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Order in the Family

“Everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way” (1 Corinthians 14:40). You agree, but you know this passage was not directed at families. It was directed to Christians to maintain orderliness in the worship ser­vice. Still, it can have an application to family life in the Christian home.

Our God is a God of order—be it in the way we wor­ship, the orderliness of the laws of science, or the order in the home. God established order in the family when he created a structure for family life. Fathers are the heads of households. The father shares this role with his wife, and they are responsible for the running of the home. Parents are in charge. They carry out their responsibility out of love for their Lord and their chil­dren. Knowing this order in the family creates a feeling of stability and a sense of security for children.

Structure is a key part of family order. Families need structure because it establishes responsibility and accountability within the family. It determines who is to do what in the family setting. And the roles created within a family structure set behavioral expectations for children and parents alike.

Another part of order is routine. Families do well and children feel secure when there is a predictable daily pattern for getting things done. Routine suggests a regular time for getting up, going to bed, eating a meal, doing homework, or practicing the piano. Regular, daily routine gets things done because it brings about self-discipline.

In our society establishing a daily routine is a chal­lenge. Contrary to what many parents believe, routine does not limit activities; rather, it organizes them. While there does need to be flexibility in scheduling and times for spontaneous activities, daily routine is basic for get­ting things accomplished.

Here are a few suggestions to help bring some order into a hectic schedule:

    • Have a large calendar that lists all family events.
    • At the beginning of the week, review with the fam­ily the events of the week.
    • In the morning review the events of the day with your children. Let them know what is planned for after school and the evening hours.
    • Teach children how to plan their activities for a day. (This can also have the added benefit of elim­inating boredom.)
    • Consistency is also a part of order. Consistency means that the rules, expectations, routines, and responsibilities remain the same from day to day. Consistency creates security because children know what is expected.

From Patient Parenting, by John Juern. © 2006 Northwestern Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Image credit: Jill Wellington (used under Creative Commons CC0)

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