Family Core Values Activity

{Thank you to Keleigh S. for this post!}

Focus Your Family Through Creating Core Values

As your fellow servant, I am sharing this plan with you at the request of a dear Sister in Christ.  While reading this article, please bear in mind that the author of this article is thankful to be in the charge of a merciful Father and is prayerful that through our faults, He will continue to work to mold and shape our characters.  The methods of this activity may not be perfect, nor does the author claim to live perfectly in accordance with the values outlined.  This is an activity that was very special for our family.  If it can be a benefit to others and help them in their walk to the Kingdom, I am happy to have shared it.  As with all our endeavors, it should be approached with prayer and request for guidance from our Father.

No one will deny that we live in a world that constantly challenges the values of God and it is becoming increasingly difficult to remain strong in our convictions in the Truth.  As our children were entering their teen years, we noticed a quick acceleration in the pressures they were facing and decisions they had to make, everywhere they went.  Around the same time, my husband was attending many different seminars at work and a common theme that was communicated at these seminars is that success is dependent on having a vision and a mission statement for your company.  Not just a mental vision that you picture in your head – but one that has been written down and posted on a wall for a daily reference point; a vision that has values attached to it that support

it.  Now, as believers, we can sit back and say, “Well of course we know this to be a successful approach!  Did you really need to learn that at a work seminar?  There is ‘nothing new under the sun’” (Eccl. 1:9).  Further, Proverbs 29:18 tells us “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”  We all know we must “seek first the Kingdom” – but the question we asked ourselves was – what does that look like for us in our family?  Again, there are many scriptural references all through the Bible that we can turn up and use as a guide for living godly lives.  The fact of the matter is, the world has physical visions on billboards, in text books, electronic devices, sound bites on the radio, posters at school, self-help books – all subconsciously bombarding our minds 8+ hours a day, molding and shaping our vision of what our purpose looks like, ultimately pulling us away from the path to the Kingdom.  Do we have a clear vision of the Kingdom and how to get there?  Is it a physical visual – or just a blurry picture we have tucked away in the back of our mind?  We did not have anything physical in our home.  We had Bible verses in various places on the wall, but we didn’t have something we could quickly reference that would remind us of what should determine our direction.  Certainly, we can open our Bible any time and find the verses we need, and we should.  However, we decided that, with all that our eyes are exposed to every day, we wanted our home to show contrast from the world and to have a physical visual that outlined the values we stood for (Deut 6:9).  We decided we needed something to be a focal point in the room where we spent the most time as a family.  Using scripture, we came up with a list of Core Values for our family.  From there, we found a Bible verse that encompassed all our values and that became our Family Mission Statement.

One of the critical parts of creating a list of Core Values/Mission Statement/Vision for your family is having participation from everyone.  Depending on how old your kids are, this will take various shapes.  In our experience, making our kids part of the process helped them to own it because they had a part in creating it.  It takes some planning and should be time specifically set aside for doing this activity.  If this is a project you decide to attempt with your family, we recommend talking about it with your kids over dinner, making it fun and something to look forward to.  Have some special snacks, maybe a game to play afterwards.  Help them to see it as something that will strengthen your family and that you want their input.

This isn’t perfect and certainly can be improved or done differently, but here are the steps we followed:

We began our Core Value project by communicating with our kids what we hoped to accomplish and praying that God guide our discussion.  Using scripture, we wanted to create a list of values that would be a daily reminder and give us focus to face the world and make decisions that kept us on the path to the Kingdom.  From there, we sat down with them several evenings with a white board and started writing down all of the characteristics of our Heavenly Father, His son Jesus, and examples of characters we model in scripture, along with the verses that support them.  We then listed off all the activities we participate in on a daily/weekly basis. Once we had all these ideas, we were able to create 5 categories, which we defined as our “Core Values”.  Once each category had a name, we defined what each one meant (formulated from various scriptures) and then created a statement for what each one of the values practically means for our daily life in the Truth.  Finally, we put the values in order of importance and created a poster, mounted it on a board and hung it on the wall in our family room.

Our Core Values have become a cornerstone in our family that we reference almost daily.  We talk about it every time we do the readings, after disagreements and misunderstandings, and when faced with big decisions.  We talk about different activities we choose to participate in or not participate in, based on whether they support our Core Values.  We use it as a benchmark to examine things we are currently involved in and discuss how they support or don’t support our Core Values and then identify steps we must take to realign if necessary.  Because our Values are based on the scriptures, we have found that if something does not line up or is not supported by our Values, then it will take us away from the Kingdom.  Paul is very clear about what we should do with things that hinder our race to the Kingdom – we must cast it off!  (Hebrews 12:1).   One of the amazing things we found with creating this as a family is that because everyone had a part in creating it, it means something to everyone.  We have all committed to it and it is in black and white on our wall.  There is never a gray area when we use it to guide decisions and everyone in the family wants to live up to the values outlined.  By no means does that mean we perfectly live up to them – but that is when they are the most helpful – when we need something to come back to and keep us grounded.

God be with you and your family if you decide to try something like this.  Again – it’s not perfect, and our family is far from perfect, but it is our attempt to help our family stay strong and aligned with living a godly life as we walk our path to the Kingdom.

 

 

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