15 Aug


Although in many ways Jacob sired a messed-up family, in other ways his whole clan knew what he considered most important.  They knew his values.  They knew, for example, that he didn’t want his sons marrying pagan women from among the Canaanites.

What’s really valuable to you?  What are your family values?  Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt.6:21).

Working as a couple to establish a clear and concrete set of your own family values will strengthen your marriage and reduce stress in your relationship.  And yielding to Jesus as Lord and master–His life, teaching, death, and resurrection–must be our top priority (see 1Cor.15:3,4).  Beyond loving and obeying Christ,what we value may cover a wide range of possibilities.

Early in our marriage, Barbara and I determined that we needed to take the time to agree on our family’s values; so we went away for a weekend together to discuss it.  First, we separately listed our individual values and ranked them by priority.  Then we prayerfully combined our lists and carefully crafted a list of family values on which we would agree.  Then, we ended up with our top five family values.

We discovered that while we shared some priorities, others were very different.  On a typical summer Saturday, for example, Barbara could not wait to put on some gloves and head for the flower garden, while my idea of a good time was for the whole family to head off for a day of fishing or an adventure.

Over the years we have learned that if our values aren’t clear, we will live with more conflict than necessary, feel scattered or out of control, place unwise expectations on each other and miss out of the peace that comes from prayerfully seeking to abide in God’s will in every aspect of our lives.  Prayerfully coming into agreement on your values is an essential component of your journey together.

If you have never hammered out your values together, we encourage you to begin praying and talking about it immediately.  You may want to get away for a weekend like we did, or you can take a week and discuss a different topic each night.  To more clearly define core values, brainstorm and write down your ideas.  If needed, agree on a time when you will meet again to refine your list.  Settling on your family’s values will bring untold benefits to your marriage and family now and in the years to come.

NOTE:  This article came from Family Life Marriage Bible by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.

NOTE:  Don’t miss tomorrows post which has more insight to make your marriage successful.

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