Psalm 127:3-5, "Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of arrows".
The goal of every parent is to steward the arrows that the Father in heaven has given them. There is a battle for our children's hearts. We need to fight for their affections. The enemy is after what they will love and where their affections will be placed. This is why parents are called warriors! We are in a battle.
There are 4 parts to every arrow.
This blogpost is about the 2nd part of the arrow: the fletching (feathers). The fletching creates drag when the arrow is in flight which keeps the back end of the arrow behind the front. It also stabilizes the arrow as it flies to its target. An arrow without good fletching is undependable and dangerous. If an arrow has the right kind of feathers, properly installed, it will fly straight. This speaks to core values.
Core values are those beliefs that are in the CORE of who you are. It is the lens in which you see the world and make assessments about the world. They are the “why” for all your decisions. Core values are deeply held beliefs that define what is valuable in life. They create a framework for defining what is right and wrong. They are the pillars that support your life and give you a sense of meaning, direction and identity.
God has created each of us with a set of core values. We are uniquely made, with personalities that are one of a kind, experiences that have impacted our hearts and an imagination to dream with God about He wants to do with us in the world. The Father loves you! He loves your children! His desire is that they would fly into the destiny that He has planned and purposed for each of them, in their individual identity.
If you are unsure about the core values that live inside of your heart, there are some discovery questions below. But think about those things that happen in your home, workplace or in culture that reveal what is inside of you: anger, peace, joy, hope, love, justice, grace, honor, generosity, etc. That will give you an indication of what are the strongest core values in your being.
Here is a simple example from my life. Deep in my core is the value of “order”. It affects my relationships, decisions, home-life, work-life~ every area is touched by this value. I didn’t realize the affect “order” had on my life and heart until I had children. J Until that time, order had not been tested but once kids came into our home, toys and so much kid-stuff with them, that the messes of children, which is to be expected, completely affected me. I would get frustrated when toys were all over my living room/kitchen/bedrooms~ everywhere. J And I felt like my emotions were all over the place and I couldn’t gain peace in my heart until I recognized what was going on. It took a while. I got upset with myself because many of my friends could have toys all over their house and it didn’t bother them, so what’s wrong with me I thought? And then something just clicked and I accepted that “order” is a deeply held belief in my heart. For me, to reconcile the reality of children in my home and this core value of “order”, I figured out a way to stay true to the core value and yet allow my children to be children. I bought baskets and shelves for the toys~ everything had its place so when we finished playing with something, we put it away before taking something else out. And at night before going to bed, I tidied up my house so there was “order” when I went to sleep. This value has been in me since I was a child~ my room was in order & bed made every morning as a child, as a teen, and even as a college student. Core values live in us. It’s not like a goal that we can strive for, it is just something that is deep within us and from those core values, we live our lives and make decisions about that life.
As you disciple your children, your core values are transferred to your kids. Core Values create the culture in your home. What is the most important value in your heart? It is important to take time to evaluate your core values as you begin to disciple your children. The younger the kids, the better! They learn by what they see and experience. Core values set the course and destiny of their lives. If the arrows have the right kind of “feathers” properly installed, they will fly straight, filled with confidence and boldness to live fully embracing the Father’s design of who they are!
Activation: Use the questions below to begin to examine your core values. Or ask your kids what they think you are most passionate about or what is most important to you. If your kids are older, talk about these questions at the dinner table to hear what is in your children’s hearts already.
To discover your core values, use the following questions to help you evaluate what is in the core of who you are:
Here is another list from Benjamin Franklin. He lived by these 12 governing values.
Temperance: Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
Order: Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
Industry: Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
Moderation: Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.
Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.