Monday, September 12, 2011

Intentional Family - Family Values

It was 7 years ago yesterday that I walked down that front lawn with my Daddy to meet my groom. It was one of the most spectacular days of my life. All the details – the music, the spoken words, the flowers, the dress, the guests… it all was planned out with a great deal of care and intention. It was my desire that everyone who came to my wedding would encounter the living God and experience a miracle as He united two people. With that goal in mind, all the preparations were made. Because I planned my wedding intentionally, my goals and dreams were achieved.
     As I spent the weekend looking at our wedding photos I recalled all the details and all the work. It was my “once in a life time” and I didn’t want to miss a thing! Several days before my wedding my Dad and I went to Villa Montalvo to practice our long walk from the villa to the alter. We had it timed just perfectly with the music so by the time we hit the bridal party, the music would conclude! Those things don’t just happen. They must be planned, thought out and practiced. 9 months of planning for one day!
     I am convicted that I have not spent as much time “planning” for my family. I have not taken the time, effort and intentionality to set goals, visions and dreams for my family. And just as that wedding day flew by, time with my children is going by even faster. I don’t want to spend one more day without a plan.
     In this series, Intentional Family, my hope is that together we can become intentional with our families. My hope is that we get serious about this gift we’ve been given and see God do great things in and through our families. I hope you’ll join me for this series every Monday and offer your thoughts and wisdom too! Let’s get started…

Family Values
It’s easy in the midst of having babies to enter into survival mode. You’re up all night, you’re learning curve is far too steep, and being overwhelmed is an understatement! But when those babies are 6 months old, you’ve hit your stride, they’re sleeping through the night – and so are you!, and parenting seems a bit more manageable – then what? I think survival mode turns into coasting. We start living in a routine and it feels nice. Then there are bumps in the road that kick us right back into survival mode like teething, walking, the arrival of a second baby, or financial changes, career moves or relocations. And we begin this dance between survival mode and coasting. And I believe that without sitting down and being intentional with how we “do” family, we will forever be stuck in the dance and never move into a season of thriving. How do we get to a place of thriving as a family? We must be intentional. Successful companies don’t just happen. There is a plan, a strategy, a vision and skilled, committed people to carry out the vision. It takes hard work, it takes time, and it takes commitment. The same is true for family – great ones don’t just happen! I don’t want to spend one more day simply surviving. I’m ready to thrive. Are you? It all starts with a plan.

     The first part of the plan is identifying our core values as a family.  What are we all about?  What do we believe in?  Large corporations have a clear set of values by which they operate in order to succeed. Families must too. Are your family’s core values clear?
     I heard a woman speak about family values and I was overwhelmed at the mere process of coming up with a list! She suggested using her family values and in time revising them. I thought that sounded like a rip-off, but you know what, it was just what I needed to get started. As my Daddy always says, “it’s easier to steer a moving car.”  In other words, start with something to get going and you can steer into different directions as you go.
Here was the example of her Family Values:
Love God
Family First
Work Hard
Tell the Truth
Be Kind

It’s important that our family values are clear and concise. Can you print them on a t-shirt? (not that you’re actually going to make them! or are you?) They should be something that the family can memorize. So many of you are creative and crafty, I’m sure you could make some fabulous framed art of your family values to hang in your home as a beautiful reminder of what you are all about.

This week’s CHALLENGE:
Come up with your family core values. Here are some questions to help you get started:
What do you want to be known for as a family? What qualities do you value? What are your goals for your family?  What kind of people do you want your children to become?  Take some time to pray through these questions before you answer them.
*what are your thoughts? Please share your questions and wisdom!


  1. You are so right - we spend so much time planning for big events - weddings, baby showers. A little planning for our family would go a long way. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Thanks for the thoughts, Raeanne. I am excited to read through this series and be inspired to be more intentional in my own family. It is SO easy to be complacent!!

  3. I just stumbled on your site and I LOVE these posts on living intentionally. I, too, have three little kids - a 4 year old and almost three-year old twins. We also live in Switzerland. I feel like I've been in survival mode for so long due to little kids and living in a foreign country I don't even really know myself anymore. Your post on reinventing ourselves struck home. I am not the same person I was before having kids or before marriage and I need to stop wishing or working toward that. Things are improving, but as I read your post on survival and coasting, I realized that describes my life exactly. I feel like I've been searching for a while to find what is missing in my life. It is my desire (and has been for some time) to live a vibrant, happy life, not a survival/coasting life I have been. I have felt the Lord leading me to this point but it has been a long road, especially when I switch gears to survival mode so quickly. So, thank you for these posts. I'm impressed you have the time and you give me hope I will one day in the not-so-distant future, too! I just don't want to be "enduring to the end" till the kids are in school till life starts. I want to live intentionally here and now.



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