“Building a New Family Culture This Summer”

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Episode Summary

Family culture is the ethos of your family; not what you want it to be, but what it actually is when no one is looking. It’s the rhythm or the beat of the heart of your family life.

Every family has a culture, a way about it. The culture in a family is revealed by the fruits within the family dynamics and relationships, the family morals, beliefs, and convictions, but it’s also more than that. The family culture is displayed most practically by the interactions between the members within the family, the atmosphere, and the morale, if you will. 

All of these things can and should be shaped and modeled by the parents, but often in today’s culture what we witness is parents less engaged than ever, over delegating their God-given authority, children influencing and manipulating their parents’ beliefs and convictions, and “worldly” authorities limiting or undervaluing the impact of the Father and Mother in the leadership of their children. The result is catastrophic and legacy damaging. 

In this podcast episode, “Building a New Family Culture This Summer” is relevant anytime time of year or season, just pick a few months to engage and implement what we have taught in this episode and begin seeing real change occur at the heart level of your family culture. There is no time to spare. God has given you a unique insight into the realities of your family dynamics and the hearts of your children. Dig in, invest time, love well, and serve faithfully. I promise you won’t regret it.

Main Points in This Episode:

  1. What IS culture.
  2. What IS TRULY YOUR FAMILY CULTURE? Spiritually, Relationally, Emotionally, Home Atmosphere, Financially, Politically, Character-wise, Manners, Learning, Work Ethic, 
  3. What Do You Want as Your Family Culture? You could easily make an enormous list, but don’t, just pick a few things to execute and implement. 
  4. Make a Strategy with your spouse then share it with your family. (1. Communicate (this is where you discuss and evaluate) (2. Alignment (you need to be a united front) (3. Vision (communicate the potential and hopeful fruit to come from ____ to the kids such as “closer relationships” and then make sure you and your spouse write down your vision somewhere it will be an encouragement to you, 6 weeks in when you need a reminder to motivate you).
  5. Commit to Your Family Culture, Own it, and Lead Well. 
  6. Pray with your spouse and invite someone in your community to be praying for your family too bc we know the enemy will be threatened by your proactive and intentional leadership and try to discourage you. You MUST have prayer support. 

Scripture From This Episode:

Gal. 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

Romans 12:2-4 –  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:”

Habakkuk 2:1-2 – I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.”

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Full Transcript:

Note: This is an automated transcript and misspells or grammar errors may be present.

Welcome to Courageous Parenting Podcast, a weekly show to equip parents with biblical truth on raising confident Christian kids in an uncertain world.

Hi, I’m Angie from Courageous Mom.

And I’m Isaac from Resolute Man.

We’ve been married for 21 years and have seen the fruit from raising our eight kids biblically. Based on the raw truth found in the Bible.

We can no longer let the culture win the hearts of children. Too many children from Christian families are walking away from their faith by age 18. And it doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. Join us as we start an important conversation about effective parenting and the following. Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the podcast.

Hey, guys.

We’re so glad you’re here. We’re amped about this topic today.

This is going to be a slightly different outline. I told Isaac when we were planning out I go, this is kind of like it’s an empowering coaching call with Isaac and Angie on family culture. Tell them the title, babe.

So build a new family culture this summer. So what is culture? We’ll talk about that in a second. But this is a huge impact. I mean, when you do this, when you recalibrate and you meet as a married couple and you do these things we’re going to talk about, it really can make a massive difference. You may not see it immediately, although some of it, but where you really will see it as you go into the fall and the fall matters, a lot of people getting home, school going and all kinds of different things.

We were even just talking about like the different questions that people have been sending into us because we like to keep the podcast relevant. Yeah. And, and really going to meet you where you’re at in that season of life. And a lot of you guys have been such faithful listeners to the podcast. You’ve been so awesome at leaving reviews and five star ratings on iTunes and sharing with people. We appreciate that so much. And so we know that you guys have been faithful listening regularly on Tuesday, so hopefully you’re listening to this and you’re like, Oh, this is perfect for me right now because yes, the summer is here. And and if you’re not, guess what? You can do this any time of year. Absolutely. But where we are right now, it’s the beginning of June. And we realize that a lot of people are either trying to decide if they’re going to homeschool or their kids are just getting out of school and they’re going, oh, wow, my kids are going to be home for the summer. And and maybe at my the kids don’t have the closest relationships that you like or there’s just different things, right?

