by Danny Tariman
“Whatever point we reach, let us be of the same mind, and let us remain in the same rule” (Phil 3:16)
I recently had a very nice encounter with about 50 parents over the weekend where I gave a talk on parenting. I was happy to see interesting response of the parents especially on the matter of houserules.
True indeed that one of the important aspects of parenting is our houserules. As parents, we should clearly define the rules and standards that our children should abide.
Both parents should agree on the terms and the norms that the kids can “work or play with”. It will be difficult for kids whom to obey and to follow if parents have different views regarding a certain norm or rule. It has to be discussed between the parents, and prayed for.
When these norms or rules are agreed upon by both parents, and had been prayed about, it has to be required from all the children, and remain consistent – meaning it should not change very often. The Bible verse above is clear about this: “let us remain in the same rule”.
One of the reasons for conflicts in the family is our ill-defined family norms or houserules, and sometimes the inconsistency of application of these rules. As pointed out in 2 Timothy, no one can win unless one plays according to rules.
“No one who is an athlete wins a prize unless he competes according to the rules.” (2Tim 2:5)
There are many areas in our family life that we, as parents, should define the houserules. The list below will provide a list of areas that we can start:
- Courtship – What age will you allow?
- Dating – How do you want your child go on dates?
- Curfew – What time should your children be at home?
- Prayer time – What time during the day should kids have personal prayers? Family prayers?
- Studies – What is your requirements for home work? School grades?
- Church service – Do you want the family goes together every Sunday?
- Friendships – What kind of friends do you want for your kids? Do you open your home to friends of your children? What are the limitations for going out with friends?
- Dress Code – What kinds of dress do you allow your kids to wear – at home, when going out, when going to church, etc?
- Gadgets – Do you allow kids to use gadgets while having family dinner? During studies?
- Manners – Being grateful, courtesy and respect, honesty, openness, etc
The are many areas that we should be clear about. The list above should let you think of areas in your family life that you need to develop and define the norm or houserule.
One reminder for parents: norms or houserules should be “balanced”, and practical & applicable to your own family needs.
I pray that you will have a truly happy parenting, in Jesus’ name. Say “Amen” if you agree.