family vision

Values - The Foundational Walls Of Your Family Culture

Creating Your Family Culture - Part 2


By Theron Glenny

Inside (& outside) the Tyrone Armory, you truly get the sense the building is immovable.  The castle-like structure was constructed in the early 1900s with large stones that provide a strong foundation to hold large steel beams that you can see visually from the inside.  Every time I give someone a tour of the Armory, they typically make the statement, ‘Wow! They sure don’t make them like this anymore’.  They are referring to the strength and robustness of the steel beams.  They are truly impressive!  And, if you haven’t seen them, you should stop by and take a look. 

Inside of the Armory. Notice the stone walls and steel beams.

Inside of the Armory. Notice the stone walls and steel beams.

The reason why the steel beams can exist is because of the strength of the Armory’s foundation - the stone walls.  The foundation is steady, strong and dependable.  In our last article, I wrote about creating your family culture.   Just like the construction of the Armory’s walls, culture doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes significant time, effort and focus to build something strong enough to hold the weight of your family’s purpose.  Culture is an environment that is formed from the collective actions (& behaviors) of a family over time. 

This article should help you build your family’s culture so your family grows healthy and accomplishes everything God designed it to.  Culture is an environment you create that will build identity and character, but begins with a set of values.  Values are like the stones in the Armory’s walls.  They provide a foundation that shapes your character and reflects your culture.  Values are designed to influence your decisions, behaviors and actions.  Think about it, all great companies and sports teams built a culture that shaped the character of the team because of the values it lived by.  When a team embraces the core values it defines, it begins to build momentum to accomplish its mission.   

Here are some examples of values:

  • Take responsibility for our actions
  • Love each other unconditionally
  • Forgive each other quickly
  • Be un-offendable (one of my favorites!)
  • Be humble and operate with an underdog mentality
  • Be honest with each other even when it’s tough
  • Serve others with joy
  • Work with excellence, for it honors God and inspires people

Do you see how these values can powerfully influence your daily home and work environment?  

They are like the bumper lanes at the bowling alley.  They keep you in the right lane so you accomplish your goal, which is striking the pins.  Without shared values like the ones above, it’s impossible to stay in the lane with others in your family or on your team.  Culture is strongest when shared values are defined, agreed upon and lived out. 

If you haven’t defined your family values, please take time to do so. They’ll unify your family and set you on a course to create a powerful family culture that can last generations.  

Note: I listed a lot of examples above, but you do not have to have a ton of core values.  Actually, the more you have the harder it is to fully embrace them because a larger list of ten or more values prohibits your family members from actually remembering them.  Four to six is a healthy amount of values. 


How to Prepare Your Family for a New Year

By Theron and Mizpah Glenny

The beginning of the year is always one of our favorite times.  There’s a newness about it…a fresh start, a new beginning.  Dreams come alive again.  Our wheels start spinning again as the potential of what could be floods into our brains.  We get that sparkle in our eyes and smile on our face.  As we enter into this new year, it’s important to capture these sparks so you can identify which sparks to grind.  

In this article, we want to share the process we use to put a bow on the previous year by wrapping it up properly so we have legs to leap into the next year.  We share the questions we not only ask ourselves, but also our kids.  It allows them to think deeply and journal their answers, which make beautiful memories to remember years from now. 

Please note, we strongly encourage you to set aside 1-2 hours to do this.  We’ve learned that if something is really important to us, we schedule it on the calendar so our brains know the time is set aside.  So, reserve some time for yourself and your family.  The clarity you’ll get doing the exercise will make the pain of blocking the time off well worth it. 

Before you start thinking about the new year, first look back on the previous year and write down what went well, what didn’t go so well, and what you’d do differently.  Here are some questions you and your kids can ask yourselves:

  • What were your favorite moments?
  • What brought you the most satisfaction?
  • What did you learn last year?
  • What new friendship did you start? And why do you enjoy being friends with them? 
  • What was your favorite book you read? 
  • What was something hard you faced? Did you overcome it and if so, how?
  • What scripture or piece of advice really helped you?
  • Would you change anything or do anything different?

Once you answer these questions, you should feel good about moving on to start thinking about this new year, but be sure to take the time as a family to share.  Don’t feel pressure to share everything as there may be things you don’t want to share, but it’s important to share some things in order for you and your kids to connect to the story God wrote in you as a family the previous year. 

Now, time to think about the new year!  Here are some questions to ask yourselves (and be sure to write down your answers):

  • What do you want to accomplish, and why?
  • What are some fun things you want to do? 
  • What person(s) do you want to be closer to?
  • How will you serve others this year?
  • What are some things you’d like to learn this year? Are there areas of your life you want to grow and mature in?
  • What book(s) are you going to read? 
  • What mentors will you seek counsel from? Another way to ask this is, who do you want to learn from this year?
  • What could hold you back from accomplishing what you wrote above? …and, how will you overcome the fear with God’s help?  

As mentioned before, be open to sharing your answers with each other.  Knowing what is in each person's heart to do in the new year provides another connection point and an opportunity to encourage each other.

In the next article, we’ll focus on helping you overcome fears and limitations.  We believe this year is a year of ’no limits’ and want to equip you and your family to be all that God wants you to be this new year.  

Please reach out to us and let us know how the above questions helped you and your kids prepare for an amazing new year.  We want to hear some stories.  

The article above also appeared in the Tyrone Daily Herald.