You want them to be more obedient or they see character qualities that could be improved, all kinds of different things from a variety of things you’ll discover as you do this process. So by the way, courageous parenting, all the show notes, free resources and our courses and so forth are there too. So anyways, let’s dive in. So awesome. We the first thing that’s very important when you’re well, let’s talk about culture first because that word sometimes gets misconstrued because what you say your family is about is one thing, but what your family actually is about, the attitudes, behaviors, the, the, the, all those things that is your culture. So it is the ethos of the organization. It’s what is it’s the unwritten rules, if you will. It’s how the behavior actually happens. It’s the rhythms of communication. It’s it’s all of the things. And so if you disrupt that, give it a positive disruption by purposefully recalibrating and looking at what is and then what you want and doing something about it, it makes a massive difference in your family.

That’s right. And, you know, it was interesting as we were getting started talking about this just before we shot, one of the things that we talked about when we first started the courageous parenting podcast, you guys, I’m talking season one podcast, episode one and two. They are largely about family culture. And I want to I want to share that with you because if you’ve been listening for a brief period of time, I would encourage you to go back and listen to those first two episodes also along with this to help you, because you might find more encouragement in that as well.

Isn’t that interesting? Just let’s take a note on that for a second. I’m glad you brought that up because let’s see, God called us to start Courageous Parenting Podcast. And in the very beginning, when you have zero audience, you want to capture your audience by doing the most relevant episodes possible in your first few episodes. And we pick vision and culture as our first two.

That’s right.

And and while we believe that’s right, it’s not a intuitive choice. And intuitive choice would be how to get your kids to respect you, how to have more obedient kids, how.

To get rid of ageism, how to help siblings have better relationships and and your kids to be best friends with each other.

And we did all those later. Yeah, but the first two are. So that’s how important this is. So we’re bringing it back with some new twists in this episode.

And honestly, you guys, you know, if you’ve been listening to the podcast for any amount of time, you know that we’re like digging into scripture and we have some just fresh ideas and things that we’re going to talk about. But today I really hope that you have pen and paper nearby, or you can listen to this a couple of times or maybe send it to a spouse so that you both hear it. Because we’re going to give you some steps, actually some action steps as we like to call them when we’re doing these kinds of things with people and with our family. Right. That are going to help you to actually be more intentional in the moment as you are proactively moving forward to either recalibrate. Right. Or to build a.


Family culture. Maybe you don’t have a family culture that you’ve actually created purposefully, but every family has one, right?

There’s always a culture. You’re either purposely improving it or it’s digressing. Naturally, there is no in between, right? And so now.

There’s either a healthy one or an unhealthy.

And in a marriage, sometimes one of you might think it’s better than the other. And so it’s really important to talk to each other, because if you come to the spouse and you go, Well, I really think we need to work on a family culture, they might go, Well, I think we have one. But a lot of times we’re thinking what we have is good, almost subconsciously compared to maybe others around us. That’s not a good thing. But that’s kind of naturally what happens with people, and that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re going, What is best? What could it be? And if we’re not working on it, then we don’t know. And by the way, when you do what we’re about to say, you will discover to become more transparent now, you have to be really honest with yourself when you do this first step.

No, it is tinted glasses.

It is super important. So not in comparison to other families. You don’t want to do that. Let’s get that out of the way. And then what you want to do is sit down together and talk about what is what is the actual reality, not what we would like, not what we think we’re good at. What actually is in your family under a number of topics. We’ll give you a few here, but you might add to it.

That’s right. So before we dive into these different topics, we wanted to share a passage of scripture with you guys.

So we’re going to read from Galatians 522 through 23. But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things, there is no law so important. We want to think about those things. It’s just some of the things to kind of evaluate where our family is at. What is your culture? And related to those things, is there self-control? Is the gentleness.

Right? Is there peace in your home, in your atmosphere? I would say that, you know, as especially as kids are coming home from school or maybe you’re breaking for the summer if you are, I know that for us, our family kind of does some different things in the summer months than normal, right? So the schedule changes. But when schedules change or transitions happen, say you’re having a baby, right? There’s another transition. Maybe dad changes jobs or maybe you move or just some of the kids come home from school. All of these are transitions that can rock the boat and potentially the peace in the atmosphere of the home can get rocked a bit, do you know what I mean? And so as the reason why we wanted to bring up this scripture more than anything to you guys is to remind you of what the fruit of the spirit is. And if we’re people who are purposefully trying to walk by the Spirit, there should be evidence within our family culture of that because we are the leaders of each of our homes. And so if there isn’t peace in your home, you’ve got to take ownership over that as a leader and go, How can I influence the peace to come back? Well, it always goes back to coming back to Jesus. Are you washed in the Word? Are you focused on him or are you anxious? Are you competitive with neighbors? Are you competitive with other people? Are you stressed out about finances? Are there things that you are discontent with, if you will? There are so many things that I could literally just like do do that could potentially create unrest.

