Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A post in which I am somewhat serious...

...because I usually am not.

Bech and I spent a LOT of time in the car over Christmas break, driving back and forth to Jackson and Brookhaven, with a short trip up to Tupelo and Oxford.  That is always nice because we get lots of quality conversation in.  Plus a few fights.  We have always done our best fighting in the car.

Anyway, we started talking and dreaming about creating a manifesto of sorts for our little family.  Something, I guess, that would remind us and point us in the direction we want to go.

We had a coffee date the other morning after we dropped Jack off at school and we started talking about what we wanted to put in our "manifesto."  And we immediately were reminded of one of the struggles we have with food.

See, we both have gotten to where we feel (varying levels of) conviction about the food we buy--is it organic?  How was the meat raised?  Etc.  But we also have seen the negative of living with those standards.  We have seen friends and acquaintances refuse to eat food at someone's house because of their convictions.  And we don't want to be so bound up in an ideal that community falls to the wayside.

I am a legalist by nature.  Laws aren't hard for me; it's grace that is.  If we made a hard and fast list of "rules" for our family, I would probably flourish (for a while) under them.  But, it would become a god for me.  And Bech would hate them.  And we couldn't make laws to deal with every situation, like the food one.

While I was puzzling over this conundrum, I thought about the constitution.  I'm not one of those die hard America fans.  I mean, I love my country, don't get me wrong.  But at the end of the day, I am a part of Christ's kingdom.  And Christ most definitely did not come to redeem America.

But those founding farmers were very wise in their planning.  The Constitution is a broad and living document.  And it's up to the three branches to determine what the aims of the Constitution are and how those aims should determine new laws.

I realised that that is what Bech and I need--a constitution!  Something that deals with the heart of the matter and then we can go from there.  For example, it should somehow include our love for community and relationships as well as our desire to be good stewards.  That way, I'm not rudely turning down your hot dogs (actually, that's not going to happen because I secretly LOVE hot dogs) because, "Our family doesn't eat processed meat, thankyouverymuch."  But when you eat at our house, we can serve you some grass fed beef (or more likely, a vegetarian meal because we are cheap like that).

So that's where we are in the process.  We are going to start working on a constitution of sorts for the Evans, defining what is important to us.

If you read through all of my above convoluted thoughts, well done.  Do any of y'all have a similar goal in your families?

1 comment:

Katy Robertson said...

I Love this idea. In our sunday school class, we are doing a 4-5 week study on Marriage Plan/Goals. There are 4-5 different areas (spiritual, financial, mental/physical, etc) and you make short term goals (0-3 months), mid range goals (a few months out to two years) and long term goals. All goals should have a timeline except long term goals. Those are goals that you look for ways God directs and prepare you. IE, we want to start a business one day or spend a year on the mission field when the kids are grown, buy rental property or live on a farm, etc.

Obviously some goals will be personal - like aiming to have quiet time 5 times a week, but most are family or marriage oriented. Obviously there will be some compromise. For instance, it may not be as important to one spouse to welcome folks in their home, but it may be a compromise he or she makes to have a family goal of hospitality in the home every month. Writing or typing up this manifesto or goals (even if just a few pages) gives you a go-by sheet when making decisions -- you refer back to your plan to see if decisions fall within your goals and values.

Speaking of values, you also come up with a list of values (5-8) that you will not compromise to reach you goals. For example, your value might be community. Eating organic is important goal for you but not at the expense of community. Having values helps you keep from being so focused on your goals that you compromise on what you believe.

Anyways, I am waiting until we finish the study to make our goals for the year/future and we may not follow this exactly, but it was a good model and gave me a lot to think about. I think I would have made goals without making a list of values that I refuse to compromise on.

I will try to remember to bring the booklet when we visit next month. It could be good to look at it!