The Rules

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The Rules

As my children grew into middle schoolers and gained more freedom and independence I realized that I could never create a “rule” to cover every situation that they would encounter. I also realized that although rules are good to have, they are imposed on us from outside sources. Whether from me, their teachers, their boss, or the law, these expectations come from those around them, and I wanted my children to learn to think, and process decisions, not just rely on everyone around them to tell them what to do. Yes, I want them to listen to their teachers, or boss at work, but if they don’t learn to process decisions, and all they learn is to listen to those around them, what happens when they are with their friends, when there is no teacher or parent there to make sure they are following the rules and coming to the right conclusion?   What I really want is for them to have an inner drive to choose wisely, to make the best decision. I want them to rely on God to direct them when I can’t be that voice of reason steering them down the right path. My first step was to trust God. Trust that He will whisper in their ear at just the right moment what they need to hear and trust that He will give them an open heart to hear and a strong spirit to obey. But I wanted to give our kids a little reminder, something to help them when they find themselves needing to make a decision. The key is little, because I knew if it was lengthy they wouldn’t bother, but I didn’t want to leave anything out. For several weeks one summer I asked God to show me what the “Biggies” were. The things I really needed them to remember, and help me to throw out the “fluff”, the things that were nice, but not critical.   The following is what came of that. It hung in every room of the house at first, but now hangs on the fridge alone, as a reminder of what I asked them to memorize that summer. I know that they won’t remember it word for word, but I know that their God can bring it to mind when needed, to help them chose wisely in the moment. I know that there will be times when they will swing and miss. That the decision they make will not be the best, and we can use these concepts to help them figure out what went wrong. I also am very aware that when I give them the opportunity to think, and process, that they will sometimes arrive at a decision that is different than the one I would have come to, but not necessarily wrong. Here is where the rubber meets the road and I am tested. I have to stop my head from rushing to judgment, which I am completely known for, and stop and realize that the choice they made wasn’t bad or wrong, just different and fell completely within acceptable guidelines. This is where I have to slow my brain down long enough to allow God to speak to me and remind me of what the goal is. To have teenagers who are confident and strong, able to think for themselves, and rise to the occasion. And they have, more times than I can count. But not because of some magical formula that I put onto paper, this is only a tool, but because God has given them His Holy Spirit to teach them and remind them.  


He (the Holy Spirit) will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.

 John 14:26 b



I trust that there is a bigger picture that I can’t see & that God has a great plan for me.

I don’t do anything that would cause people to loose trust in me.



I respect myself and don’t allow others to influence me in anything that goes against who I am and what I believe.

I respect others and their property. I treat everyone with honor.


I stay within my abilities and am aware of my surrounding.

I keep my heart and mind safe by who I am with, what I do, listen to and watch.


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