Know Where You're Going

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Whether you list your values on paper or in your heart, it’s important to recognize where you are leading your family.

Those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness. Proverbs 14:22

Early in their marriage, FamilyLife ministry cofounders Dennis and Barbara Rainey decided to go away for a weekend. Their goal was more than a couple days of relaxation. Separately, they each created a list of values that they wanted to one day teach their children. After making their lists, Dennis and Barbara came together and settled on their top five family values. That project was a wonderful time of sharing for the Raineys that also established “true north” for their journey as parents. In later years, Dennis and Barbara had a written record to refer to when child-rearing issues arose. In fact, Dennis still carries that dog-eared piece of paper with him wherever he goes.

Whether you write your values list on paper or in your heart, it’s important to recognize where you are leading your family. As Yogi Berra once said, “You got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.” Your children will discover and embrace the values that matter—love for each other, kindness, integrity, devotion to God—only if you have the right map to lead them there. Choose your values wisely (see examples in Matthew 7:12; Romans 12:9–13; 1 Corinthians 16:13–14; 2 Peter 1:5–7)—then stay on the trail!

Before you say good night…

  • Do you have a plan for leading your family?
  • What are your family’s top five values?
  • Are you passing on your values to your kids?
  • How can you do a better job of this?

Lord Jesus, apart from You, we wouldn’t even know where to start. Help us to lead our children; help us to set the pace toward a godly life. Show us what You value most so that we might live those values within our home…and before a watching world. In Your strong name, amen.


From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson

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