Family Rules

Our family devotion time yesterday morning was about following rules and why obeying God matters. As we finished praying, I decided to ask Jackson for help in creating “Family Rules” that we would post in a prominent place in our home to remind us of how we are to act and love each other as a family.

Jackson took the mission to heart, and carefully thought of these rules. Each are his own words.

These are the rules Jackson thought were important for our family.

In the formation of these six guidelines, it helped that there were several instances to exercise them. For instance, Lauren came and interrupted by coloring on the rules, and Jackson had to not fight with her and be kind.

Rules aren’t meant to restrict. They are to free us from our sin entanglements and enable us to live the abundant life promised to us. Throughout Scripture, God places an emphasis on obedience and following Him. In the second letter of John, the beloved disciple, we are encouraged and warned of the priority of obeying Christ’s commands. In fact, when we follow His directions, God’s love is perfected.

This is how we are sure that we have come to know Him: by keeping His commands. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” yet doesn’t keep His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly in him the love of God is perfected. This is how we know we are in Him: The one who says he remains in Him should walk just as He walked.

– 1 John 2:3-6

In our Family Rules, Jackson’s suggestions are very simple. Yet, we will each need God’s strength and presence in our lives to see them through.

In fact, we’ve already broken every one of them. Each of us (me included) has a great deal of growing to do!



Father and son

One Sunday afternoon at lunch, Matt was talking with our son Jackson about his Bible lesson at church. Jackson told us every detail he could remember about Moses going up the mountain and God writing the commandments on stone.

Matt then asked Jackson if he could list the 10 Commandments.

Jackson paused, thought hard, and then responded, “You tell me Dad, and then I’ll do them.”

I’m not sure that Jackson realized what beautiful faith was displayed in his response.

It’s the kind of heart I want to show to my Heavenly Father. It is that simple trust that chooses to obey, without question, because the One who commands created me.

Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.

– Psalm 119:33-35