My family and I went to church every Sunday - as did most of the families I knew. The church I went to was filled with wonderful, kind people, but while the people were wonderful and kind and God's Word was taught, so was the idea where following God was all about keeping the "rules".
Yes, when God's Word tells us a, "do" or "do not", we must do or do not. For example, Jesus told us the two greatest commands were for us to love God with our all and to love others as we love ourselves. Throughout Scripture things such as being selfish, unkind, unfaithful, drunk or abusive are things which God has clearly commanded us to not be or do. Likewise, He calls upon us to be people who are loving, gentle, kind, generous, peaceful and who are quick to forgive.
Following God's, "do's" and "do not's" is not legalism. It is obeying and walking with God and something we do because we love Him. Legalism tends to go beyond what God's Word teaches by adding a list of rules typically made up by people.
"It is for freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."