Core Value #1: Family
God has given me many wonderful gifts. He's given me a body that works and a brain that processes information pretty well. He's given me the ability to write and speak and minister to thousands of people. He's also given me a family. Not just a church family, though that is important. He's also given me a nuclear family: a fantastic wife and three amazing daughters.
As I see it, God's call on my life involves being a good steward of all the gifts he's given me -- starting with my family. Any decision I make, therefore, ought to demonstrate the high value I place on providing a secure environment for my family.
To that end, I have made a committment to avoid moving my daughters during the school year. I did that when I was a kid, and it was a jarring event. I do not want to say that others who do not share my conviction fail to value their families, but this is one way I will show my family that they come before my career: I will not move them during the school year. I will provide a healthy quality of life for them in terms of housing and educational opportunities.
I also must stop traveling as much as I do. By the end of this month, I will have made 19 trips out of town. That's 19 trips in 26 weeks. In my opinion, that amount of travel does not reflect the core value of family stability. I am going to stop that.
I must be more intentional about spending time with my wife. In any marriage there are two components: the personal stuff and the business stuff. Husbands and wives have to do business together -- dealing with discipline issues, filling out paperwork, paying bills, talking about cars and home repair and that kind of stuff. But there needs to be personal time as well -- going to the movies or dinner or just sitting at Starbucks talking about life and telling jokes. I don't do enough of that personal stuff with my wife because I have not been intentional about it. I am going to start building that into my schedule -- hopefully, in place of some of the travel.
The decisions I make must reflect the high priority I place on creating stability for the family God has gifted me with. That's the deepest core value for me right now.