In this world, our time, attention, resources and energy are being pulled in all directions! We are busy! And that’s not bad, necessarily, but how do we know if we are busy doing the right things? What if we are spending our time on the wrong things? Is there anything we can do to slow it down?
We need to pause and remember “We can control this. We get to choose what is important to us!” We don’t have to let the world or others dictate what we do and don’t do. But if we don’t take time to pause and purposefully choose, these decisions will be made for us by default.
How do we know what to choose? How do we spend our time, energy and resources? What should be getting our attention? The most important thing you can do is to establish a set of family values. If you know what is important to you, then you know what decisions to make and what activities to pursue.
We believe that all families should have these core values:
- Connection with God: “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38) Our relationship with the Lord should be the #1 priority for our family.
- Loving Others: Jesus then names the second greatest commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39) Jesus makes it clear this should be a high priority for each one of us.
- Personal Freedom: “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) When we are saved we are made into a new creation. God wants us to walk in this new freedom here on this earth. It is our job to allow Him to heal our brokenness so we can walk in our true identity.
- Close Knit Family: “And you must commit wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9) God created us for relationship, first with Him and second for our family. This is who we are to do life with, and our family is with us for life.
Beyond these core values, each family will have additional values that are unique to their family. God made each family unique. He did that on purpose, for a purpose. We believe each family has a calling, a mission, that only they can fulfill. This is where it gets exciting! Each family has the opportunity to seek the Lord and ask Him what He would like them to focus on. You can ask God what core values should be on display in your household. Our goal in this printable is to help you come up with a set of values for your family. Then you will use these values to create a family vision and mission statement.
Unique to Us
This is where it gets exciting! Each family has the opportunity to seek the Lord and ask Him what He would like that specific family to focus on. To ask God what core values should be on display in that household. We need each unique family to be living out their unique mission and vision. No two families are the same and that is good! One family is not more valuable than the next. All families fulfill a different, necessary purpose!
When a family knows their core values, they can begin to make better decisions about spending their time, attention, energy, and resources. They can make sure their “yeses” are saved for the best options and can be more confident when saying “no.” But to make these informed decisions you have to remember your values.
So where do you begin? First it is always important to ask Holy Spirit. He knows the purpose God had in mind when He created you. He knows your calling individually and as a family. Holy Spirit always knows the right path to take, so ask Him to lead and guide the conversations. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Next, make it a family project. Invite your children into the discussion. Ask them what they think is most important to your family. Ask them what makes them a ‘Hanson’? (insert your last name) Write down everything! Even if it is silly or totally off! This can be a brainstorming phase, so no answer is a wrong answer at this point in the discovery.
(Does this sound like something you’d like to do? We put together this printable that gives you the step-by-step process of figuring out your family’s values.)
Once you have figured out who you are as a family, post it in your home! Hang it on the wall or on the refrigerator. Make it visible so that you and your children are constantly reminded of what God has called you to be as a family. (That’s what Deuteronomy 6 says to do, after all!)
Then as demands come up that are wanting your time, attention, energy or resources, go to your values. See if this activity lines up with one of your core values. If it doesn’t, maybe this would be a good time to kindly say “no.” Saying no allows you space to do what God has actually called you to do. Side note – remember each family has a unique purpose and if you aren’t called to do it, He has someone else already in mind that is.
Good, Better, Best
If the activity or decision does line up with your core values, still ask Holy Spirit if you should do it. Sometimes we fill our time with a lot of good things that we inadvertently don’t leave time for the best. Other times we have found that God has called us to something but the timing is not quite right. When we feel like God is giving us the green light to do something, we try to remember to ask the follow up question of, “Are we supposed to do it now or wait?” If we feel like God is saying now, then we give it a whole-hearted “Yes!”
When we follow these steps our lives can be filled with peace and joy, and we will see God use us for His glory. When we forget a step or two, we often find ourselves overwhelmed, tired and even frustrated or resentful. In these moments it is important to pause, evaluate and ask Holy Spirit to lead the next step. Start the process over. Ask yourself does this fall in line with our core values? Is this something God has called us to do now? Are we supposed to do it now or later?
When we are willing to pause and allow Holy Spirit to lead, I believe we are able to fulfill our God given purpose here on this earth. This is when our light is shining the brightest and God is fully glorified in our words and actions.
Download this Step By Step Guide to get started with your own family’s mission and values. You can do this!!