Monday, February 13, 2012

House Rules, Part 1

One of our weekly homework assignments during our foster/adopt classes asked us what our family rules are. While we have a few general rules that encompass most behavior and attitude choices, that type of rule is probably not going to be helpful in establishing expectations and routines with new children. So Matt and I sat down together and formulated a specific list of rules for our family. The goal was to base each rule on instruction found in God's Word. That way, when a child breaks a rule, we are able to direct them back to God as the source of instruction on how to live. Just another way to make Christ the center of our home and family.

Later in the week we held a family meeting to discuss the "new" rules. It happened to be a Sunday when we stayed home from church because a couple of us were under the weather. It made a great at-home church time. This week I mod-podged them onto a 12x24 canvas to be hung in our living room. Just about every offense committed in our home can be directed back to our rules, and dealt with accordingly using empowering, life-giving Scripture. It is awesome, and I'm really excited about it. The kids are responding really well to it, too.

1. Live with integrity.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

This rule addresses lying, deceitful actions, manipulation, exaggeration, and cheating

2. Be kind in word and deed.
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, Philippians 2:5

This rule addresses kind speech, touching each other gently, and getting along.

3. Obey your parents.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1

This rule speaks for itself. Obey right away, all the way, with a happy heart. If you question the instruction, move first to obey, and then make your appeal.

4. Be considerate, respectful, grateful.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4

Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you. Hebrews 13:17

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

This rule also addresses a number of things, mainly attitudes. Is insisting on being first looking to your brother's interests? Is whining treating Mom with respect? Are you showing an gratitude attitude when you complain about your food?

5. Clean up after yourself.
So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? Luke 16:11-12

This rule addresses responsibility. God has entrusted us with many wonderful possessions, and He asks us to care for them properly.

To be continued...

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