So what is the spiritual condition of your home? What is the spiritual condition within you, your spouse, your kids? And think about that in terms of what’s good. Yes. We don’t want to just focus on all the bad. What are the good things? But also what are the things that need to be improved, maybe with a couple of the kids or with yourself or whatever it is, and kind of identify those things so that you can distill down what are the most important things to work on because you can’t work on everything at once, but you do want to be aware of those things, which is important.

So what, what are some of the things that we could if we were to rattle off a list? This is why I was saying, like maybe potentially having a piece of paper or journal or even just your your notes section and you’re on your iPhone or your android would be helpful. We want to list off some things to get you thinking. This is going to be like a brainstorming session of what is potentially in your family culture currently. Evaluate it and we’re going to go through a list of things. All of these things actually should be evaluated, right? Isaac Yeah, and so it’s not necessarily just like, Oh, that work ethic. That’s definitely something our family needs to work on. But I’m not going to really pay attention. No, we need to evaluate all these things because when we have like a concerted effort in a specific time period, like where this podcast is building a new family legacy this summer, or you could even say improving your family legacy this summer, your family culture, your family culture this summer. And if you’re doing it in the fall, in the next 12 weeks, during the fall, how could you do something to do a positive disruption like you were talking about? And would that mean bringing on new projects? Well, you can’t even get to the what would it look like until you’ve evaluated this list of what is currently.

And it might change even where you vacation vacation how you vacation. Right. Your approach to it this summer the way you set that up based on things you need to work on as a family.

Even just like family projects around your house or productive fellowship, helping other people who maybe have property. What are ways like so so start thinking creatively. We’re not going to give you all the answers because everybody has different situation. But we’re going to go through we’re going to list these things, right? So the first one is learning. And I would say that when we say learning, ask the question does does my family culture love learning? Now, learning is not just some people might automatically go to reading, well, my kids don’t like reading or whatever. The learning happens many different ways. We’re not going to get deep into that. Our previous podcast was on How to Cultivate a Teachable Heart. I would say that learning is part of that, so you should definitely listen to the last week’s podcast. Also, if you guys are in the Be Courageous app, I have to take a moment. My son Ethan, who is 11 years old, just did a podcast, right? Isaac What was on it was on cultivating a love for reading.

Love for reading, which he has recently. He was he was a slow start and he became really good.

We do this like kind of not a game, but it’s kind of a contest that we’ve done with our kids over the years where they there are certain books that also have been made into movies that are appropriate for kids to watch. Right? Kind of like how Little House is. And that was what we did with our oldest kids, like when they would read Little House on the Prairie, then they could watch Little House on Prairie. And so we’ve done that recently with him with some bigger books, and he just really started loving it. So anyway, he talks about his experience with that and you can listen to those podcasts in the app.

So what we’re talking about right now is looking at what is in your family. We talked about learning spiritual. How about family closeness? What is the level of family closeness among the siblings, amongst all of you?

Yeah. And even just thinking about when you talk about closeness, you can evaluate the trust, right? Like do your kids trust you? Do you have a close relationship where they trust you to come to you? Maybe that’s something you need to work on. Or maybe there is a lack of closeness between siblings, specific siblings. Maybe you have four children and two of them are just not getting along. Maybe this summer is when you actually have them room together if they’re the same gender and that’s appropriate. You know, if you’ve been listening to our podcast for any length of time, you know that Isaac and I run towards those situations and we kind of group and pair and partner those kids up. Another good example of how to do that. If you have two kids that are just butting heads and not getting along, make them be team members on a project. We have Dish crew and we’ve oftentimes paired up kids that had a harder time working together. That’s a great example. You could do that all summer long. You could say, Hey, you’re in, do it for a month, and if you guys can’t learn to work together, it’s going to be all summer.

So that’s one cooperation in your family. How about work ethic? How’s the work ethic in your family and so forth? How about fun?

That’s a good.

Thing to evaluate. Do we have.

Fun? I mean, think about like think for a moment and look back on your childhood. Do you have memories of having fun with your family? I think that. There is like if we love each other and we we really want to have a culture where in a legacy where our kids look back and they respect us and they want to raise their kids like how we raised our kids. Part of that is that you take time out to appreciate the hard work that you did together and that you really enjoy having fun together just as much as you enjoy working together, just as much as you enjoy supporting one another and cheering one another on. All these things are important, right?

Yeah. How about financial or character qualities? Just all the different character qualities. That’s kind of why we started with that scripture or obedience, you know, to parents.

