Disciplining Children: Making Good Rules – Part Four

“Then God spoke all these words, saying…” Exodus 20:1

Guideline #1: Set clear boundaries and limits.

Guideline #2: Avoid unannounced or arbitrary (random) rules.

Guideline #3: Make sure they understand the rules and guidelines.

Guideline #4: Keep the rules simple and few.

Guideline#5: Avoid rules they cannot keep.

Guideline #6: Be consistent with the rules.

#7 Seek to establish rules on biblical principles.

The best rules are biblical rules, that is, rules that are based on what the Scriptures teach. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Kids need a lamp and a light to help them know how to behave.

2Timothy 3:16-17 states that “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” The desire of every parent should be to equip their children for every good work.

One rule in our household was to always obey your parents. Our children were expected to be obedient. We taught verses from the Bible like Ephesians 6:1 which says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”

#8 Avoid rules and consequences that you cannot enforce.

Count the cost before you establish a rule or a consequence. Think before you speak.

Luke 14:27-32 teaches that a person would not build a tower or go to war without first counting the cost. Wisdom dictates that before we speak or act, we should first count the cost to see if we really can do what we say we are going to do.

I once heard a mother tell her misbehaving daughter, “If you don’t come with us right now, we will never bring you back to Disneyland!” Of course, her daughter didn’t bulge because she recognized it as an empty threat.

So, seek to establish rules based on biblical principles and avoid making rules and consequences that you cannot enforce.

Something to think about…