Rules v. Values


Summer, I see you coming. And here’s what I know about summer:

  1. I want it to be awesome, I want my kids to be awesome, I want it ALL.
  2. I run out of ideas fast. (by day two)
  3. I live in “traumatic expectation disappointment” (by day 2.5).

This year, I’m making my best effort to set our family up for success. What I’ve learned over the years is that rules don’t work. Rules don’t create character in people, they create boxes. Our hearts are not wired for legalisms. We find all kinds of ways to distort rules. We use them as weapons against one another (I’m better than you.) We use them as obstacles to overcome (I’ll find the loophole). We use them for judgment. (I’m good enough, I’m too bad, I’m…insert identity-crushing word here)

We don’t need rules, we need values. We need guiding principles that determine the direction of our lives, that help us make good and intentional choices toward a preferred future. So this summer, our family is throwing out the rules and ushering in the values.

Values create the best kind of tension. They make us examine motive and intent. They make us seek the best way forward even when some values might be in contradiction with one another. They create conversation, not condemnation.

Our kids are entering into the time of life where decisions begin to really matter. And I am praying and hoping that Dave and I will be able to help them find a compass of values that lead them forward into the kind of people we dream they will be.

So summertime, we are ready for you!

What values are most important to you?


P.S. If you haven’t found it yet, I’ve started a new thing–Monday Night Live. Every Monday Night, you’ll find me live on Facebook, bringing a word of encouragement for your week, answering a reader question, and always giving stuff away, because, GIFTS. Who doesn’t love a GIFT? You can join us Mondays at 7PM EST, or anytime later in the week on replay. If you choose to LIKE and FOLLOW my page , you’ll get notifications to remind you. Not on Facebook? We are working on getting everything up to YouTube as well. We’ll update you when we have that ready to roll.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Marie

    August 25th, 2018 at 12:51 PM

    I read the interview on crosswalks and I think your book is exactly the next book I believe GOD will bless me with. You touched on old memories and how JESUS can travel through time and clarify the deception you may have had because of that memory.
    Also, I have always felt GOD speaks to us through nature and HIS brilliance behind creating it. You also see that but added to it by asking GOD in
    those moments to speak through that admiration of HIS creation… very excited , Thanks for writing this!

  2. karen

    August 29th, 2018 at 2:23 PM

    Hi Nicole….Saw your article through Crosswalk and am so inspired…you have spoken into 3 issues and confirmed some of those that i have been doing. I was soo encouraged by what you said about going back to the memory….about how Jesus can change the interpretation of that memory. And also I went to a meeting this past summer with a group called Right Now Media…..and they are doing films in the schools based on superheroes and the goal behind them is to teach value-principles. Also your looking at nature or an something that has happened….one has choices how you perceive them….your own perspective. Its like our son was not at home and we didn’t know where he was…..and I would go to work and playing on 106.5 was Andrew Markus song…He is Faithful…..and when my shift was over and I drove home….the first song I heard was ….Andrew Markus, He is Faithful…when my eyes cannot see. Everyday there are miracles….I (we all can) open my eyes wider and realize. God bless you and your family<3 PS It says in the Psalms that He is beyond discovery….and He can do immeasurably more that we can ask or think…….He is a Great Exciting God full of Adventure and He is Good!!…Praise be His Holy Name