The Golden Rule


“Now, would you want someone to do that to you?!” Surely there’s not a person alive who hasn’t heard this phrase from a parent or teacher? It’s The Golden Rule. Jess shares some “how to” and most importantly the “why” we should follow it.

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:12-14 (ESV)

I grew up calling it “The Golden Rule.” Mom would have us recite, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” In most cases she was, of course, speaking toward my older sister who had surely slugged me for doing nothing at all wrong (right).

This phrase applied to all those times we didn’t want to be nice and even had “good reason” to be unkind to our siblings or peers. The Golden Rule became a way of life. Because mom said so, we did it. In adulthood, I’ve come to better understand why it’s important we understand and follow Matthew 7:12.

What about your kids? How can you guide and train your family to follow God’s word and, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”…even when it’s hard? There are a few particular points convicting and shaping me in relation to loving people who are sometimes difficult to love.

  • See others as Christ sees them.  Have you helped your kids to understand the eyes of Christ? When God looks at their peers he looks at them with love (Romans 8:39). In the same way our God created your kids with love and intention, he formed their difficult classmate. He delights in them (Psalm 149:4). Shouldn’t we treat even the toughest peers with grace and love like Jesus would?
  • Be Holy.  As believers God has called us to be set apart (1 Peter 1:6). Even when it’s difficult, as a child of God I’m commanded to love others. What if your kids understood the impact their kindness could make for the kingdom? People notice when we uniquely love folks…especially those who others dismiss or insult (John 13:35).
  • Model this behavior yourself. This may be the toughest application point. What are your kids seeing modeled by you? I am so thankful it wasn’t hard for me to imagine what loving my siblings or peers looked like…even when they were punks. My parents lived it out. I saw my dad love coworkers who were dishonest with him and mom even reached out to the woman at church who had a consistently negative outlook on life. What a gift to see my parents practice what they preached!

It’s certainly not easy, but I’m thankful for such a clear opportunity for obedience in applying The Golden Rule every day. Sometimes following Jesus is hard. I’m so comforted knowing the narrow gate leads to life. Are you raising kids who walk through it?

Camper Corner:

When you read Matthew 7:12-14 who comes to mind? Who do you need to choose to treat kindly? How will you do that? What will be difficult about that? Will you do it anyway?

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