Rules for Life

We have reduced the number of rules for our children to four. We think that the kids should be able to remember four rules and we are confident that anytime they break a rule we can identify which one they are having problems with. The four rules are:

  1. Obey Mom and Dad
  2. Love Other People
  3. Play and Have Fun
  4. Learn

As we have been trying to focus on those four rules I have been thinking that the rules to live a happy life are probably simpler than we often expect. I would not be surprised to learn that the Lord really has a very few (meaning less than 10) basic rules for us which should govern our actions. Christ suggested only two – love God and love our neighbors – which correspond very nicely with the first two rules that we are teaching our girls. . .

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.

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4 Responses to Rules for Life

  1. Jared says:


    Of course, the application of those simple rules results in rules that are much more complex. Pay tithing. Don’t call people after 10 pm unless it’s an emergency. Take Sunday off from usual labors. Help people who are in a fix. Go to bed early. Comfort those who stand in need of comfort. And so forth.

    The important thing with having a few, broad rules is that all of the application rules (the case law, if you will) can be evaluated in light of their superordinate rules. The case law rules will always have exceptions; life is a continual process of refining our understanding of the rules and how to apply them. The broad rules almost never have exceptions:

    “Love other people, except….” Doesn’t quite work.

  2. David says:

    The exceptions are one of the major reasons that we reduced things to the broad rules. At the age of our children it is more important for them to see the consistency of the few basic rules rather than try to comprehend the exceptions in the case law.

  3. Laura says:

    Amen. We actually tried to explain too many of the little rules. That’s part of what led us to the broader ones . . . Good comment Jared.

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