What about even just other character qualities like lying? If you have like a specific like 12 weeks where you had evaluated something that maybe this kid struggling with this and this kid struggling with that, or our family needs to have fun together, for example, or our family needs more time where we’re actually just enjoying each other. Because this year has been a really hard year and maybe somebody died or, you know, like evaluating and putting a real verbal communication to it. This is going to require communication with your spouse, and we’re going to talk about that later in this podcast. But like really putting a label on it is super important for for this project of actually intentionally engaging your family culture and creating change. So the goal in this section, when you’re going through the what is my culture section you’re going on, what are the things that my current culture is? And then the next thing we do is well.

So the second thing is the it’s what are the things that are most important to improve? And so you’re looking through this, you can’t improve everything. But what are the most important things to improve? I did want to add one to what is which is service and generosity. So maybe those are a couple to add. But once you’ve looked at what is what are the most important things to improve and distill it down, you know, if you come at your family with we’re going to change everything, that usually isn’t going to go very well. It’s you pick a few things, but what are commonalities as you listed on a paper, all the different things that are what is that you want to improve? What are some of the commonalities? What are what is something that you could drive forward with your words over time that would impact many of those things? So we’re looking for a few things. I can think in past one of them was generosity eagles, not seagulls. These are cultural driving statements that we’ve used that really encompassed many different things producers versus consumers and a consumer world of social media and internet and all these things. We’re going to be producers or consumers. Look at all the production of this happen in the last four years since we started driving that in our family culture. Yeah. From a in terms of producing content from producers producing wood shelves. Luke to, you know, all these different things you can kind of see as you look back. You can look back. And it’s not that we don’t consume, it’s just that’s an example of we did this process, we’ve done it many times and we analyze what do we want to improve and then what are the most important things to improve? You might star them or something like that.

Yeah. And, and I would say to, I just want to encourage you guys like Isaac said, we do this like rate like regularly throughout the year. It’s not just a one time of year kind of thing, but we definitely thought that this was important because there is a transition period that hits when the seasons change so drastically, right? There’s the good temptation to get outside and and do more activity, whether that’s working in a garden or playing spike ball on the beach, which is what our family likes to do. Yeah, but the reality is, is that when there’s a transition like that, where even the daylight you get more daylight because the sun is up earlier and it’s up later, and so you have more hours to accomplish things. So it’s we really have this unique opportunity to seize the moment, if you will, and make real change. But like Isaac is saying, you got to take the rose tinted glasses off and evaluate all these different things and go, What is the culture and what do I want it to be? What change needs to happen? And I would say even like probably do a number system in evaluating which ones are most important to you or are not just to you. But can I just say like what is most important to God if there is a character issue like obedience or trust, or if there is a specific sin that a child is struggling with? I would even like evaluate those things and go, these are highest priority regarding dealing with them and then putting those at the highest priority.

So now you have your most important things prioritize to improve. But still you might. Let’s say you came up with ten things to improve. You still want to distill that down because what often happens when people do things like this is they make a great plan that doesn’t get executed and an executed plan just leads to guilt. And you don’t want to live a guilty life. You don’t want to put energy into something that actually doesn’t do anything because it’s too hard to implement. I’m all for simple implementation, and in order to do that, you can really only drive forward 1 to 3 things. So as you look at your list and you think about that, you need to steal it down to 1 to 3 core statements or small phrases that you’re going to bring meaning to in your family and you’re going to never stop talking about. So all summer long you’re going to talk about these things and weave them in. They’re going to be part of your family meetings, breakfast or dinner or whenever you do them. They’re going to be part of, you know, prepping for going somewhere or these kinds of things.

It’s really important. It can be you can weave it into how you do your vacation and different things this summer. It brings a sense of purpose and focus in your marriage to really influence forward culture. Now you might think do simple statements or a few sentences repeated over time actually make a difference? Well, let me ask you, does advertising work? Yes. Now, we all think the advertising doesn’t work on ourselves. At least some people think that. But it actually really works. Right? I said this in one other podcast, but don’t think Pink Elephant. And you can’t not think about a pink elephant when I say that. It’s true. So your words have unbelievable power. I didn’t come up with that. That’s from a book. But it has unbelievable power. And especially with your kids. And if you repeat something over and over again over a long period of time, it does influence them. The problem with a lot of leadership with parents and in the business world actually is that we’re constantly shifting what we talk about so we don’t get traction like we hope to.

