Family Commandments - A Family Devotional


Treating others as you would like to be treated is the beginning of justice.


Bible Reading of the Day: Read Luke 6:27-31.

Verse of the Day: “Do for others as you would like them to do for you” (Luke 6:31).

Dad and Mom sat everyone down around the dining room table for a family meeting.

“I think you’re all old enough,” Dad said to his four children, “to help Mom and me decide on some family laws that would be fair for everybody.”

Suddenly, the room was filled with suggestions as Brittney, Kyle, Melissa, and Michelle began talking all at once. Someone suggested that one rule should be “Don’t talk when someone else is talking.” Brittney suggested “Don’t be bossy.” After about thirty minutes, the family had twenty-one “commandments,” from “No hitting” to “Ask permission to use things.” Mom posted the family commandments on the refrigerator.

Almost two weeks later, Brittney spoke up at the dinner table. “We have too many commandments,” she said. “I can’t remember them all.”

Kyle added, “God gave only ten commandments. Why do we have twenty-one?”

Mom and Dad smiled and agreed. By the time dinner was over, the family had revised their “commandments” to five: “Be nice” (no hitting, kicking, yelling, etc.); “Be clean” (keep yourself, your room, the house, and yard clean); “Be polite” (don’t interrupt, say please and thank you, etc.); “Be helpful” (do your chores, etc.); and “Be obedient” (do what Mom and Dad say). They posted the new commandments on the refrigerator.

That week, Mom and Dad heard Michelle tell Brittney, “Be polite,” which reminded Brittney not to interrupt her older sister. They also heard Kyle reminding Michelle to “Be clean” and pick up the magazines she had spread out on the living room floor. And once, Melissa leaped up from her seat on the couch, disappeared for a few moments, then returned, explaining that she had forgotten to “Be helpful” by doing her chores, one of which was taking the trash out.

Soon, however, Melissa made another suggestion at the dinner table. “Remember how we used to have twenty-one family commandments, and we narrowed them down to only five?” The others at the table nodded. “Well,” she said, “I think we can have only one family commandment that will include all of the others.”

Everyone stopped eating to listen to Melissa’s suggestion. She beamed proudly at her brother, sisters, and parents.

“Well, what is it?” Kyle asked.

“Do for others as you would like them to do for you.”

The others were silent for a few moments. Finally, Mom broke the silence. “You’re right,” she said. “If we obey that commandment, we’ll obey the others, won’t we?”

TO DO: Post your own “family commandments” on your refrigerator.

TO PRAY: “Lord, help us to do for others as we would like them to do for us.”

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