By Bettinna Carlos
My Bible readings lately have been on the 10 Commandments God gave to Moses before the Israelites entered the Promised Land. God gave this to prepare His people in all the forms they may be tempted to be swayed from their belief. I did the same two years ago with Gummy—we created our own 10 commandments at home or our house rules. I call it “CoMoMents’ because—well, Mom made it.
These ten were also drawn from The Ten Commandments in the Bible—I somewhat rewrote them in simpler terms she will understand so she can easily remember and follow.
Rules are for our safety. Rules are for us to enjoy life to the max within safe borders. Teaching our children rules help them honor and obey authorities, respect people, life and theirs, and live safely.
1. Love Papa God the most. God is number 1. It is never too early to teach our children that nothing in this life should be loved more than God. This love for God also sets their perspective on things.
2. Pray to Papa God only. This teaches children that for anything they may need, there should be only one person they should pray to ask—God. And if they may need to ask help in praying, they must ask just Jesus to pray to God for them, no one else. This way they also know that Jesus is Their Helper and Friend, who helps them and prays for them.
3. Be polite. Say please, thank you, sorry, po and opo. No bad words and not even “Oh My Gosh”—because this is just the same thing it tries to conceal. Our words, whether directed towards God or not reflect the kind of hearts they come from—hearts that are either sensitive to the Lord or unaware of Him. This is also a reminder to them that God is everywhere and he sees and hears all.
What are your house rules?
4. Do your best at work or in school for God. This supports the God-ward perspective our children should have about life. Everything they do, they must do for the Lord. Sunday is for church, rest and family—honoring this day as Sabbath, teaches our children that one thing that sets us apart from others is how we keep our Sundays holy and dedicated to the Lord by not working and instead just worshipping Him.
5. Obey Mom. Obedience brings blessings. The biggest blessing they could have is God himself, who honors their obedience to the authorities placed above them, their parents, by giving them a long, well life.
6. Don’t hurt anyone—by hand or words. I praise God because my daughter is someone who does not use her hands, even when she can, when she is offended or angry. I remember an incident when a boy bullied her and I said that she should have punched his face because he was too close. She retorted that she didn’t want to do it because she did not want to hurt someone.
7. No cheating. Neither hiding nor secrets. Did you know that most sexually molested and abused children were told to keep secrets from their parents? Be your child’s best friend, hone that intimate relationship so they will always be comfortable asking you and telling you everything.
8. Always ask for permission. When we spoil our children, doing everything for them leaving no room to do it for themselves, we raise them up to be entitled individuals who always think they deserve everything. Teach your child that there is nothing in this world that is theirs, nor ours. Therefore they must always ask permission and humbly help out in the home any way they can.
9. Tell the truth always. No lying, be it simple to full blown; not even pranking. We should teach our children that God does not distinguish a little lie from a big lie, even if it is to spare someone from getting hurt. So a small lie is a sin God abhors, like He does with big obvious ones.
10. Be thankful. Don’t compare, complain or be jealous. At this day and age when everyone is so inclined to materialism, we need to teach our children to be content with what they have and to not covet or be envious of what others have. Happiness and security are not based on material things. They should be secured in our love and Christ’ sufficiency and God’s Divine Providence. There are so many things to be thankful for not just toys. Teach your children to be grateful for every single thing, every day.
These rules are not just physical regulations they need to obey. They are a set of guidelines to set and align their hearts the earliest possible time. The earlier we cultivate the soil, the deeper the roots grow and the stronger the plant becomes.
Rules prepare our children for the world out there, for the time we will no longer be with them.
What are your house rules?