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3 Core Values to Teach Your Kids

  • Pam Farrel 52 Ways to Wow Your Husband
  • 2014 26 Sep
3 Core Values to Teach Your Kids

...Future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it (Psalm 22:30-31).

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For our twenty fifth wedding anniversary, we gave our sons a tie tack with a family moniker (or crest) Bill and I designed. We wanted the boys to have an heirloom that could be passed down from generation to generation that would symbolize the values the Farrel family stands for. In 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make, we describe and show a picture of our crest and how to design your own. So let’s see if I can use words to aptly capture our crest:

It is a circle and inside are three L’s down the center that stand for Learner, Leader, Love God. These are the three core values we prayed (since before they were born) that our kids hold on to. We want our sons to be known as:

  • Learners. Those who want to compete in life so they are willing to do the hard work to learn and become excellent.
  • Leaders: In their sphere of influence using their own unique leadership style we desire they be difference makers that lead rather than follow the crowd.
  • Love God: We want them to own their own faith and walk out their own personal relationship with God.

Each year from the time our oldest was four, we have had a “Learner and Leader” Day. That’s the day we negotiate privileges and responsibilities, select one leadership trait to focus on for each son each year and we give a gift that applauds the uniqueness (passion, bent, calling, platform) we see God building in each of their lives. (We have a Learner Leader privileges and responsibilities chart  in 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make too because often we moms forget kids CAN do more around the house than you might think! Mom, you are more than a maid, so allow your kids to help!)

Back to our crest: Also in the circle is a cross with the star rising from it represents that we want them to seek God’s vision for their life. We want the source of all their hopes, dreams and desires to come from God’s heart. We believe if a child, tween or teen develops a vibrant relationship with God, it will be easier for him or her to sense where God what life path God created for them to walk.

The two interlocking hearts represent integrity and commitment. When a Farrel says something we want it to be truth and we want to be known as a family that keeps all of our commitments, especially the marriage covenant.

The verse inscribed on the back of the tie tac, or what is framed under the crest framed that hangs in our home is the phrase we used as the motto by which we raised our sons: Those who honor God, God honors” (1 Samuel 2:30 paraphrased).

Somehow, someway God places his hand of anointing and strength on those who have a pure heart and walk. When the boys feel like the narrow road is too confining, we want them to remember the walk is worth it because Those who honor God, God honors!

Each fall for over 20 plus years we held a Learner and Leader Day. We’d have a fun family activity, but on that day we’d also complete the Learner and Leader contract for each child, choose one verse to pray over his life for the year, and one leadership trait to focus on  and equip that child to successful possess by year’s end.  We’d also review our family motto and “moniker” (or crest) on Learner and Leader Day—a simple reminder of “This is what the Farrels stand for!”

If you asked me, “What one parenting decision are you glad you made?” this one would be at the top. Having a family moniker (crest) and family motto helped our sons to have an easy touch stone or inner compass to guide them. And the fruit is sweet. Now over 20 years later, our three sons are all adults, and they all walk with Jesus and serve God. We now have grandchildren and now we hear our kids tell their kids, “Those who honor God, God honors.” God will honor YOU, for taking the time to create a moniker and motto. If you are single, married, with kids at home or launching into life’s second half, having a visual moniker and an easy to remember motto will also help to guide YOUR steps!

Now It’s Your Turn

Now you try. What do you want your family to be known for? What are your core values, those 3-4 traits you want your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to possess? See if you can draw a moniker, a crest, filled with symbols to explain the values you cherish most. Then select a verse, just a few words to use as a motto. Print it, post it and pray it to keep centered on the things that matter most in life!

Bill and Pam Farrel are international speakers, authors of over 40 books including bestselling 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make. Free relationship articles, other books and resources can be found at The Farrels are often featured guests on Focus on the Family.

Publication date: September 26, 2014