Family Rules and Values
Our kiddos are currently 4.5, 3, and 9 months old. They are an absolute JOY 90% of the time, but if I am being honest (and I think most of you would agree) that other 10% is tough! Parenting is hard yall. This post is a little wordy, but hopefully worth the read as we share our approach toward guiding our children and setting expectations for them.
A quote I heard recently (passed along from a dear friend) says
“If your eyes ever see, or your ears ever hear the sin, weakness, rebellion or failure of your children, it’s never an imposition. It’s never an interruption. It’s never a hassle. It’s always GRACE. God loves your children; he’s put them in a family of faith, and in relentless grace he will reveal their need to you again and again so that you can be his tool of awareness, conviction, repentance, faith and change. And because in these moments he asks you to forsake your agenda for his, this opportunity of grace isn’t just for your children, it’s for you as well.” – Paul David Tripp
Conviction, right? I often find myself parenting out of frustration, instead of grace (especially during the witching hour!). But this quote reminds me time and time again that in parenting, it should always be grace first. What a HUGE privilege God has given us to love, guide, and teach HIS children. Because the truth is, they are his. He has allowed us to love them and asks us that we first and foremost point them to HIM. Remember we are significant in their lives, but we are not sovereign. (“…for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” -Phil 2:13) And hopefully, he has put you in a community of faith to help you along the way!
It is with this in mind that we try and parent our kiddos. Colossians 3:12 says “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” In our parenting we pray we are teaching our children compassion and kindness, humility and gentleness, and patience…among other things
A few things to keep in mind when you make your own rules or expectations:
- Let the kids be involved. This provides ownership.
- Keep the rules simple and make sure the kids understand them. Explain what it means to be respectful, obedient, etc.
- Your rules should be in line with your family values.
- Practice them. Role play goes a LONG way with kids.
When we created our family rules, we all sat together around the table and the kids were a part of making the list. We talked about what was important in how they treated us, each other, and friends. We talked about how Jesus calls us to behave in the bible. It was a group effort and I think that helps with ownership for them. Now, if they are sitting on the steps or on their bed for misbehaving, after discussing what happened we can talk about which rule was broken and give them a way to act/respond better next time. We also talk about the bible verse that corresponds to each verse and then ask for forgiveness, both from God and from whomever we’ve wronged. (And yes I said “we,” sometimes mom has to ask for forgiveness to when she is parenting out of frustration or jumps to conclusions!)
Here are the verses I use, but you may find some that work better for your family.
- Obey your parents: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Ephesians 6:1
- Be Kind: “Be kind and compassionate, forgiving each other in love, as your heavenly Father forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
- Be Respectful: “Do to others as you would like them to do to you.” Luke 6:31
- Share with Everyone: “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7
- Tell the Truth: “The Lord delights in those who tell the truth.” Proverbs 12:22
The second half of the printable are our family values. III and I came up with these a while ago. These 5 values are things we feel are most important to help guide our family and instill in our children. They are great to have around when big decisions are being made. We can refer to them and discuss how the decision we are trying to make impacts our family values…I highly suggest sitting down and coming up with your own set of values. Knowing what is important to your family is a key to success!
- Love Jesus
- Love Others
- Be Generous
- Work Hard
- Enjoy Life
Parenting is tough and the responsibility is a BIG one. I’m thankful for the bible’s guidance, the example we both have in our parents, and our community of faith and friends to support/help us along the way! We are raising the next generation and my prayer is that they exemplify Colossians 3:12.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”