Tony Miltenberger is a husband, father, and follower of Christ. He is currently serving as the lead pastor at Restoration Church Centerville, ohio.

Give Yourself a "Rule of Life"

One of the things they ask us to do in seminary is to create something called a “Rule of Life.” The Rule of Life consists of things you are committing to in order to stay healthy, balanced (or as balanced as possible), and emotionally/spiritually fit.

When first given this assignment, I kind of reacted to the idea with the thought “I don’t need another thing to tell me what I should or shouldn’t be doing.” It wasn’t till I had completed the assignment that I found the real beauty in the Rule of Life.

What I learned is that my commitment can be a “no.” My commitment can be to stop doing something rather than adding something else.

What I learned is that my Rule of Life is really a statement about my boundaries. Boundaries are designed to draw a clear line between what you want and don’t want in your life.

Boundaries are a choice designed to protect others and ourselves from doing something we wouldn’t otherwise want to commit to.

For example, one of the boundaries I set in my Rule of Life is that I won’t spend more than three nights a week working. With this boundary clearly in place, I am perfectly empowered to say, “No, I’m sorry I can’t make that meeting.” No matter how much I want to be at the meeting, this boundary is designed to help me keep my priorities straight.

How many times do we say that our family is most important, but then don’t have a boundary to protect the time we spend with them?

The scariest thought in this whole process is what life would be like without boundaries. If you didn’t have boundaries, you would have to say “yes” to everything. If you didn’t have boundaries, you wouldn’t know what you stood for.  And if you didn’t have boundaries, you couldn’t protect the things in life that are most important.

I thought I would share with you my Rule of Life. I’d encourage you to examine what boundaries you have in your own life.

What do you value and how are you protecting it?

My Rule of Life


Daily – Pray, read scripture, and tell my family how much I love them. Operate with integrity and vulnerability, do the next right thing.  Play and laugh.

Weekly – Work out three to four times a week, take one full day off. Write. Date my wife, and play with my kids. Blog (podcast?). Work as hard as I can and pour my life into my mission.

Monthly – Read. Take my kids somewhere and spend time with them individually.

Yearly – Vacation, write down goals (professional and personal), and evaluate how I’m doing in the other areas of my life. 

The 1 Big Thing

To teach people that the fullness of the Gospel can only be appreciated when we are living an authentic and meaningful life together.

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