Back when I was pregnant with Tessa, I charted out my Mission Statement on Motherhood. It was one of the best things I could have ever done to equip myself for being a mommy. I STILL revisit my goals as a mother from time to time and in just my four months of having Tessa outside of my belly and in my arms, I’ve found numerous things I’d like to amend and add to my overall running list. Which is awesome, because life is all about learning, and growing and adapting! But it’s also about STARTING SOMEWHERE.
Preparation, in all things, is the key to success. Families are no exception.
After reading Real Family Values by Robert Lewis, I felt inspired to solidly write down and chart out our values in the Freeman Family!
Why Write Down Your Family Values?
A family without clearly charted values is a family without a strong core. And sure, everyone THINKS they have family values, but these are usually highly generalized. “I believe in marriage” is a nice sentiment, but it is far more purposeful and direct to say, “I believe that marriage is a permanent, sacred union between a man and a woman, and what God has joined, no man should separate.”
Indecision in a family undermines accountability and tends to breed moral duplicity, which confuses and corrupts children. In a morally ambiguous household, children are left without solid convictions.
A REAL family value is definable, it’s supportable, and it’s observable. It’s important on a personal level, but VITAL on a family level to say what you believe, be able to articulate why you believe it and then live out your actions.
A family prepared with solid values is a strong family that can weather any storm! Don’t know where to get started? Here are some general things to consider.
Things To Consider
What are your values on the permanency of marriage?
What is the purpose of marriage?
What is the husband’s role in the family?
What is the wife’s role in the family?
What are your values on the importance of children?
What are the parent’s responsibilities for raising the children?
What are your values on the spiritual instruction for children?
What are your views on the use of alcohol and drugs?
What are your views on movie, television and internet standards?
What are your views on speech and profanity?
What are you values on voting and political and community involvement?
Here Are Some Of Our Family Values
– We highly value our family and work to make it an asset to our culture, our community and to the kingdom of God.
– We seek to build a family from the instruction of biblical revelation.
– We believe the essence of a family is not self-gratification, but selflessness – the offering of oneself for the development, success, and well-being of all the family members
– We believe security, prosperity, and happiness for our family is sourced in the wisdom of the Bible.
– We believe the husband is the leader of the family. “Leader” means that he is called by God to provide for his wife and children, care for them, protect them from harm, and lead them to social and spiritual health.
– We believe that the wife is the nurturer of the family. “Nurturer” means she is called by God to build up the lives of her husband and children. She is to love, support, encourage, and affirm them with her time and attention.
– We believe that large amounts of time together as a family is critical. Meals together, vacations together, holidays together, celebrations together, and other shared experiences will form a bond and a sense of togetherness.
– We believe each child, from the moment of conception, is a gift from God, and one of life’s greatest treasures. We believe children need large amounts of personal attention, discipline, and loving instruction if they are to be adequately prepared for life.
– We believe spiritual life is essential to family life. Prayer, Bible study, clear spiritual convictions and weekly worship in an active church community are all vital for our family.
– We believe God’s word, the Bible, is true. Every issue our family will encounter can be adequately addressed in consulting God’s word.
– We believe salvation and satisfaction in life can only be found by personally choosing to follow Jesus Christ.
– We believe that having a personal relationship with the living God, having loving relationships with other people, and participating in good works that help and serve this world, constitutes the best life has to offer.
– We believe substance abuse is a form of self-harm and we will not tolerate the use of illegal substances in our home. We feel that moderate use of alcohol within a legal context is acceptable, but not to be abused or used in excess. Any drinks will be enjoyed as a culinary treat and not as a means to get drunk.
– We believe excessive violence, graphic imagery and pornography in movies, television and the internet are unhealthy psychologically and emotionally. We feel pornography is a form of infidelity and is not allowed in our home or in our marriage.
– On speech and profanity we feel that we are to guard our tongues and strive to honor God in all we say and do. We feel that giving undue weight to “curse words” is less relevant than actually weighing the motive and manner of the heart, as curse words are always taking on new meanings. (A century ago “darn” and “gosh” were considered curse words.) As a result, we’ve concluded that it is less the word itself that matters, but the way it is spoken and used in context. Words designed simply to be mean, cruel, crude or demeaning will not be allowed or tolerated in our home.
– We feel that we are called as Christians to help change our political, cultural and societal atmosphere for the better. This includes peaceful political activism, standing up for what is right and voting our values.
Chart Your Family Values
Take the time to sit down with your family and chart out your values! Maybe this will be easy for you, maybe it could be surprisingly hard. You might learn a thing or two about your morals as a family, or spark some interesting conversations. This is good! Communication is key to a strong family life.
I hesitated in posting this blog post, because I have this nagging voice in the back of my head whispering, “And what, exactly, qualifies you to issue this family building challenge?” So here’s what I have to say to that little voice:
Jonathan and I are your average Christian couple. We’re madly in love. We’ve had our share of passionate fights and petty bickerfests. But through it all, we’ve been clear and concise on what kind of a family we strive to raise. Strong families are made, not stumbled upon. They don’t happen by accident. They happen by choice. Well, hundreds of thousands of choices, actually. Every single day, you must CHOOSE to stick by your shared family values.
I started this blog as a personal journal of our family journey, and a fun hobby to share my passions and pursuits. While I don’t claim to be an expert on marital bliss, I am blissfully married. And so what works for me, I’ll gladly pass on to you, if you are interested! If God uses me to sharpen others, as iron sharpen irons, I’m all for it!
Have you charted your family values? Will you?