Hmm. Yeah. So it takes patience, and we have to be really clear in our communication. So if you are struggling with knowing the right words to use, hopefully this podcast gives you guys some inspiration to be clear. And I just want to encourage you to that, you know, we say this a lot, but kids will rise to the level of responsibility you give them. And that is true as far as instilling some new things. So as you are trying to figure out what you want to do, think out of the box, think bigger than you might think you would think for your seven year old, for example. But the same goes for the words you use. You can use words like vision and culture with your kids when they’re four or five, six and seven. Respect the intelligence that God created them to have and challenge them. This is the time like if you are building a family culture to start even using that family culture. In our family culture, we are kind to one another. In our family culture, we don’t speak to one another disrespectfully or we don’t interrupt. Right. Those are some things that you would catch us potentially saying to kids under six. Right. And then for kids that are middles to preteens, you might hear us saying things like in our family culture, we get our chores done without having to be asked. Right. Or in our family culture, when you see someone needing help, you ask how you can help.

Another example that we’ve done forever is there’s a bad word in our family, and it’s the word or two words I can’t and it’s okay to need help, but it’s not okay to say I can’t. That vocabulary is usually used in a defeatist attitude. And so you can look at look at your list. How many things does not saying I can’t impact? Well, it impacts work ethic, it impacts cooperation, it impacts fun. Because when somebody is saying, I can’t someone else is not having fun, the character qualities, all these things instead of positively instead of saying, Oh, I can’t, positive thing, can you help me to a sibling? Right. That is also encouraging cooperation.

Obviously, people are not going to ask for help if it’s not a muscle that they have exercised, which requires humility, actually. And so there’s this level of like what is the spiritual character quality that God wants us to be intentionally instilling and encouraging in our child humility? Yeah. And then what would be the fruit of it walked out that they can ask for help.

And so if ever an actual bad word gets said around our kids or media somehow slips out a modestly bad word, but even still a bad word comes out. I always say bad word because I acknowledge that that’s just side note, but I do the same when I hear I can’t. So what is happening there growing up in a way of learning how to ask for help positively, but not having a defeatist attitude, instead being resilient and resourceful? Right. That is part of our culture. Yeah. And that just gives you another example. So the third step is the first step is what is second step is what’s most important to improve. And as you talked about prioritizing that, which is great. And the third thing is identify the strategy and we kind of talked about this a little bit already, but you got a scripture verse.

Yeah. So you guys, you know that we quote from Romans 12 to exhaustively sometimes. But I was even thinking about this concept where it says here, do not be conformed to this world, first of all, and then stop right there. Isn’t it easy for our family culture to become conformed to the world, to the influences that are either unintentionally or intentionally allowed into our home? When you’ve had your kids either at school or even Sunday school or at a neighbor’s house or anywhere, they are being influenced and they can be become somewhat conformed to the influences of whatever has been there. And then that can change the culture in your family. This is God’s word in Romans 12 to do not be conformed to this world. So we need to evaluate our family cultures, our family culture conform to the world. And in what? Was specifically as it conformed to the world. Is there too much media happening on phones, for example? That would be one example of being too conformed to the patterns of the world. The next part of that verse says, But be transformed by the renewal of your mind. This is an ongoing thing. That’s what this is saying. Be transformed by the renewal of your mind. It’s not a one time transformation of the renewal of your mind. This is something that we have to continually do because we as humans get influenced by each other, by our contacts, by our friends, by our churches, by the things that we listen to all the things.

And so right now is the perfect time as you’re evaluating your family culture to go what has influenced me, what is influencing my kids? And we need to spend more time in the Bible and prioritize that. It says By testing, you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. God’s will for your life is God’s will for your life, our other people’s will for you influencing what you’re doing in your family culture and how you’re raising your family. We need to be aware of that because the truth is, is that God has a will. You have a will. I’m going to just say it. The enemy has a will and the world has a will. And we have to be aware of these influences and our own flesh also, and submit that to God and go, Lord, is this your will? And then the last thing I want to share in this particular chapter is we’re going into identifying the strategy, is that we need to recognize that our kids are part of a team. We talk about team parenting as a team, but also being a team as a family, and that is a huge family culture thing.

Is your family a team? Are you and your spouse a team? And do your kids see you being a team? Do they see you as a team supporting one another? These are all really important, pivotal questions in Romans, chapter 12, verse three. It continues on and it says, For by the grace given to me, I say to every one among you not to think of himself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. So each of us have been assigned a different measure of faith and four in as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same functions. So we though many are one in the body of Christ in individually members of it, having gifts differing according to the grace given us. Let us use them. I bring that up because our families, we talk about this in the parenting mentor program more in depth, but our family is an image bearer of the body of Christ, just as our marriage is an image bearer of the relationship between Jesus Christ and his bride, the church. And so our family your family is like a mini body of Christ. It’s a place where your kids are going to learn how to use their spiritual gifts.

