Wednesday, January 26, 2011

21 Rules of This House – Rule #2

If you are recently joining me on this series, here’s a link to all 21 Rules.  And here are my thoughts on Rule #1

Rule #2 – We love, honor, and pray for one another.

This one is huge.  Basically, the first two rules are the foundation of all that follows.  We love God (Rule #1), and we love others (Rule #2). 

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”  Luke 10:27

I guess the first thing to point out is that Rule #2 is about others.  Not ourselves.  It’s a hard concept to explain in our self-obsessed society.  Instead of worrying about what others do or don’t do to make us “happy”, we should strive to put others first by looking for ways to serve each other. 

Can you imagine what a home would be like where every family member looked for ways to show love and serve?  Where we always showed respect and consideration, and prayed faithfully for each other? 

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.  James 5:16

Webster’s Dictionary defines honor as:  “to regard or treat someone with admiration and respect.”  From a young age, we should be teaching our children to treat family members in this way.  Not just parents and other adults…but siblings as well. 

We should strive to make our home a haven from the world…a place where we speak kindly to each other, consider each other’s needs, and look for ways to show love.  What a wonderful legacy to leave our children!

Here are some practical suggestions for how to implement Rule #2:

  • Insist that everyone (including parents) speak to each other kindly and respectfully.
  • Nix the sarcasm.  Especially the kind that is belittles others.  (I’m surprised lightening didn’t strike when I typed this…I need to work on it.)
  • Share prayer requests with each other during family devotionals and/or mealtimes.  Pray together.  Consider helping your kids keep a prayer journal.
  • Recognize and reinforce kindness.
  • When we sin against each other, apologize and show forgiveness.
  • Don’t hold grudges. (Second lightening strike.)
  • This one is OH SO IMPORTANT, and it’s for parents:  Don’t discipline in anger.  Discipline in love.  Anger and indignation have no place in a discipline situation.  Take a minute…pray…then come back and handle things calmly. 
  • Make a game out of doing kind things for each other.  Secretly do something nice, then have fun guessing who did what!
  • And, finally…express your love to each other.  For some people this is easy.  For some people it’s very difficult.  The bottom line is we need to hear the words “I love you.”  Children, especially, need to hear these words from their parents.  Just because you say it a lot doesn’t make it mean any less!

As always, I welcome your thoughts on this post!  The first two rules are pretty heavy.  Really, if we truly understood and obeyed the first two rules, there would be no need for Rules #3-21!


cal+claire said...

the redecoration of your house is amazing! i wish y'all would make a trip to Mississippi and do that to my apartment haha!

I also love your rules, we want to do similar things with our children when we have them!

Larry said...

These are wise thoughts. I have benefitted for years in going to work bolstered by the prayers of a Godly wife.

Hernandez Family said...

Joanna, I'm so glad I happened upon your blog again today. You wrote some things that really hit home and basically were exactly what I've been thinking about lately. Serving others, not holding grudges, disciplining calmly after taking a breather - such GOOD advice and SO true :) You and I still think alike, especially about parenting :) Hope to see you and Grace again soon!

cal+claire said...

I'm missing your blog!