"Do not do anything that brings grief to your family." -Mother Melania
While I do have two starting school tomorrow, this post is not about school. This post is about how I'm trying to get our HOME to WORK (see what I did there?). I didn't want to call it house rules because it's more than that. In my quest to be calm and avoid needless arguments, loopholes and stall tactics, I wanted more than just a set of rules, I wanted to have, IN WRITING, the things that really make our home work well. I didn't want to be nitpicky but I did want to be clear about what the expectations are and what is acceptable as a participant in this family. The great thing I'm finding is this list is helping me stay accountable to the purpose of our home too!
- Love God and Each Other: Jesus says, "The first of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:29-31. If you love God first and others next then you will be doing the things below.
- Responsibility: "Take the blame for the things you are responsible for." - Mother Melania Avoid arguing or making excuses. This is how you build trust and earn privileges.
- Temperance (moderation/self-control/restraint): Here you are learning to stay in the middle between too much and not enough. For example: When given the opportunity to have a treat or enjoy yourself, don't go overboard. Buy enough of a treat for you to enjoy right then, not so much that if you ate it all at once it would make you sick. And remember to enjoy it!
- Chastity: Purity of the mind of body. This means: be mindful of what you watch, read, listen to and say. (Why do include chastity in our "home work"? Because there are so many avenues by which garbage can enter the brain and we want to avoid exposing our kids to harmful things. We don't want to hide our heads in the sand or make some alternate reality for them, but we want them to understand the world around them in a loving and godly context.)
- Liberality: Generosity. Give freely to others when it is within your power to do so without any expectation of getting something in return. This includes giving to the homeless, friends, neighbors and even brothers and sisters.
- Happiness: Now this doesn't mean that we like everything, but it does mean that we can choose to be happy because the Lord loves us, He has provided a family, food and a home for us even if nothing else seems good.
- Diligence: Doing any task (work/chore/job/responsibility) until it is completed to the very best of your ability.
- Humility: Thinking of what is good for others before thinking o f yourself. For example: If someone needs help...help them. If there is only a little food left and someone else also wants seconds, let the other person have it. If someone asks you to do something don't think yourself "too good" for little or "unimportant" jobs. If someone does something unkind, be quick to forgive keeping in mind the Jesus prayer, "Lord have mercy on ME a sinner."
- Mildness: Kindness, gentleness and calm in word and action.
- Obedience: A respectful willingness to do what you are told without asking "why". If, after you have done what you have been asked to do, still want to know "why" you will be told, unless there is some special reason not to. If the answer to the "why" is something you should already know, we know we have super smart kids and we will let you figure it out yourself.
Now this is what I came up with. What do you do with your family? I'd love to hear about it!!!
Many blessings to all and to all a good morning :)