Rules are foundational in a Christian Domestic Discipline marriage. Rules are a way for the husband to set boundaries for his wife and clarify expectations within the marriage. Christian Domestic Discipline rules eliminate opportunities for misunderstandings and arguments.
Cascading Rules (General, Specific, Pinpoint)
There are multiple approaches on setting rules. The approach I’ve found works best for us is to use three cascading categories of rules – general rules, specific rules, and pinpoint rules.
General Rules: These are your “catch all” rules that cover an extremely broad range of possibilities even if a more specific rule doesn’t exist. A common set of general rules are the so-called 4Ds – disrespect, disobedience, dishonestly, and danger.
Specific Rules: There are times a CDD husband will want to call out a specific behavior as being off limits, even if that situation might be covered by the broader general rules.
Example: Jeff has forbidden his wife Brenda from texting while driving. Even though this would be covered by the”Nothing Dangerous” general rule, Jeff has called this out as a specific rule to emphasize its importance and eliminate any potential misunderstanding.
Pinpoint Rules: While general rules and specific rules are long-term, a pinpoint rule allows a CDD husband to set an extremely specific rule for a finite time period. These rules tend to have a specific consequence assigned to them as well, and are often used when a couple decides to focus on improving a specific trouble spot.
Example: Jennifer has been procrastinating on a major project that she has due, and asks her husband Mark for help. Mark sets a pinpoint rule that Jennifer must complete a certain amount of work each day between now and the deadline.
- Begin with the 4Ds – nothing dangerous, disrespectful, dishonest, or disobedient.
- Get your wife’s input on areas that she thinks having clear rules and guidelines would be helpful to her.
- Brainstorm your on list of areas where you think your wife would be helped by having a clear rule.
- Begin drafting your rules. Don’t worry about getting it perfect out of the gate. A great start is the 4Ds plus 3-5 specific rules. If there is a specific issue that is causing immediate problems, you might consider setting a pinpoint rule around that issue as well.
- Discuss the rules with your wife. Does she understand them all? Are there any areas that need clarification?
- Begin enforcing the rules.
- Add, change, or remove rules as you continue in your CDD journey.