We were driving home from church with the kids in the backseat when I posed a question: Hey kids, what is our family’s core value?

I suppose a ship should know its destination before it sets sail, but as a 20-something, I just sort of got in the boat, had kids and hoped for the best.

My pastor preached a mighty powerful sermon yesterday about the purpose of a family. He talked about the family unit being a shelter from the storms of life, a learning center for both parents and children, a place to relax and have fun, and a launching pad for future service.

He also said something very scary… he said families are seasonal. They are in a constant state of change. That got me. Regardless of how slow those years of diaper bags went, all of a sudden the sippy cups are gone. I am continually in the car driving my kids from Point A to Point B, but in two years, my daughter will be asking for the keys so she can drive herself.

It’s all temporary. So we better be intentional and we better have some fun.

I walked out of that church service thinking to myself about intentionality. Am I intentional? What do I want my kids to learn? What value is key for their success as they someday launch from this household?

Do I even know what I’m trying to teach them?

As I walked through the parking lot, I thought, “Aha! I’ve got it.” I know the message that I repeat over and over. It’s integrity. All of my kids have heard my mini sermon on integrity so many times they have it memorized. Integrity: doing the right thing even when nobody’s looking.

Yes, that is the course Saul and I have chartered for our kids. We know it. But the question is, do they know it? Do they see this as one of our family’s core values?

I decided to ask them, so I twisted myself around in the seat while Saul drove us home.

Hey kids, what is our family’s core value?

Jordan (our 8th grader) immediately piped up with Be Kind! Oh yeah, I sort of forgot about that value when I was busy thinking about integrity. I’m glad that one is sticking too.

Just as the words were coming out of her mouth, my son, Charlie (the 6th grader), popped off with an equally enthusiastic, response. About 20 bucks, Mom!

Saul had tears running down his face as he cackled at my son’s sassy response.

Maybe I need to define “value” next time. As we figure out why we’re here and what we’re trying to accomplish, I guess I can take heart in the fact that we’re having fun.

How about you? Not sure why you’re here or what you’re meant to be doing? Try a little extra laughter today and maybe somehow it’ll all fall into place. After all, life is temporary.