Editor’s note: This bit by Nancy is about making others follow your rules in your house and then awkwardly proclaiming this is how God’s rules work too. Oddly I think that God would probably be way more relaxed about you jumping on the beds than Nancy would ever be.
When people come into your home to stay, how should they fit in? Should you allow them to make their own rules and do what they usually do? Or should you expect them to fit into your lifestyle and the way you run your home? What about when children come into your home and are disrespectful to your home?
No matter what the subject, my philosophy is to find out what God says about it. I am always amazed that I find the answer to all my questions in God’s Word.
The children of Israel had many strangers living amongst them. Egyptians came with them out of Egypt. So how did they work things out? Did the strangers live according to their own laws or did they have to fit in with the laws God gave to the children of Israel? God makes it very clear in His Word that the strangers were to have the same laws as the “homeborn.” Let’s look at some of the Scriptures:
Exodus 12:49, 50: “One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you. Thus did all the children of Israel; as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.”
Numbers 9:14: “Ye shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger, and for him that was born in the land.”
Numbers 15:15, 16: “One ordinance shall be both for you of the congregation, and also for the stranger that sojourneth with you, an ordinance forever in your generations: as ye are, so shall the stranger before the Lord. One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you.”
Numbers 15:29: “Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them.”
Therefore I use this biblical principle in my home. Of course, I do have grace and mercy, but there are times when I have to lovingly, but firmly, state the rules of our home. If parents do not have the decency to stop their children jumping on my sofas, I will have to tell the children to stop. I have often seen them jumping on beds and had to curtail them.
We like to sit up at the table when we eat. And I don’t allow eating throughout the house, expect in the kitchen and dining room. It’s not easy to keep a home clean when crumbs are dropped through the house and drinks spilt on carpets.
We expect people who stay or live with us (and because we open our home continually in hospitality, we have many people coming and going) to join with us for Family Devotions morning and evening. This is part of the lifestyle of our homeborn family, and therefore we expect “strangers,” although usually friends, to partake with us. Now if we have non-Christians sitting at our table, we won’t expect them to pray personally around the table as we usually do. However, we don’t forgo reading the Word, but my husband will pray instead.
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