A while back, my husband and I determined to be more intentional to leave a firm foundation of our family values for our children. We had experienced a death in the family and were brought face to face with our mortality. As a parent, nothing is quite as sobering as having someone pass away. You place yourself in the shoes of the deceased in the aftermath and start evaluating the life that you are living. As a result, we wanted to make sure that we were intentional as we developed our Andriese Family Core Values. If something happened to us, our kids could know who they are and who we were in our absence.
We took a verse from the Bible and turned it into our family verse; this was the first place we started, with God’s word. We looked back at the ways we had spent our time and dreamed about all we still wanted to accomplish and be known for. It was simple for us. We know that we have a call on our lives to represent Jesus and see the restoration of Justice released through it. Isaiah 61:1-4 became our family verse:
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed and commissioned me
To bring good news to the humble and afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up [the wounds of] the brokenhearted,
To proclaim release [from confinement and condemnation] to the [physical and spiritual] captives
And freedom to prisoners,
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance and retribution of our God,
To comfort all who mourn,
To grant to those who mourn in Zion the following:
To give them a turban instead of dust [on their heads, a sign of mourning],
The oil of joy instead of mourning,
The garment [expressive] of praise instead of a disheartened spirit.
So they will be called the trees of righteousness [strong and magnificent, distinguished for integrity, justice, and right standing with God],
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins,
They will raise up and restore the former desolations;
And they will renew the ruined cities,
The desolations (deserted settlements) of many generations” (AMP).
Then we moved on to putting down, on paper, the core values that we wanted our family to be defined by. We thought about the things we wanted our kids to learn throughout the years. The values that we have a responsibility to teach them. We thought about what we wanted other people to see in our generations. We dreamed about how important integrity and generosity would be in their lives and how those qualities needed to be something spoken and developed in them often in their youth. Then, we made a list and found Bible verses to reinforce their weight. A constitution was made next for our family with a mission statement and we had an artist create a crest for our family. Our mission statement is:
God has designed our family to be an intimate expression of His love to the world. We do this through His Spirit by releasing hope, healing, freedom, and restoring justice.
Having these principles and values written down for our family has helped narrow our vision and focus as a family. In this generation, it is easy to be divided in our hearts, time, and resources. We have found that not only has it been helpful for us as parents, it has produced great fruit in our kids’ lives already. They are all extremely confident in their identity. They all love being an Andriese and know that they have a high call on their life. Even in moments of difficulty or disconnect, frequently we will hear Ethan call out into the room, “But you’re an Andriese, and Andrieses don’t give up.” Perseverance is number eleven on our list of core values. They know what it means to be an Andriese, a child of their earthly parents. They are continuing to learn what it means to be a child of the King of Kings.
What does it look like in your family to be intentional? Share with us in the comments some of the things you have done to leave a legacy for your family members.
Redefined by Grace,