, so that we can reach our intended destinations.

Now, let’s apply this same logic to something much more important than roads. Let’s apply it to life.

Life is given to us by God and, having created us, He has the authority to determine and enforce the rules. Since God is all loving, he crafted the rules for life to be beneficial for everyone and to keep us “safe” and free from the enslavement of sin. But when “enlightened thinkers” convince society that the Commandments are just a list of arbitrary, restrictive and unnecessary rules, what is the outcome? Might it look a little like the world we are living in right now? Having discarded the Ten Commandments as being just a list of rules, doesn’t it seem that the world is unraveling, making life chaotic and dangerous.

God’s list of rules against idolatry, lying, stealing, adultery, coveting, and killing are so much more than just another set of rules. God’s Ten Commandments are the foundation for ALL the other lists of rules. They are the foundation for driving, selling and purchasing, how teachers teach, and how parents parent. The Commandments are the foundation and God is the authority.

Unfortunately, the “enlightened thinkers” have largely convinced society that the Commandments are just a list of arbitrary rules. Having been removed from the schools, courts, and public squares, the memory people have of the Commandments has faded, causing confusion, chaos, and division. 

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Let’s restore the foundation so that you, your children, and everyone know the Commandments, appreciate how they are the guardrails that keep us from veering off the “narrow” road to safely reach our intended destination.

To get started, give some thought to the following questions. Then, decide on one action you can take to restore the Commandments to their rightful place for yourself, your family and the world.

  • Do I view the Commandments as old fashioned and too restrictive? Or, do I embrace and appreciate them as the foundation for all of life’s choices?
  • Do I know the Ten Commandments well and do I regularly apply them in daily decisions? If there are a few that have slipped your mind you can review them here.
  • Do I display the Commandments in a prominent place in my home as a reminder to know them and align my life by them? If not, select an image for your home and share them with family and friends.
  • Am I intentional to teach the children in my life how important the Commandments are for them today and for their future? One way to teach them is to pray the Praying the Ten Commandments prayer with them.

Let’s all work together to restore the foundation for living in harmony with one another so that we can all reach our ultimate destination – everlasting joy in heaven.

Explore the variety of free resources on our website for learning God’s Commandments and applying them to everyday life. Then, share what you find there with your family and friends.

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Ed Van Buskirk is Founder and President of If U Love Me, a catholic apostolate dedicated to help restore truth in this world of confusion by teaching the time-tested wisdom and truth of the Ten Commandments. He’s author of the “God’s Recipe for a Wonderful Life” book and video course, given an Imprimatur by James V. Johnston Jr. Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri. He recently founded the “God’s Recipe for School and Family” program for Catholic schools, to teach school children and their families how to learn and live the Ten Commandments. Ed speaks across the country and was recently a speaker at the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocesan Eucharistic Congress.

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