Tuesday, May 3, 2011

House Rules

Free parking revisitedphoto © 2008 Alan Cleaver | more info (via: Wylio)
In my list of "things I can't wait to do once Jason graduates and goes back to day shift," one item that is near the top is playing more games as a family. It's absolutely one of my favorite activities to bring us together. There are lots of games that we play here, but the one that we love most is Monopoly. Now that the kids are older, we can all play together, but if you ever stop by, we don't mind team play.

If you do play a game of Monopoly with us, one thing that we'll have to discuss is the house rules. While we mostly play according to the instructions given to us by the brothers Has, we definitely have some house rules. If you have to pay a penalty (any taxes, the fee to get out of jail, etc.), the money goes into the middle of the board and can be won by landing on the Free Parking space. Also, we play that if someone lands on and purchases two properties in a set, they have the right to buy the third from someone else if it is available. And I'm not 100% sure that we mortgage properties the right way.

We have house rules because we want to be able to sit down and finish a game in a couple of hours rather than over the course of 3 days. They work for our family with no arguments or frustrations. They ARE the rules. In fact, it feels kind of weird to play by the real rules if we happen to play outside of our home.

I think it's easy to do this with our faith as well. We come up with rules that work for us. They help us live better, make wise choices for our families, live peaceably with our neighbors. They're based on a Christian ethos, but they aren't necessarily the rules that are provided in the manual.

The problem arises when we expect people to play by our house rules. We know that they work for us, so we expect them to work for everyone. And sometimes, when someone rejects our rules, we feel like they're rejecting us. We get so wrapped up in the how of our faith that we forget the why of our faith.

Let's play together so we can grow as a family.

Be devoted to one another in love. 
Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10, NIV)

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This is a part of the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival hosted by Peter Pollock. To read more entries or to submit your own, head over here.


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