It’s where they’re going to make their faith their own. It’s where they’re going to start practicing, serving, helping, administration, worshiping, teaching, even. They’re literally like all of these things, these gifts that God gives as your kids start walking with Jesus, and we pray that they start walking and knowing him at an early age, because that is not something that is far off for your child. God can do anything. Jesus was sitting with the little children and said, Let the little children come unto me. A little boy gave fish and loaves of bread that then Jesus turned into a miracle and fed 5000 people. Your kids can be used. They are they should believe that we need to speak that life into them and recognizing that there are many members of our family and they all have different functions. So when you’re thinking about your family culture this summer, even think like, how can I encourage my child spiritually to be knowing their spiritual gifts, especially as they are getting older, like we were talking about things like obedience and these these things with like little kids. But an example of when your kids start getting older and you start having teens is you want to be calling out the gifts in them, right as they’re serving and stuff.

And identify strategies. So good, make sure you have alignment. As a married couple, it is super important to remember we’re talking about words and we’re talking about again, how do you influence change? Well, prayer, including God, right? Of course. So you want to pray about this as you’re deciding things, decisions is the next you pray, the decisions you make as leaders and what comes out of your mouth. Can you think of any more prayer? The decisions you make, what comes out of your mouth? I like to keep things real simple. So if we can upgrade and change some of the things that comes out of your mouth. That’s a big deal. And if we can look at this and make some better decisions this summer because of what we’ve realized going through this exercise, that’s another amazing thing. And then if we can pray about the change we seek now, God has honed in on our desires of our heart, which He listens to. So now you have a powerful equation for change and you get aligned together as a married couple and you implement and you hold each other accountable. You encourage each other. You say, Great job. I noticed you did this when you were talking about this, and you encourage each other and spur each other on. That is so important as your strategy. So prayer, it’s upgrade your words and upgrade your decisions this summer that align with the change you’re seeking. And so the words new vocabulary, we naturally say what we say. We’ve so accustomed to our key sentences and our reactions and our rhythms of communication between each other and a family.

It’s so ingrained. It’s so hard to change, but you just change a few little things in that system. It makes a massive difference and so distilled down what I would call levers when you have a lever like a crowbar, and now you’re able to move far more weight than just trying to lift something with your hands. That’s what these key phrases are. So think about a sentence that’s very short and memorable that kids can remember. Eagles, not seagulls, write a lot of thought. Fulness went into that. It’s not simple. And I just we thought about these things together and brainstormed and it’s so important to do that. And once you’ve distilled it down, it could just be one thing. One of our Angie came up with a great one was just generosity. It actually had one of the biggest impacts in our family out of anything we’ve done in this regard. And so I just think it doesn’t have to be a pithy statement. It can be one just one word like that. And so come up with those that hit most as many as you possibly can, 1 to 3 of these things, 2 to 3, I think is ideal. And then you kind of have if you want. Yeah, I think that’s enough. But I think it’s important to have vision to be able to do this well. And right now you don’t have to vision for the next ten years. We’re talking about vision for the fall. Everybody can do.

That vision for like what? What are you going to do in the next 12 weeks and what is it going to what is your family culture going to look like at the end of that? Yeah, like just that simple and you know, communicating. Isaac was talking about how important it is that as a married couple, you have this meeting in your life communicating and you’re in alignment together first and you’re deciding these things. You’re evaluating what is and what you want, right, for the future. And when you’re evaluating these things, you also want to evaluate like what things have happened in your past or when you were a kid growing up that you have been negatively impacting you. Right. And communicate that with one another and hold each other accountable and be willing to speak into each other’s lives and and try to love one another. Well, and as you’re doing that, you’ll start to find out, like, what is your family culture when you put you two together? Yeah, right. Which is going to be slightly different than what ours is. And that’s a good thing. And recognizing that after you have that meeting together, then you’re going to do the exact same thing and having a family meeting, right?

Yeah. Initiate that family meeting, pray together beforehand and you just talk about it should be a real upbeat, visionary kind of meeting where we’re not talking about this big list of things to improve. I would never come to a meeting with just a big list of things that improve instead of come with excitement about the idea that together you can bring more glory to God, that our family can be a light of Christ to the community we’re in, and that we can all grow in maturity, in how we interact with each other, our attitudes, and live more in a peaceful home and give some positive goals versus talk about all the things.

That are right. Exactly. I think that’s so good to remember that as leaders, you don’t want to come down heavy on your kids with this. This should be a fun thing that, you know, when you’re creating vision for new change, you you know, it’s not always going to be fun. There’s going to be some hard, but instead maybe say, hey, guys, this summer is going to be awesome because we’re going to grow closer as a family and we’re going to grow closer as a family by how we work together, but also by how we play together.

