Who we are as a family is NOT set in stone. Who we are as a family can be shaped. You can mold your family’s identity starting now to be what you believe God has for you. Just because the family you grew up in was one way, doesn’t mean that your family has to stay that way. If you grew up in a family of addiction, abuse, or adultery…the natural tendency is to become a family that embraces addiction, abuse and adultery as their identity. You can mold a new identity for you and your family that is different from what you grew up with. You can mold a new identity for you and your family that is different from what it was yesterday. You can create a new normal in your family. You can make flourishing your new normal.
How do you want to define your family identity?
We are a family who loves Jesus.
We are a family who encourages each other.
We are a family who makes a difference in our community and world.
We are a family who “fill in the blank.”
Decide what you want your family identity to be and then maintain that through your words and actions and priorities. A good, practical check on whether what you want to be your priorities are really your priorities is to look at your calendar and checkbook. Are you spending your time on what you believe your identity as a family should be? Are you spending your money in ways that would maintain your new family identity?
A big part of maintaining our family identity is taking pride in our family. There’s something about being proud of where you’re from and who you belong to. School’s have school colors and mascots to promote pride in your school. This creates a sense of community and belonging. Schools with pride perform better in sports and academics. What are some ways that you can promote pride in your family?
Some practical things you can do to instill family pride is to do things as a family that you can take pride in…serve together, finish a big project together, be hospitable together, give generously together, pray together.
A few year’s ago, I was going to paint a big word sign to go in my living room. You know the long boards that say stuff like “Live, Laugh, Love.” Well, we wanted something that really defined what was important to us as a family. So, I asked the kids to come up with some sayings and thoughts so that we could decide this together. My son, who was then 5 years old, was adamant that the saying we should paint would be, “Kayser’s Rock.” Now he was taking pride in his family. We did not paint the sign to say Kayser’s Rock—however it is scrolled on the back of the wood because I just couldn’t talk him out of it.
The small step that we’re going to take this week on the Family Discipleship Path is to spend some time thinking about what you want your family to be known for, how do you want to mold and define your family identity. Now take a look at your calendar and checkbook to see if these priorities are showing up in how you spend your time and money.
Please share how you want to define your family’s identity. What is something that your family can do that you can take pride in?