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A Fresh Look at Family Values

By: Aesha Adams-Roberts

What are your family values?  I know that term can spark a firestorm of debate, so please, before you put up your dukes, let me clarify.  "Family values" has become so overused, taken up by politicians and other talking heads that we either a) have negative feelings about it or b) have no feelings about it.  Rest assured: I'm not talking "If you don't have a traditional family, you don't have family values" when I ask you that question.  What I'm asking is, what is so important to you and your family, that no matter what, it guides your decisions on a daily basis?   

For example, I started working as a freelancer to help my family while my husband's job was affected by the hiring freeze. (He's since been hired! Whoo hoo!)  It was a fun way to put my PhD to work, work from home, and continue my part time business.  I quickly got hired for an easy data entry job.  All I had to do was post products from a website to the business owner's social media profiles. Easy enough! It wasn't until I was hired that I discovered the website was an XXX adult site selling lingerie and other, unmentionable items.  I wasn't upset that he owned such a site; I was upset that he never told me. I found out by logging onto the site, out in the open while my kids played a few feet beside me!  

What would you do? We needed the extra money, but the site itself and the way the owner conducted business was not in alignment with my values as a woman, wife, mother, and relationship mentor.  After getting advice from another freelancer, I politely declined the job. 

This is a simple example to show the power of values.  They help us make decisions quickly, guiding us like a compass. They're the "no matter whats" that we define before we get into a situation so we don't compromise who we are at our very core. 

I've been in a place of compromise before during my dating years, and let me tell you, it makes it hard to sleep at night knowing you're doing things that go against your core values.  That's why I like this quote by Henry Cloud and John Townsend: “Values are sometimes worth living and dying for, and are certainly worth dating and breaking up over.” 

Now that I'm married with kids, I've had to define new values. For example, when my husband was deployed, one of my married male friends was in town and wanted to get together for dinner.  The problem was, he wanted to be alone . . . at my house.  No way!  Not because I doubted my commitment to my husband, but I didn't want to dishonor him or let a good thing be twisted into an affair by other people.  My friend thought I was being uptight (a HUGE red flag); since he felt that way, I cancelled the dinner entirely. 

Not being alone with another man–married or otherwise–is "a no matter what" family value for me.  

Let's look at family values with fresh eyes so we can make better decisions and leave an amazing legacy for the next generation.  


Question: Do you have family values? What are your "no matter whats?" Please share below. I'm listening!