Before we were saved, my wife and I lived in a marriage full of troubles. Besides having no healthy rules for our marriage, we also had not healthy guidance for our home. Since our salvation, she and I have come to understand that a home without boundaries is a home that will produce confusion. Most of our societal ills stem from children growing up in homes without healthy direction and instruction. My wife and I decided that we did not want to continue to live in a home where confusion could rule. The answer to this is setting rules and guidelines that will govern our home and those who choose to come into it. We are clear about our “rules” to all people who have lived with us for short periods of time. Once we had a family of eight living with us for a short time, due to an emergency. There were already four of us living in our home. The twelve of us had to cohabit the house with only one restroom. Some of the following “rules” came from that adventure, and some of the problems it produced.
Over time we learned that if we followed the rules, we avoided the arguments that would normally come with them. We decided that less arguments was preferable. Therefore we develop the following. You may decide to use these as a pattern for developing your own home “rules.”
1. This is a Christian home. We will always acknowledge God, and be grateful for His mercy on us.
2. All persons who live in this home will attend church. This means both Sunday and midweek services.
3. Everyone will be treated with respect. This means that rudeness, mouthing-off, cursing at someone, violence, and other similar behavior is not acceptable under any circumstances.
4. Violence is never acceptable or allowed. The only difference accept where one is defending the health and/or life of one’s self or others.
5. Cursing in general is not acceptable. Even using replacement words like “darn” and “Jesus” can soon become sources of conflict.
6. Everyone who lives in this home will participate in it’s up keep. This means that everyone will help with the chores. Each person will help, but the help will be decided according to their age, abilities, time not at their employment, etc. The fact the someone has a job is not an excuse for not helping around the house in some predefined manner.
7. Drinking alcohol is either not permitted at all, or allowed only to a very limited level. Drunkenness is never acceptable, under any circumstances.
8. The misuse of drugs, legal or not, will never be acceptable. Illegal drugs are not allowed in this home whether the person has them on or IN his or her body.
9. Anyone who is high on drugs, or drunk on alcohol, is not welcome to be in this home.
10. Children are to mind the adults, and the adults are to treat the children with firm respect and healthy discipline. Other than the use of a paddle or belt, children may not be struck physically by anyone, at all.
11. Anyone who is 18 years of age, or older, must be contributing to the payment of expenses in this home, in some manner. If the person is not employed, and yet healthy enough to work, must leave the home early every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday to look for work, and fill out applications. They may return after 2:00 pm each day.
12. If you eat in this home, whether you buy the food or not, and whether you use dishes or not, then you must help wash the dishes when its your turn.
13. Everyone is responsible for the cleanliness of this home. If you see something that needs attention, then just do it. Pick up stuff off the floor, put that dish in the sink (and wash it), throw out the trash, etc.
14. Pornography whether on the internet, by physical materials (such as magazines, photos, videos or any other stuff), is not allowed or acceptable.
15. Smoking (cigarettes, cigars, or anything else) is not allowed or acceptable in this home. If you smoke elsewhere, do not bring the stink of the cigarette into the home on your clothes either.
16. This home is not a motel. There is a 12:30 p.m. curfew for persons over 18 years of age. If you do not return by this time, then find somewhere else to stay until the morning. The only exceptions will be for emergencies and employment, and even then, a phone call is urgently expected.
17. If you break something that you personally do not own, then you must buy a replacement.
18. Yelling and screaming at each other is not allowed or acceptable.
19. Used clothing that needs washing must be placed in the designated location (i. e. clothes bin), and may not be thrown about, or left, elsewhere.
20. Electrical equipment that produces sound (TV’s, Radios, etc.) must be kept at a sound level that does not disturb the other rooms. The only exceptions are during times of celebration when louder sounds are expected.
21. Each person may prepare his or her own food, without being expected to cook for, or feed, everyone else in the house. By the same token, just because someone bought food home, it does not mean it is for the consumption of anyone but the buyer, unless he or she is sharing it.
22. If you have certain foods that you want to use for yourself, then you must label the items, by placing your name on them. Therefore no one is allowed to eat food (whether in the refrigerator or in the pantry, or elsewhere, that has a name on it).
23. To control the possibility of roaches or other vermin, if you eat anywhere other than the kitchen table, you must immediately (after finishing) remove the dishes to the kitchen sink (and maybe even wash them), and clean anything that might attract the vermin.
24. All guests are expected to dress modestly, even when in “comfortable” clothing, especially in the evenings and night.
25. Guests may not invite other persons into this home, under any circumstances, without the clear and expressed permission of the owners.
26. Guests may not remove any item from this home without the clear and expressed permission of the owners.
27. Guests may not make long distance phone calls, or any other phone calls which may incur a fee, without the clear and expressed permission of the owners.
28. Guests may not give anyone else permission to do anything on this property, which has not already been stated and clarified, without the clear and expressed permission of the owners.
29. Sexual expression by individuals is to be limited to the privacy of their own rooms. This does not include kissing, holding hands, and the such. Homosexuality, or Lesbianism, is not an acceptable practice in this home, under any circumstances at all.
30. Persons who are not legally married, may not sleep in the same room. So called “Common Law Marriage” is not recognized in this home.
31. If anything comes up that the guest is unsure of what to do, then take whatever action is necessary, unless otherwise stated above, which will cause the least damage, harm, or trouble to the owners.