We want to win the battle with our kids…winning is the goal right? Well no, it’s not.
When creating order and peace in our homes…we can start by communicating in a way that values the relationship over the rules. @AllyEvans
Through Moses, God shows us there’s a clear connection between obeying and love. For years, Moses wrestled with the Israelites to obey all the laws and rules. But then, His tune changed. In Deuteronomy 6:5 He says, “Love the Lord Your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” He started fighting for something more important than behaviors and rule-following. He was fighting for the hearts of those who followed Him.
So when creating order and peace in our homes, setting expectations and rules is very appropriate. But perhaps we can start by communicating in a way that values the relationship over the rules.
How do you do that? It starts with for not from. I’ll explain.
Here’s how to let love rule your home.
The most basic thing is to communicate what the rules are, why they exist, and what the consequences are when those expectations aren’t met. Do this in a calm moment. Have a normal conversation about it with your kids and even allow them to speak into the expectations before things get heated.
The truth is, rules and expectations are a way for us to tell our kids what we want for them. But what we often communicate accidentally is what we want from them. We say:
- You need to clean your room.
- You need to get in bed.
- You need to be home by a certain time.
But what we mean is what we want for them:
- It will help you in life if you keep your things tidy and organized.
- Getting an appropriate amount of rest will help you have a great day tomorrow.
- I want us to build trust with each other.
When our child breaks a rule or behaves inappropriately, it can immediately cause us parents to get angry. At that moment, we actually lose the opportunity to bring direction in a way that is based in relationship.
Take time to pause and let any anger or frustration diffuse, then talk with your child. Give them the “why” behind the “what” of the rules and expectations. Listen to their thoughts. And then, when you provide the consequences to their behavior—because that still must be done—you can do so with love and a hug.
As you do this consistently, I believe you’ll experience love-driven obedience from your kids. Love-driven obedience will outlive our children’s time in our homes. They will take that with them wherever they go. And it all begins by prioritizing the relationship over the rules when communicating!