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  • Writer's pictureTandi

Clarifying Your Compass, adapted for families

Updated: Jul 2, 2019

Between soccer practices and school projects it can be so easy to get lulled into letting the schedule dictate you rather than the other way around. Overwhelm can dominate intention. I get it! So let's take back your family one faithing tool at a time, starting with values.

Previously I blogged about discerning your own, individual values. Today let's look at what discerning your family's values might look like. This process is a longer process. Let it take at least 12 weeks. Maybe you'll like it so much that you'll take a life time.

Print out some copies of Brené Brown''s list of values. Grab some markers.

1. Circle the values that attract you.

2. Cross out the values that you want nothing to do with.

Sit with those for a bit. Where did you learn about those values? How did you learn to embody them? How do they live in you today? Those values that are crossed out, was that a response or a reaction? What's that about.

Similar to the individual exercise,

3. Choose 5 values most at risk in the world that you want for your family.

4. Choose 5 values that shine right now within your family.

Keep working the list until you have 12 values that you want to work with and explore as a family. Depending on the age of your children, let them pick some.

Each week you're going to "work" a different value. Do you have a family calendar? Write one word on each Monday. Or make a paper chain of the words and pull off a chain a week. Or write a new word on the bathroom mirror in dry erase marker. Whatever works for you. Each week gets its own value to explore.

Now, each family will be a little different as to when the best time for exploration will be. If you are all gathered for family dinner, maybe that's the time. Maybe it's over breakfast. Could be that a car ride is the best time. You might want to keep a family journal.

  • Monday: What does this value mean to you?

  • Tuesday: Why is this value important in the world? How does it make the world a better place?

  • Wednesday: What are examples of how your family (individuals or as a whole) already lives out this value?

  • Thursday: When have you struggled to live out this value?

  • Friday: Who are role models in the world who notably live this value?

  • Saturday: What are family stories that exemplify this value? Do you have ancestors who were role models specifically for this value?

  • Sunday: How could this value live in your family even more fully and do you want it to? One a scale of 1-10 how strongly do you want to claim this value as one of your core family value? What do you need to live it out more fully? What do you need to let go of? What would you need to learn?

If your family is particularly artsy, you may want to make a collage. What about a picture scavenger hunt with hashtags #faithingfamily #familyvalues posted on Instagram where people take pictures of the value in action? Or mark up a newspaper where you see the value either at risk or exemplified.

At the end of 12 weeks look back over your exploration of values. Which are the ones that rise to the top as far as relevant, inspirational core values for your family? Choose 3-5 and claim them for a year to really try them on.

Claimed family values are like touchstones or litmus tests: are we doing what we intend to be doing by the values we claim? In times of doubt or discernment we can turn to them as ask: what are our values requiring of us?

And that hectic schedule? We can audit our schedule using the values -- Does how we choose to spend our time nuture and uphold our values or deplete them? Our claimed, shared values can give us the courage to make changes and live the life we intend to live.


If you try this values clarification method, please check in with me and let me know what worked and what you changed to make it your own!

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