One of the things that we learned in our foster care parenting classes is the importance of establishing structure and a concrete set of rules for our family.... that way when new children come into our home, they have a set of clear expectations to refer to. At first I thought it was kind of dumb (especially since we will be doing infants) but the idea has really grown on me. Everyone needs and craves rules and boundaries in life. Josh Mayo wrote a really good book about growing up as a youth minister's family called "Help! I'm Raising My Kids While Doing Ministry" and in that he too suggested establishing a family creed.
A few nights ago, Jake and I were watching Glen Beck interview Rev Run (from Run DMC and Run's House) and although he presented a lot of ideas I do not agree with.... he also suggested that you run your family much like you would run a business (with family meetings, family manuals with policies and procedures). So after stewing on it a bit, we came up with a Lenhart family creed (more like goals for our family and the kind of atmosphere/ culture we would like to see in our home and less like "rules" set in stone). So here is what we have come up with so far....
Lenhart Family Creed/
Rules for Family Life
1.Choices in life are everything! Every choice has a natural consequence (good or bad). Parents are here to guide you and empower you to make healthy choices that will lead you into becoming a responsible adult. We choose our destiny. Choose joy. No person or circumstance has the power to impact your happiness without your permission to do so.
2.Daily time with the Lord (although sometimes unfeeling or routine) is the cornerstone of your spiritual walk and the “oxygen” of life. We must fight and protect each other’s quiet time and spiritual wellness. We must go to battle for each other in prayer daily and remember that we have an enemy who would like to devour us (especially by attacking the family unit).
3.LOVE IS SPOKEN HERE! Ephesians 4:29 guides our daily conversations. We only speak words that build each other up and encourage each other. Our home is a refuge and a safe place for each other and others.
4.In regards to all media influences (music, TV, movies, books, etc), Psalm 101:3 is the standard, “I will set before my eyes, NO vile thing.”
5.All relationships require grace; therefore grace (unmerited favor) will be given freely and DAILY.
6.Because we are painfully aware of our shortcomings and weaknesses, we need to embrace correction (constructive criticism) and the art of apologies. Every proper apology consists of three components: admitting the wrong, asking for forgiveness, and then asking what I can do to make the situation better.
7.No member of this precious family is here by accident. God has hand created this family together for greater purposes and greater things. Though friends come and go, family is FOREVER! We remain deeply committed to each other. The Lenhart family is your God given anchor in life and your “cheering squad” that is always in your corner in life’s battles.
8.In a world of self centeredness, we choose to “throw the one starfish back in.” Our daily prayer is to be “Jesus with skin on” to those around us. Knowing that treasures of this world are temporary and could be gone tomorrow; we choose to invest in people rather than things. We are very blessed and according to Luke 12:48, “he who has been given much, much will be required”. We have a responsibility to care for the people and things God has loaned us or entrusted us with.
9.Priorities determine all decisions (whether big or small). God first, family second, work/ school/ friends third.
10. Finally, we are not our own, we were bought at a price and must remember “he is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose."