What a year it has been! COVID-19 has dramatically affected our lives and we’ve been adjusting. After the tragic death of George Floyd last month, the past few weeks of news and social media have been filled with images of both peaceful protests and rioting, and discussions on racism and police brutality. It has been a lot to process in many ways.
In light of current events, I’ve been thinking about how I want to sit down with my family and discuss and define our family values. While my husband and I know what we teach our kids and the values we want them to have growing up, I want to talk to them about it. At eleven and eight years old, they’re mature enough to have this conversation. I want to ask if they see us living out those values. I want to share stories with them about our experiences that have helped define our values. I want to talk with them about how to celebrate and appreciate diversity because God made us all unique on purpose.
Here are a few Bible verses, quotes, and conversation prompts we can use to help define and discuss family values with our kids:
“‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this. “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:29-31
- What does this mean?
- How can we love our neighbors as we love ourselves?
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8
- How does our family live out these principles?
- How can we continue to live them out in the future?
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi
- How can our family be the change our broken world needs?
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it as possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” – Romans 12:9-18
- How can we honor others above ourselves?
- How can we share with others?
- How can we live at peace with everyone?
While these conversations are geared toward elementary-aged kids and above, it’s never too early to start teaching and talking. Sharing, inclusion, and kindness are values even toddlers and preschoolers can start to learn.