The Greatest Mission Trip is all about parents taking positive, proactive steps toward being a witness of the gospel to their children, and then discipling them in God’s truths. A lot of what we do, however, seems either left up to chance or that we hope for the best as far as outcome is concerned.
Wouldn’t it be great if we had a list of biblically solid character values to teach from and a way of evaluating whether our children were demonstrating understanding and application of them?
Found it. Values Driven Family, a book written by Marc and Cynthia Carrier, provides the framework for teaching principles of godly living. Their perspective is to use certain core values - faith, surrender, love, faithfulness/obedience, wisdom, self-control, righteousness, holiness, humility, diligence, generosity and praise - and lay a proactive foundation for us to teach our children, rather than rely solely on teachable moments.
Teachable moments can be used proactively, but more often than not they don’t come at the most convenient of times. As Cynthia pointed out so well, it’s hard to get to your child’s “What if…” question at the moment your toddler has a potty training accident, the UPS guy shows up at the front door and the phone starts ringing.
For those of you who like charts and check off sheets, Values Driven Family has the core values nicely laid out with each value defined and a list of target behaviors that will let you know whether your child is “getting it” or not. For example, target behaviors for ‘praise’ include:
- Expressions of thanks to others (thank you notes, verbal thanks)
- Verbal thanks to God/thanksgiving
- Praise through song or dance
- Positive speech
- No whining or complaining
A companion book, Values Driven Discipleship, takes each of the core values and lists what looks like every conceivable Bible verse pertaining to it. Therefore, as you teach your child about praise, and all the other core values, there is always a way back to the Word.
Values Driven Family and Values Driven Discipleship can be used alone or as a supplement to your family devotion time. They’re available for purchase on the Values Driven Family website either as a print book or a downloadable e-book.
The Carriers also have several supplemental materials such as wall charts, planner sheets and memory posters available as freebies if you sign up for their newsletter, which is also free (free is good!). And for additional thought-provoking reading, click on the link to their blogsite, Great Commission Family, where I will be an occasional contributor.