After posting HOUSE RULES yesterday some ladies asked if I would share with them the rules for our house. I should never have used such a title, because I don’t have rules. What could I call them? They are more a basic, fundamental order for the home. And these fundamental guidelines change with times and seasons. I had different “rules” when the children were little than when they grew older.
Let me give you an overall picture of how I liked to run my home from when the children were little until now. My children are now all out of the home, married with their own children. But we still have young people living in our home (Above Rubies helpers and other staying at differing times). We often have up to four young people staying and visitors coming and going.
Do I have the same values for visitors? I’ll share that with you in another post.
I believe in getting up at a decent hour, not sleeping in! You can’t manage a home effectively if you sleep in. The best part of the day is gone before you even start. Wake up time will be a different time in every home and at the different seasons and ages of your children.
Currently I like to get into the kitchen about 7.30 am. I read and pray before this of course. I expect everyone living in the home to have breakfast before 8.00 am when we commence Family Devotions together. I revolve my day around PRIORITIES. Family Devotions, both morning and evening, are the highest priority in my day. Therefore, I plan the order of my day around them. That’s why everyone must be up in time. No sleeping in. I hate sleeping in myself but allow our young people to sleep in on the weekends.
After Family Devotions, we begin the day. Mothers with children will make sure basic chores are completed such as cleaning the kitchen and getting laundry going and then begin homeschooling. I’m not homeschooling now, but school grandchildren at different seasons.
Lunch time comes and we allow an hour for lunch and clean up. Larger families will most probably need longer to prepare, eat, and clean up. Some families like to read the Word at lunchtime too.
For me, after lunch, it’s back to the office to keep writing and keep Above Rubies going. Mothers may continue homeschooling, although usually they can all be finished by lunchtime. The afternoon is a wonderful time for projects, gardening, research, creative ideas, errands, visiting someone in need and so on. And rest time for littles ones.
I like to be in the kitchen again no later than 5.00 to prepare for the evening meal. This is a huge priority for me. I know that Family Devotions won’t work unless I prepare for it. It is such a blessing to have the evening meal ready for when your husband comes home so you can all eat together and at the end of the meal, enjoy time reading God’s Word and praying together. These things don’t happen unless you make them happen.
Here are a few other guidelines I find helpful in my home:
1. I don’t allow children to jump on the furniture and on their beds. This does not teach our children how to care for things or how to act in someone else’s home.
2. I don’t allow chewing gum in my home. Please understand that this is not a “thus saith the Lord.” It is my preference. I simply cannot stand finding chewing gum stuck to the floor or under chairs etc. Therefore, I don’t allow it in the home. Period. Personally, I don’t like to see people chewing gum anyway. I don’t think it equates with royalty, and aren’t we training our children to be princes and princesses in God’s royal kingdom?
3. I don’t allow children to eat food in their bedrooms or anywhere in the house except at the dining room table or in the kitchen. This only makes so much more work for you in cleaning house—crumbs around the house and marks on the carpet etc.
4. I expect ALL children and EVERYONE living in our home to join us for Family Devotions. One time, a young man was staying with us for a week or so. The night before he left he said he wouldn’t have time to come for Family Devotions as he wanted to pack his bag. It was only an excuse as he had done nothing all day! I certainly didn’t let him off the hook!
5. I expect everyone to be at the dinner table on time! No coming when they feel like it. They must be there the moment I call, although usually by this time the children are in the kitchen with you helping you with the meal and putting it on the table.
6. I allowed my children to be “children” and didn’t get at them for many of the stupid and childish things they did. However, I disciplined for disobedience, willfulness, rebellion, lying, and things that God detests in His Word.
7. I trained the children to do their chores with a smile and a good attitude. They would be given another task until they showed the right attitude. Of course, they learn this mostly from YOUR OWN ATTITUDE TOWARD WORK. You show by your actions and attitude that you LOVE WORK and it is a God-given blessing.
8. When the children grew older and were still living at home, I expected them to be home for the evening meal and Family Devotions, unless they let me know in time and it was a valid excuse. I expected them (and still expect anyone living in our home) to tell me where they are going and what time they will be home. And I have certain time guidelines for them to be in at night.
There are loads of other things I could mention, but I think I have gone on long enough.
Painting: Tasha Tudor