Sometimes you get those blessings in life where someone gives you a gift. My love language is “receiving gifts” so I absolutely love those days! Earlier in the week a friend of mine asked if I wanted two tickets to the Austin Rodeo to see Josh Turner. It took me all of about two seconds to accept that gift. I’ve seen a lot of concerts, but Josh Turner was on my bucket list.
I’m not going to write about a date to the rodeo since I just wrote about a Family Date to the rodeo a few days ago. Instead, I was going to share with you our conversation on our date AND offer up a suggestion that might give you some guidance into intentional parenting.
Several years ago we made some values for our family. This is a picture of our values.
On the way to the rodeo we spent some time walking through our values and evaluating how we are doing living them out. In a social media world, we often see all of the exciting things a person is doing. We see their best because we don’t want to post about the bad days in our life (unless we’re seeking attention from people). I’m going to give you full disclosure on how our evaluation went. We’re not a perfect family by any means.
1. Making Jesus First – We both felt like we were doing a pretty good job at that. We spend intentional time as a family reading the Bible, praying together, and having spiritual conversations. We’ve made our small groups, worship, and home group a priority for our family.
2. Impacting the World Through Missions – Our kids our young, but we’ve done some intentional serving in our community and in our church. Our oldest volunteers once a month in the nursery to help out. As parents, we serve a lot, but I didn’t give us that great of a grade. We sponsor two children through World Vision (one for each daughter). We haven’t done a great job of making our ministry to them all that it could be, so after our conversation on the way to the Rodeo, we decided to get that in gear and do better.
3. Making Memories of Fun and Laughter – We gave ourselves a pretty good grade here. We like to laugh and we like to have fun together, but sometimes it is challenging because we don’t all have the same idea of what fun actually is . . . but we’re trying. Stay tuned to the blog and I’m sure you’ll hear about the ideas I thought would be great that turned into open family rebellion.
4. Revealing the Heart of God by Loving our Family – I felt like this was an area of growth for me (I’ll say that Amanda does a better job at this than I do). I was convicted that I often find my sarcasm and joking going to far at the expense of my kids. My mentor told me years ago that we are to be to our kids as God is to us. I’ve never forgotten that and as we evaluated our values, I felt like I needed to work on that area in our family.
5. Honoring God by Always Doing our Best – We have kids. If you saw their bedrooms you’d probably conclude that they aren’t “doing their best,” but we felt like they were doing a pretty good job for their age.
So what is the takeaway? First, have friends who give you free dates! Second, think through what you value as a family. What do you want your kids and your spouse to hold important? Discuss these with your spouse or your family and write them down. Hang them somewhere in your house where your family will see them regularly. Come back to them and align your actions to what you say you value.