Some of you asked me to post my rules for parenting from my message last Sunday. Since you asked for it, here it is.
Please note I am not an expert in parenting. I have been, however, a parent for more than 22 years. So I have learned a few lessons along the way. Perhaps some of my lessons will help you.
The basis of my relationship with my children is my love for them. I have always loved my kids, and I will always love them. I loved them before they were born, and I have not stopped lavishing my love on them since then. Thus, the basis for my relationship with my kids is my love for them.
There is nothing my kids could ever do to take away my love for them. Again, the basis for my relationship with my kids is my love for them, and not my rules for them.
Nevertheless, I lavish my laws on my children because I love them. I tell the what to do and what not to do because I love them. I instruct them in what to say and what not to say because of my love for them. If I did not love my kids, I would not guide them with my laws.
These are my rules.
It’s Sunday, and we go to church.
This rule helps our children understand their need for a Savior. If I give them a choice to go to church or not, they will chose not to attend. It is part of their sinful nature. On Sunday I want them in God’s house, hearing God’s gospel with God’s people so they can learn their need for a Savior.
It’s Monday, and we go to school.
This rule helps our children understand the importance of learning. In today’s economy our kids need an education, whether formal or informal, to survive. I want my kids to get the best education possible. That is why I have worked diligently with them to attain the minimum of an undergraduate degree.
It’s the weekend, and we keep a curfew.
This rule helps our kids understand abiding by rules. If their curfew is 11:00 PM, then they should be home by 10:58 PM. If they cannot make it home on time, they do not deserve the freedom of going out on a weekend. Let them spend a boring weekend with you and they will soon appreciate keeping their curfew.
It’s the summer, and we get a job.
This rule helps our kids develop a good work ethic. Teach them how to cut grass, baby sit kids, paint houses or flip burgers. In doing so, they learn the importance of earning an income. Then teach them how to save and to spend their money.
It’s dinner time, and we eat together.
This rule helps our kids develop healthy social skills. By sitting and eating around the dinner table they learn how to carry on adult conversations. They also learn about the dynamics of family. More family values our passed on in those brief moments around a meal than many people realize.
And for those who were not in the third worship celebration, here is a bonus rule.
It’s a dating relationship, and we do not treat our boyfriend or girlfriend like our husband or wife.
This rule helps our children understand sexual purity. Too many kids associate the feelings of lust with being in love. Remind them their boyfriend is just that, a boy who is their friend and not their husband. And the same is true about your son’s girlfriend.
So, there you have it. Here are my simple rules for my kids.