Family Guiding Principles: Knowing Your “Why”

family Aug 27, 2023
Family Guiding Principles: Knowing Your “Why”

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

– Matthew 6:33


 

Introduction 

Every family, whether they know it or not, has what we call “guiding principles.” Simply put, guiding principles are the why behind what you do as a family. What beliefs and goals influence your decision making? We believe that anything worth doing - or not doing, for that matter - should be understood. 

For Christian families, our desire is to translate the teachings of Christ into principles that can serve as a solid foundation for our lives. Some examples of this could be:

  1. Faith in the one true God is the most important aspect of our family.
  2. We are given one body from God, and we ought to be great stewards of that body.
  3. All that we have is from God and it is our job to use these resources to give Him praise, honor, and glory, and point others to Jesus as their Savior.
  4. God gives us families for our enjoyment, and we have shared experiences to cement those relationships.

 

Understanding Why

When members understand why you do what you do as a family, this helps them have a deeper appreciation for your family’s vision and core values. Kids understand that standards and rules are not purely dictated commands at random, but are present due to thoughtfulness and planning with a larger goal in mind. This also sets a wonderful example for them; seeing the importance of guiding principles played out in their own lives will make them more equipped to be intentional parents themselves.

 

Broad Application

Guiding principles can cover various aspects of your personal and family life. They can be more broadly applied to choices and decisions that your family’s vision or core values do not directly address. For example, if one family guiding principle is that we believe that we are given one body from God and we ought to be great stewards of that body, you can point your children to this statement when explaining the importance of brushing their teeth or eating their vegetables. Ultimately, this guiding principle is reminding us to be good stewards of our bodies in every way possible.

 

Conclusion

Going through the process of developing your guiding principles will ensure all members know why you do what you do as a family. It will help everyone understand that there is a bigger picture you’re aiming for, which can be prayerfully discussed together. This also prevents parents from accidentally making arbitrary rules without considering how they fit into their vision and values. And ultimately, this practice provides a good example for your children so that they can utilize it in their own families in the future.

 

Key Points

  • All members should understand the reasons behind your family’s vision and values.
  • Understanding your guiding principles will assist in making a wide variety of choices and decisions, both for the short and long term.

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