I came across a parenting video discussing how rules don’t establish behavior; rather, connections establish behavior. Point being that a list of rules for your children is useless if you aren’t connected to them. It is the connections and closeness we have with each other that establishes good behavior. It hit me–this is why the breed of traditionalism and Christianity I write against (with heavy doses fundamentalism and legalism) is so ineffective. Traditionalists of this variety flat out suck at making connections with people. They are so focused and absorbed with rules, with pointing to verses that they can’t relate to those they are trying to change or those who want to change. They have little to no empathy or ability to see someone as a unique person with unique experiences.
Take the 10 Commandments–the ultimate list of rules. I think they strike a much bigger chord and our much more effective when a person has a connection with God. Without that connection, the rules don’t mean much and seem silly. This same concept applies across the board. Criminals largely don’t follow laws because they don’t feel connected or valued in society. Employees can be lazy and inefficient because they don’t feel connected or valued by their employer.