What’s in a name? You could call it leaving a legacy or building a heritage, but are you casting a vision to your kids for what you want your family to be? Are you building a family name that has lasting meaning to your kids? What do you want your kids to say about your family after they’ve left the nest? You can start making changes now and cast that vision to your kids of who you want your family to be.
When you think of the name of Jesus, what comes to mind? Some things that come to my mind are:
There’s a lot in a name!
What’s in a Family Name?
What about your family name? I thought about this a lot before we started having children. Some people now refer to this as your legacy or heritage. My husband and I wanted to break some generational dysfunction and be a witness to our extended families. What did we want the Albers name to mean? We knew our family name didn’t mean perfection. We knew we didn’t have it all together. A kid can throw you a curveball at any second and shatter that perception!
Building Your Family Name
You and your children represent your family. It’s not the way a brand would build its reputation with a tagline. Sure, maybe you’ll get labeled from time to time, but this is not about what others have to say about your family. This is about what your kids say about your family.
- What does your family name mean to your children?
- Have you communicated that to your kids?
When my kids were younger I’d say things like: “We are the Albers. This is how we live life. We’re honest. We don’t steal. We help people. We care for others. We serve each other. We walk with the Lord. We pray for one another. We take care of each other.”
I’d regularly made lists of these things. The beginning of a new year is a great time to think through this and make your own list. Start by writing down your family name. What are the things you want your kids to know or say about your family when they no longer live with you any longer? Think about things like:
- What does your family name represent?
- What does your family name represent to your kids?
- Who do you stand for?
- What do you stand for?
- What do you believe?
- What character traits do you want your family to have and display?
Who are The Albers?
I talk more about family identity in Parenting Beyond the Rules, but to help you with an example, here are the three things that were important to our family name:
- We wanted our children to love the Lord and understand the difference between relationship and religion.
- We wanted our kids to do life with us when they didn’t have to any longer.
- We wanted our kids as siblings to know they could lean on and count on each other.
Cast the Vision
I encourage you to cast a vision of what your family is and stands for to your kids. Talk about it often. Let your kids see where they fit in your family. They are in your family by design and not by accident. God uniquely placed them right where they are on purpose. They are valued, loved, and celebrated! Through this, you are building a family name that your children will be proud to be a part of as they grow into adulthood.
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