May 10, 2009

What Do You Value?

5/10/2009 — cori
During our family Bible study time today, Chuck brought up the ever so abstract concept of values. Sometimes you think you speak above your childrens' head, but they know alot more of what's going on in the world around them than we often give them credit for. We had such an amazing time discussing this topic and seeing into their little hearts.

First, Chuck and I gave examples of what we value. He defined "value" as something you put importance on and helps shape how you think and make decisions. Such as, he really values our family and time spent together. When he has the opportunity to take a freelance job he weighs the time it would require for him to get the job done against the time it would take him from spending time with us.

The object of this lesson was to give them the tools to make good decisions when they're not with us and they are faced with a choice. We want them to draw from the values we are trying to model and teach them. We want them to learn to listen to their hearts and make a decision based on the value that they hold strong to - not what we tell them is important, but what they know to be true in their heart. This is their value. This is a growing and learning process that we get to continue with them until the day they leave our house.

The kids seemed to grasp this and gave us examples of their own. We wrote all these values on the chalkboard and then had them pick their top three. It was so fun to see how the values they put importance on are already modeled in their little lives and how they match their little personalities.
Gavin said he puts value on solitude so that he can have time to think, refresh and pray. Gentleness (a fruit of the Spirit) was also high on his list. He is a very gentle soul. It's just in his nature to treat others with a gentle attitude (except for when he's light saber fighting). Lastly, he felt helpfulness was a character trait he also valued. He exhibits this in his actions daily. He comes and asks if there's anything he can do to help me at random times throughout the day. I know that in the future, these three things will motivate him in his decisions and actions he chooses towards others.

Bennett definitely values friendship. He will always choose doing something with others over doing something alone. He's a social butterfly and hates to see anyone being left out. He likes to include the down and out. He also makes choices that stem from faithfulness. He's adamant about keeping his word. And lastly, he places much value on peace (another fruit of the Spirit). He is a peacemaker. He values this to a great degree. He can really sense when I'm not peaceful and does whatever he can to try and calm me and bring peace back into my world. I know he'll draw from other values he doesn't even realize are important when he's out of the scope of our parental eye, but its nice to know that the three he does treasure are exemplified in his life already.

Chloe definitely values beauty. This isn't the kind of vain, external beauty (although, truth be told she loves to look beautiful too) but the kind that sees beauty in the world and people around her. I also know that helpfulness is very high on her list. If there is an opportunity to help, she jumps on it. I'm hopeful that she chooses this outside of my presence as well. Lastly, she chose friendship. I was a little surprised by this because this is a relatively new area for her. She's finally crawled out of her 'shy shell' and stepped into the world of other people and realizes she loves being around others. Since she values friendship, I can only hope she treats her friends with respect and thoughtfulness, the characteristics that come with something you value.

My top three were time, considerateness and simplicity. Many decisions I make filter through these three values. I do not want our life to be 'over-booked'. I value the simple life...time to smell the roses, unplanned activities, flexibility to be and to do. I hate being locked into a schedule. Time together is also another treasure. I show others love thru the time I give them. Time is very high on my list. I don't need as much solitude as Gavin, but just enough to enjoy a nice hot bath and then I'm refreshed and ready to give more time to those I love. Lastly, considerateness envelopes so many of the fruits of the Spirit in my opinion. For someone to be inconsiderate is one of the greatest offences I take. Putting others first just plain shows love. I value that because I value making people feel loved. I want others to be in a loving environment when around me. I know this is only a pipe dream on many days...but on the days when I actually choose the Spirit to live His life through me, it is very rewarding.

Chuck values family, time and quality. All of these are very evident in each decision he makes. He values family time so much, that when given the choice to work overtime in the middle of the night or after work during dinnertime...100% of the time he'll sacrifice his sleep to show us how much he values his time with us. He values quality by 'if something is worth doing, its worth doing right'. He never does something half-way. This is perfect for his detailed personality. This value has also helped him get far ahead in his field of work. His bosses and clients greatly appreciate his value of quality. And I'm so thankful that we both treasure time and show/give love through this medium. It doesn't even have to be quality time, just plain old time together...watching t.v., taking a walk, talking for hours or reading books in silence together.

You can learn alot from someone by what they value.

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