Keys To Cultivating Our Children-Key #3

Key #3  Give your kids guidelines – Deuteronomy 28

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“1If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all His commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God”. “15However if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all His commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you.”

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Boundaries Are Not Prison Bars

Our Heavenly Father Who loves us unconditionally without any limits or measure, provided us His children with the “Ten Commandments”. These rules and regulations were not intended to enslave us, but actually to provide protection and freedom from following the many roads of life’s destruction. If God Who is the Creator of “parenting” provided a set of guidelines and boundaries for us to know and follow for our ultimate good, then we who desire to be the best parents we can be must also provide our children boundaries.

In today’s culture, parenting has been watered down and stripped of all authority. We are told that placing boundaries, correcting or disciplining our children will traumatize, hurt, scar and maybe even permanently damage our children. This same rhetoric explains that establishing limits will create a child with low self-esteem or worse. But the evidence seen in today’s society of a generation that has been unhindered by boundaries and given the run of the mill is overwhelming.

Our jails hold youth that were never taught or given boundaries or instruction.  For children it is imperative to understand when enough is enough or when they have crossed the line. It is obvious to us all that no one would drive a vehicle without brakes. No train would be on the tracks if there were no tracks to keep it on track. Essentially we wouldn’t even get on a bicycle or roller skates without a way of stopping or limiting how fast or far we can go so that we could avoid getting run over by a truck or go off of a cliff.

How will a child know when he or she has gone too far or has crossed the line if there are no boundaries that have been established to begin with. When guidelines, boundaries and limits are set in place, they will give  kids safety and protection like a guard rail around a road when driving up a very high mountain. These guard rails are not there to be used as a prison, but for protection. If we are honest with ourselves, even if we are good drivers that we would have no need for them,  it would still be a comfort to know that those guard rails are there just in case the car accidentally goes off the road.

Within the parent, child relationship there can be and will be many strains in necessary and sometimes long list of  “Do’s” and “Don’ts”. In order to ease the struggles that sometime occur between what “can” or “cannot” be done by your children, we would be wise to take the same approach that God our Heavenly Father did. Give clear ground-rules or boundaries describing what is and is not allowed. In other words, a code of behavior is essential. A sign establishing these “guard rails” surrounded by roving neon lights should be hanged where your children will see it and would be impossible to miss. Here is a checklist to keep in mind that may be helpful while writing your home “Commandments”.

  • Get clear and specific on your expectations. Ex. Clean up your room everyday before leaving
  • Children are protected if the parent is going “freakazoid’ regarding something that is NOT on the list.
  • This will teach the children that they do not have to wait until the parent gets angry and ready to lose it before the child does what they have been asked to do.
  • God’s family, the Israelites in the desert received the commandments, and then in Deuteronomy 28 God gave then the blessings if you do this and the curses if you don’t. In other words they were given guidelines on how to behave within the family.
  • After the list has been done each child must read it, understand it and sign at the bottom. In this way there is no room for excuses.
  • This list will need to be updated as time goes on and new guidelines need to be established.
  • Lastly, hang this up where it can be seen everyday clearly. Surround it with neon lights, sirens, flashing strobes whatever it takes so that it is in plain sight.  *Always remember this equation “R-R=R Rules without Relationship will always equal Rebellion.” -Josh McDowell
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