And by the way, you might decide instead of renting hotel rooms or a beautiful Airbnb house, that you you get this one room cabin in the woods. And it’s because your desire is to grow closer together.

That’s right. Or maybe instead of flying and getting hotels, maybe you rent an RV or you get a trailer and you drive together and you’re in closer quarters. Right. Like, there’s so many things that you could choose to do differently that are going to potentially create closer relationships because you’re together longer. I just have to share with you for a brief second about our RV trip that we had. It was about four years ago. Now we do a RV trip every summer with our kids now, and it’s usually between three weeks and six, seven, eight weeks long now. But we did this three month RV trip where we saw about 43 states in the United States in those three months. I was pregnant with Eli, who is our eighth, and we had all seven of the kids. It was just before Kelsey went off to college and we were squished into our RV that we’ve had for a long time. But you guys listen, that literally brought our family so much closer simply because we were in closer quarters. It was undistracted time where we were really focused on building relationships. And when conflict arose because it did, because we were in like how many square feet? All of us. I don’t even know. You have to deal with it right then and there. And that’s one of the good boot camp parts of it. But did we have fun on that trip? Oh, yeah, we had fun. So that’s just one example of how like it can be hard but good and fun all mixed into one thing.

Not easy on us. I was working full time. I would go to coffee shops in the day and you would take them with the van. We had a van with us as well and she was super pregnant. Super pregnant?

Yeah. I was in my third trimester. We got home a month before the baby was born and I would take the kids out and do all of the big fun things, and then we’d pick up Isaac after work and he’d join us and we’d do some other stuff.

I would drive at night so I could work the next morning. Oh, man. Like it was it was a marathon for the parents.

It was it was a lot of work. I mean, a lot of the parenting during the day was just me with the kids because Isaac was working or we were driving and then stopping and he’d work. And so but there are things that you can work out. The point is, is, you know, you guys sometimes making that hard sacrifice is really what is best for your family and best for your kids. Sometimes pulling away from your current culture outside your family is super healthy and can help recalibrate.

I would say always help healthy. No matter how good.

Your community.



Is very important to get undivided attention just with your kids for a couple of weeks, a week, a month, if you can.

Whatever you can. Yeah, I know that for us it was a very pivotal time for us to just make sure that we had our children’s hearts and that we were continuing to build and have deep conversations because we weren’t distracted by all the things. Right. And we were really focused on them. And, you know, there are different seasons when you can or cannot do that. That’s not going to be a make it or break it for building a new culture. If you don’t aren’t able to do something like that this summer, you can still rebuild a new family culture simply by doing the steps that we have talked about.

Your words are the most powerful thing here. And prayer. I would say prayer is the most powerful. But other than what God’s going to do, your words are so important. It is crucial.

Yeah. In fact, that reminds us of the last verse that we’re going to share with you guys today. It’s Inhabit Habakkuk chapter two. This is a time when this is an oracle of Habakkuk the Prophet, and he is kind of speaking to the Lord here in verse one it says, I’ll take my stand at my watch post and station myself on the tower and look out to see what he will say to me. He’s talking about God like, what is he going to say to me and what I will answer concerning my complaint? So he’s complaining, right? And the Lord answered me right. The vision make it plain on tablets so he may run who reads it? And you know what’s interesting about this passage of scripture, the reason why we’re bringing this up is because sometimes writing things down or making it very clear whether it’s on a dry erase board or just very clear, simple words like Isaac said, generosity. Right. Like with especially with little kids that works super good. Right. But why did God do this specifically? He is telling the Lord answered him and said, write the vision, make it plain on tablets. Where else have we heard this? God also told Moses to write the Ten Commandments on tablets. Why would God do this multiple times in Scripture? Because He designed and created us and he knows best how we learn. And He knows that we need to be reminded, even as adults, we need to be reminded of that culture. When you’re on week three of the summer, you need to be reminded that I am leaving a new family legacy and we can keep doing this. And. But. In the midst of it. You’ve if you haven’t written down or you have it somewhere to remind you when things start getting hard, that is going to be the make it or break it moments here.

Leaders usually don’t unders. They underestimate their influence. Parents underestimate their influence. And why I understand it is because kids don’t always listen and kids aren’t always paying attention. And sometimes we say things and it seems like it doesn’t do anything. But what you say has so much influence. It is huge, the words out of your mouth. And if you craft some new words and bring some meaning to it, it’s not like I say eagles versus eagles and it changes everything. No, it’s the meaning that was brought to that. It’s the understanding behind that, that where. Hey, remember being Eagle? They understand I am to lead. I’m not just to join in whatever the masses are doing, and I’m to help and bring people along and in share.

