A lot of great business, churches, and organizations operate on a platform of Core Values. They drive them into their culture and they filter decisions through them. They’re not just theory but something tangible, discussed, fought for, learned, and re-learned.
But I wonder how many families take the time to do the same thing. Perhaps a lot do. I’m not sure, but I know that the older my boy gets, and the crazier the world around us grows, there’s no better time to inject some intentionality as to how I raise my family.
My family is small, but it is my family nonetheless. The following are a few things I’ve been working on with my boy for a few months now. I’ll probably tweak some verbiage here and there and perhaps make it less wordy, but nevertheless these are the 12 Core Values we’ve decided on, we’ll be intentional with, we’ll not only memorize but find proactive ways to inject these into our everyday way of life:
- Love. Love God with all of your heart soul and mind and love others, as much as you love yourself. This means more than grades, careers, or incomes. If you never get anything right, get this one right.
- Forgiveness. Know that people are flawed, and may let you down. But always forgive. “…forgive the inexcusable in others, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”
- Give. Give generously to those in need – your time, resources, and your comfort. Anything you give will never truly be lost.
- Debt. Stay out of debt of all kinds. Give generously, but never owe anyone a thing. Be a slave to no one.
- Belief. Know what you believe but, more importantly, know WHY you believe it… so much so that you’re never afraid to test it, or allow others to challenge it.
- Expand. Always be expanding your mind. Your view of God, this world, and your view of this life must grow. It must be rooted in reason, but never stick with the view of God you had a few years ago. It must be shattered, rebuilt, and expanded.
- Humility. Never be afraid of being 2nd. Have enough self-confidence to be last, eat last, be last in line, hold the door open, give up your seat… Speaking first and always having the most to say does not equate to good leadership. Remember, “Leaders eat last.”
- Shivery. Treat every one like they are your sister or bother. Hold them in high esteem and never treat them with anything but total respect not matter who they are or what they believe. “There are no ordinary people.” Everyone you come in contact with is an eternal being.
- Family. Strive for a godly family: a wife who loves Jesus more than she loves you. One who prays for you and respects herself and you enough to allow you to move the relationship in a godly direction. Raise your children like they are your sole assignment from God.
- Resilience. When you fall, get back up. Every time. Without hesitation. Failure is inevitable, but surrendering to failure is not. “You are never out of the fight.”
- Justice. Be the change. Don’t expect others to do it. You see injustice and brokenness? Don’t complain. Jump in the trenches with it. You may not heal the world, but you can heal something. Don’t wait on others to fix it. They’re too busy waiting on you.
- Father. Know that no matter what you do, no matter where you go or how you act, you have a father who loves you deeply, and that will never be in question. Not simply because you deserve it, but simply because you’re my son. You have that love and you will never have to earn that… how much more then is our Heavenly Father deeply in love with you?