Family values are built in the everydayness of life. In the loading and unloading of the family wagon, the shared laughter and the public meltdowns, the refilling of water bottles, and the walks around the neighborhood. It is built in the little in-betweens that seem un-extraordinary but build into a large chunk of life.
We want our children to know what our family is all about through our daily actions and interactions. But sometimes it’s easy for me to lose sight of what those core values are when the daily tasks of having a house that needs attention and a husband who needs attention and small children who need attention feel urgent and overwhelming. Sometimes I need reminding of Who and what I am tethered to. So I painted it. In arrows. Big. On our wall.
These are what are family is about. It is played out in different ways through our different gifts and personalities, but shared among all of us. These are road signs we are pointing our kids toward. They are our compass and what we come back to when evaluating our time and energy and what we want to teach our kids as we show them how to live in a wholehearted way with an understanding of grace. It’s our family pulse. Sometimes I just need to be reminded.
4 “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.[a] 5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 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. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders.9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. – Deuteronomy 6:4-9
And sometimes I need to write these very literally in gold calligraphy pen on my walls.