I had a short conversation with my kids today about rules in this house. I kept hearing them remind each other of various ‘rules’, and they even asked me once to clarify a rule. It didn’t sit well with me. And today I addressed it.
What was going on was that when they thought a rule existed that rule was upheld regardless of the circumstance. What is wrong with that you may well ask? Well, they didn’t do anything wrong per se, they where following a rule afterall – and yes, I had made that ruling in the past. The thing is where was their hearts? Was their heart to help, serve, or consider the other person – no, they were going to make that other person live by the rule – by hook or by crook! The interesting thing to note is that whenever a rule needed to be confirmed it was always about something that another person needed to do. Mmmm… there is an indicator!
Sometimes things like this slip under the radar – we hear what is going on but it doesn’t really register. Then one day it clicks in your head, alarm bells go off and you know you have to do something about it. Today was such a day.
The things is – like I said, I had made a ruling. Everyone was to wash their own breakfast dishes. And reminding someone of that rule was not wrong. Neither was leaving the dish there for them to come back to. (and this was only one example of this type of thing happening in our home.)
The question I asked my children was: What should dictate our behaviour in our house – our rules or our love for each other? At first they didn’t see the connection – after all I had made the rule, and they were only following it. True. But are rules of this house the highest authority in our life? This of course is only a question you can ask older kids – but it is a good one to ask.
Are the rules of this house the highest authority in your life?
We make rules to help things flow smoothly – I’m not sure I like the word rules, it grates but that is what it is seen as. It is a decree that I have said, that will help our home function smoothly. But …
- Jesus says: love one another as you love yourself.
- He said, for us to be servants towards each other. And
- He said, No greater love has a man than he lay down his life for his brother.
Do we live by rules we’ve made or do we live by the words of Jesus?