Not to compromise. That sometimes being an equal is that you are. It can be lonely at times and sometimes.

But that’s because the meaning we brought.

To it, right? Exactly. Yeah. And that kids need to be reminded of that and they need to see you walking in it yourself also, because then it’s there’s closeness that happens when you’re living out something like eagles versus seagulls, right? Which I would say we both have experienced that a lot in our life. And then to be teaching that to our children and watching them make the hard choices and stand up for righteousness when other people are falling away or they’re choosing the wrong thing or they’re falling into the temptation of sin, I am proud that my children are standing strong or choosing to have healthy boundaries that are that they’re going to impart.

And that’s part of the reason why we made the things we made be resolute, stand firm hats and these different things. It’s not obviously it supports the ministry, but the bigger reason we started coming out with merch is that it reminds you as a parent, it reminds you okay to stand firm, you can even make those. You’re part of your family culture if it fits the things that you need help with. That’s right. And so I think that’s so important. We get messages back, you know, oh, it reminds me to stand firm or be resolute, unwavering about my decisions.

I want to just read that verse that’s on your mug here. It’s first Corinthians 16, 13 and 14. It says, Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do. Be done in love.

Yeah, that last part be done in love is key for us dads. It’s so important. Sometimes people just quote the first part. That whole part needs to go together. All that you be, do be done in love. That’s so important. So, hey, the final thing is to commit. Commit. Once you come up with your few sentences, statements commit, a lot of people say they commit, but they don’t stay the course. Why? Because they’re looking for feedback. If you’re a leader looking for positive feedback for something you’re you came up with to influence against the natural negative behavior of humanity. Good luck ever following through with anything. I once had several times, actually, when I would speak in front of the business world, I go Raise your hand in front of leaders. I’d have like 500 or 1000 leaders from me. I go raise your hand if you’ve carefully crafted statements to influence the behavior, the overall culture actually of your organisation, and you never stopped talking about them at the right time, weaving them into things for one year and nobody zero ever raise their hand. And I don’t say that to discourage you, but I do say that to say that it’s not easy because you’re going to go well, is it really makes sense? Is it really is it really going to work? It’s going to work over a long period of time. We’re not giving you a quick fix here, but we are giving you a permanent transformation idea concept over a long.

Period, something that we personally have lived out on a regular basis few times a year where we just evaluate and we go, Hey, kids, boom. This is this is going to be exciting. And you know what? I cannot tell you how much. Just doing this process together when we do our vision sharing dates is literally the most fun that I have, either my favorite dates, I think they’re Isaac’s favorite dates, too. And when we are able to work as a team and implement and see the fruit, that’s what makes it all worth it. So as you’re committing to what you are specifically wanting to see changed in your family and you’re in alignment with your spouse, I want to encourage you guys to be praying together, but I also want to encourage you to think about if there’s someone outside of your marriage that you can each go to and ask for either accountability. And if there’s something that you need to change in order for your family culture to change. Right. But if you could also have someone that you could just say, hey, I’m I’m really wanting to see this change over the summer and I’m I’m making a commitment to really work hard at this. Will you be praying for me? I think that this is literally a game changer. That’s why we’re ending this podcast. On this concept. You need strong Bible believing Christians running the race that are parenting beside you, that want God’s best for you, not that are going to be competitive, not that are going to be laissez faire parents, but they’re going to be intentional, proactive biblical parents who want what’s best for themselves and want what’s best for you. And understand that what is best is God’s best and is God’s way.

Amen. Creating change is never easy, but it’s always worth it.

See you next time. Hey, thanks for listening to this episode. For more resources, go to courageous parenting and courageous mom. For free online workshops, blog posts and best selling courses. Also, we wanted to quickly tell you about our six week online parenting mentor program. Isaac and I created a powerful biblical curriculum. Here’s how it works. Each week we release a video with a downloadable parenting packet to make it easy for you to incorporate those teachings directly into your parenting.

This is an incredible self-paced program where we cover everything from obedience training to overcoming mistakes most Christians are making. But more than that, it’s a supportive community. You’ll have access to our private online group, Live Webcasts, and the courageous parenting text message line where Angie and I can send you weekly encouragement straight to your phone.

If you’re interested in joining our next online parenting mentor program, secure your spot now at CourageousParenting.com

Written By Angie Tolpin
Angie has been married to Isaac for 19 years and together they have eight children, whom she homeschools. She is the Founder of CourageousMom.com, a doula, the author of the best-selling book Redeeming Childbirth, and the creator of the first ever Christian Postpartum Course. Angie loves ministering to Women and has created a few online Bible Studies on Biblical Friendship and Motherhood.

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