10 Commandments for Modern Families

10 2This isn’t at all connected to the TV show Modern Family—even though that is pretty funny.

Nor is it meant to usurp the real 10 Commandments. Just go with me on this one, folks! This is a blog.

And what is a “modern family,” anyway? Well, there are many variations. Let’s just say it’s a family—“normal” or “broken” or chosen or bruised or blessed, trying to make a go of it in an age wobbling between Twin Towers, tablets and forgetting to buy milk.

But I think that in this list there are some truths for us all.

10. Thou shalt not use smartphones during family time

9. Thou shalt eat dinner together, facing each other

8. Thou shalt laugh until you shine

7. Thou shalt bear each other’s tears

6. Thou shalt simplify and not over-schedule

5. Thou shalt pray with and for each other every day

4. Thou shalt honour God, worship and keep Sunday special

3. Thou shalt be unconditionally loving, fair and consistent in your parenting

2. Thou shalt cherish your partner and grow your love

1. Thou shalt never run out of coffee

Back to the real 10: When Moses came down the mountain and saw his people dancing around the golden calf (Exodus 32:19) he threw the stone tablets with the commandments on them to the ground, smashing them into 1000 bits of broken dreams.

But there’s an old story about why and how that happened: Moses was very old at the time. Despite his age he could still muster the strength to carry the tablets because they had God’s words on them. But when he saw the people dancing around a golden calf, when he saw their fleeting abandon and lack of will, the words on the tablets disappeared, and they returned to being just heavy stones. As a result, they slipped out of his hands and crashed to the ground.

He no longer had the strength to do what he could before.

But when there’s a will there’s a way. But the will needs to be there. You need to consciously choose your family.

And when the will is there, you may discover there’s a power at work greater than you.


  1. Well said Matthew. Not many families have the chance to eat together daily as shift work interfers now-a-days. So I have chosen Westminster Family to at least eat with during fellowship after service which carries me through the week. Along with daily prayer of course.


    1. Hi Corry, you’re right about eating together—it’s one of the challenges of modern living. But it’s also all the more reason we need to work at creating healthy family communities. It sounds like you’re doing well in that regard!


  2. Hey, you omitted wisdom!

    Suggest you insert into your commandment one,
    ” because caffeine may help stimulate your mind to make wiser choices today.”


    Just insert “wise” into your commandment three.

    Regards and good will blogging

    What the world needs now in addition to love is wisdom.


    1. Hi Scatterwisdom, Well I don’t really think i omitted it; hopefully it’s all wisdom! :o) But yes, wisdom is essential—there’s a certain flavour to wisdom that gives knowledge practical application and tough days a deeper enduring smile. PS: Love the name.


  3. Again Rev. Ruttan well done , your words have much meaning, Its food for thought .We all must work with God from our heart, he has a plan for us & our families.
    Yes my friend I like the coffee addition as well. Many of us need coffee in the am , as I do.


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