Relationship Over Rules

I recall when our girls turned 15, we we’re so honored that they wanted to celebrate their Birthdays with us over having a party with their friends!

For the first 9 years of Angel and Starr’s lives I buried them under a mountain of rules. I was very works-oriented so I valued rules over my relationship with them just as I wrongly believed God valued me obeying the rules over my relationship with Him.

And even though I have been on my journey of grace for six years now, I can sometimes still fall into my old habit of making a new rule for the girls for every new situation that arises. But God is helping me! Now that I believe right about Him, He continues to change me through our relationship – through reminding me of my true identity of righteousness in Him because of what Jesus did for me!

Rules only have the ability to work on people from the outside which produces behavior modification. In contrast, relationship produces heart change in people, resulting in heart transformation.

The Holy Spirit helps me see so much quicker these days when I am being tempted to fall into the rule-keeping method of parenting once again. I have the genius of the Holy Spirit living on the inside of me and, if you are a Christ-follower, so do you!

He leads me again and again to value relationship over everything else in my parenting – both my own relationship with my girls and their relationship with God. He reminds me to remind them, “No matter what you’ve done, you are righteous in Jesus and you will always be perfectly loved by God and because you are brand new in Christ YOU CAN hear from and be led by the Holy Spirit!”

The fact that Steve and I have made it a priority to build good relationships with our girls as well as a strong family identity is paying off…big time!

I’m thrilled that I am no longer depending on me being able to be a perfect parent for my girls to turn out ok or be successful. They will turn out just fine and be highly successful in life. I’m 100% convinced of this. How can I be so sure? Because my faith is in the grace (the unmerited favor) of God to carry Angel and Starr through. My faith is no longer in my own self-efforts to carry them through. How relaxing is that!!!

Now, on a totally separate, fun note: Even though they’re twins, Angel and Starr have their own birthday because one was born before midnight and one was born after midnight.

For their 15th Birthday Starr & Angel told us they were so tired of people not knowing them apart and asked if they could get their hair colored!  Angel went dark and Starr went light. They’ve been un-twinned and they are so happy that people can now tell them apart.

Steve and I are so thankful God has allowed us to be their parents!

And look who just turned 3 years old! Our girls say Bella and Sophie are the best gifts they have ever received. They are wonderful puppy mommies.

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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Sandra, I love your open and honest posts. God bless your beautiful family. He’s blessed all of you abundantly with each other 😘😘😘


Wow! Once again you have just what my heart needed to hear at just the right time. I beat myself up way too much over trying to fix my kids! As a single mom I take the responsibility myself for too much that I wish I could control. Even though there is a balance between guidance and discipline and grace, I’m learning to allow God’s love for me to teach me to trust Him more with my boys. It’s not easy, it’s a daily decision I have to make. I’ve got a long way to go but me forcing things… Read more »


I can relate I’m a single mother as well to my son.


Sandra, don’t know why it should surprise me to see your blog in my email tonight. Earlier, I ran across your book. I began to flip through and read some of the things I had previously underlined. I got blessed all over again, and decided I would start reading your book again tomorrow. Right after that is when I saw your email. It’s funny how God directs our attention to something he wants us focus on! 😁 Thank you for taking the time to share what God has taught you! I also appreciate how you share things about your family.… Read more »


Sandra, thank you so much for your post today. It touched my heart and will help me today be a better Mom to my eight year old son Henry. God Bless you and your family.


Hi Sandra – It’s such a blessing to be reading your wisdom this week and to know that your missionary trip, earlier this year, was fruitful. Letting Spirit guide your moment to moment choices for yourself and for your parenting is a huge gift. I agree that following Spirit will guarantee 100% success as long as we don’t let our own humanity and personality define what success actually is – especially for our children. I believe that if I’m praying for guidance and to do God’s will, the outcome may not exactly appear ‘successful’ but I have to trust that… Read more »