One of the most important secrets of raising our children well is consistency. If there is no consistency in our parenting, our children will get confused and they will eventually learn to live their life with a double standard.
My children are basically all grown up but I still remember vividly how I tried to train them when they were toddlers and preschoolers to have proper table manners such as eating their food with their mouth closed, not standing up on their seat while they are eating, not playing with their food, not walking around during meal time or finishing the food that they had asked for. When any of these things happened either at home or at a restaurant, I always dealt with them immediately, first by talking to them, and if they wouldn’t listen, spanking them. One time, I had to take one of my boys to a restroom at Ryan’s Buffet Restaurant at least three or four times because he was misbehaving. And of course, I spanked him each time until he clearly felt the pain. However, due to this kind of consistent training about table manners, my wife and I received a lot of compliments from people at different restaurants as to how well our children behaved when they were just three or four years old.
I am writing this letter to you because I am hearing from various different individuals that our elementary school children are running around upstairs in the youth area barefooted and I am also noticing that a lot of toddlers and preschoolers are running around inside the church on the first floor. Friends, let’s remember that right is right and wrong is wrong. I know many of you are sending your children to public schools or schools and nurseries that are run by churches. These schools and churches have written and unwritten rules and policies that everyone abides by. And you know what they are because they are often very commonsensical. At any rate, when someone breaks it, he gets dealt with accordingly. However, if you and your children act one way at those places but another way at New Life, that is equivalent to living with a double standard. And I don’t want any of us to do that especially for your children’s sake because if you do, they will get confused.
For instance, if you allow your children to run around inside New Life and they are trying to do the same thing at their school but you tell them not to do that, what would you say to them if they ask you, “Why can’t I run around here at XYZ Baptist Church?” You will have no good answer for them. This will make your children very confused and eventually, they may disrespect New Life, thinking that anything and everything goes here.
Therefore, I would like to remind you of some unwritten rules which are now being written.
- No running inside the church building whatsoever.
- No walking around barefooted inside the church building unless in the JCS wing.
- No child is allowed inside the admin area without adult supervision.
- No child is allowed to eat or play inside the welcome desk area.
- No sitting on tables whatsoever.
- Elementary school students are not allowed upstairs other than for the purpose of playing in the game room.
- No one over first grade is allowed to play in the JCS playroom other than for the purpose of monitoring and taking care of younger children.
- No ball playing inside the church building whatsoever.
- No eating/drinking allowed in areas other than the fellowship halls, the conference room and the staff break area.
- No pets are allowed inside the church building whatsoever.
Again, I don’t want you to approach these rules as the Pharisees did with God’s law during Jesus’ time, forgetting the true spirit of the law and only focusing on the letter of the law. The spirit of these rules is to teach both our children and ourselves the importance of being consistent so that we will become people of integrity. If we do well on this, we will be able to move on to other areas of our life and soon, we will find it easier to be consistent in every aspect of our life.
I would like to give you the month of December to teach your children about these rules both at home and at your house church. Starting from January, I would like for all of our adults to teach, remind and train our children to obey these rules. If a child is not following these rules, let’s bring them to their parents so that their parents can deal with and discipline them properly.
Let’s train our children together!
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