At that point, we ate dessert together. This has helped us stay connected and growing as a family. We even started inviting other families over to teach them how to have a family devotional.

Core Values Are Determined by Your Associations

What do Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, and Harding have in common besides the fact that they were industrial pioneers, entrepreneurs, multimillionaires, and billionaires?
They were friends who regularly spent time with one another, thinking, dreaming, debating, and discussing ideas. In Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich, he introduces the concept of the Mastermind Alliance or Group. The concept states that when great minds come together and think and dream, their collective thoughts take on an exponential power beyond their individual thought. The big idea is that when we associate with people who are intelligent and moving forward, we encourage each other to go further and do more than we would otherwise.
The company we keep also shapes our values. I encourage my children to spend time with people of moral substance. Someone once challenged the way I think about my associations by saying, “You are the sum total of your five closest friends:

If you hang around five confident people, you will become the sixth.

If you hang around five intelligent people, you will become the sixth.

If you hang around five millionaires, you will become the sixth.

If you hang around five foolish people, you will become the sixth.

Walk with the wise and become wise; associ-ate with fools and get in trouble

The Family Crest

Many great families throughout history have developed a family coat of arms or family crest to represent their values and characteristics. Some of these have been passed down for hundreds of years. Every royal family has its own crest. Developing a family crest is a productive and influential activity to help you as a family to remember what is most important to you.
Here is the Rorie family crest developed during our devotional time together.

Lion = Courage and Leadership
Heart = Compassion and Love
Sword = Chivalry and Honor
Dove = Holy Spirit and Ministry

Mission 1:

With input from your entire family, develop a family crest or coat of arms that symbolizes your four main core values. The crest consists of four symbols that best represent the things your family values most. Although any symbol you choose is great, here are some examples that might be used to represent your family’s values:
Gauntlet = Strength
Rose = Love
Lion = Courage
Bear = Faithfulness
Bee = Industry or Diligence
Eagle = Leadership
Owl = Wisdom
Cross = Ministry
Heart = Compassion
Flower = Beauty
Harp = Worship
Sword = Chivalry and Honor
You might choose to have the crest professionally designed and displayed in your home and passed to future generations. Fiverr.com is a great place to have graphics developed for as little as $5.00

Mission 2:

Dad—With input from Mom for schedule, establish a time to put a set night in place for family devotional using a similar pattern, as mentioned earlier. Be sure to include reading the Word, worshipping, and praying together.

Note: Practice makes perfect. You might feel uncomfortable praying in front of your family but press through, and you will become the spiritual leader your family needs.

Mission 3:

Team—Identify or plan for family traditions that should be passed on to future generations.

Core Values Define Our Legacy

Core values should not only be the guiding principles in our life, but they should also be passed from generation to generation. They become the essence of a family. Have you ever spent time with a strong family and noticed that there were distinct characteristics that make the family different? As parents, we are the spiritual architects of our homes. We set the tone for our household, and not only for our immediate family but also for those who are to come for generations.
We set this tone by our actions, and our actions are a direct reflection of the core values we have established in our own personal lives. Our children will learn more about what we do than by what we say. Children will not always listen to what we say, but they will almost always emulate who we are. More is caught than is taught. When we demonstrate character, prayer, and devotion in our lives, we pass the torch of values to the next generation.
Excerpt from Tony W. Rorie’s book Passing the Torch, A 13 Week Journey into Biblical Manhood.
Tony Rorie is a former public school principal and the founder of the award-winning The Men and Ladies of Honor character education programs successfully used in schools across the U.S and 13 countries around the world to shape students into world-changers for Christ!
Tony is a veteran youth pastor and communicator with a passion for impacting at-risk students. Tony is a graduate of Letourneau University and is one of Dr. Edwin Louis Cole’s spiritual sons. He is a motivational speaker and author of seven books, along with his latest Passing the Torch: A 13-week study for Fathers & Sons. He and his wife Melissa have been special guests on national television programs and received critical acclaim for their work with youth. Tony and Melissa live in Dallas, Texas, and have been married for 30 years. They have four children—Alexis, Lauren, Daniel, and Rachel, who are involved in the work of the ministry.
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