Family Values and Peace at Home with Benjamin A. Simpson

Ben and Molly were the most unlikely pair to fall in love. Whoever heard of a Baptist preacher married to a Methodist minister? To establish peace at home takes work in any family, but, my, what a brave couple! It turns out peace at home is just a byproduct of living out a set of unifying family values. Benjamin A. Simpson describes peace at home as a way of measuring if they're hitting the mark when it comes to their family values. Family values are the very thing I was eager to ask Ben about, but first, how in the world did these two pastors find each other

"Bearing" with Each Other

Ben and Molly met on Baylor University’s campus and started as friends, both determined to be true to the calling God had already established in their individual hearts. Even so, in a miracle of unity that cherishes differences, they fell in love. (Baylor's mascot is the bear for those who don't follow Texas football. Thus, my awful pun!) As friendship turned to love, they found they were already embracing a life of bringing people together in community.

Honoring Each Other's Calling and Traditions

“What we’ve sought to do was support and honor one another within our respective callings and our respective traditions,” says Ben, “That means, in whatever Christian community we’ve been in, we’ve brought those things with us. We’ve learned and grown. We’ve encouraged each other mutually, along with the people we’ve gotten to serve.”

Along the way, their separate callings to serve melded, becoming a beautiful picture of what God can do. As their understanding of peace at home grew, so did their influence and leadership roles. With many conversations over the years, a set of family values emerged, expressing their joint purpose in life.

Family Values for Peace at Home

So, guess what Ben did next? Yep, Benjamin A. Simpson, writer, blogger, and spiritual scholar, wrote down the family values developed in his family life with Molly and their children. If your next question is, how can I get my hands on that document, look for “Tallying Family Values”on Ben’s website. (By the way, Ben is not the only communicator in the family. Soon, you will be able to hear more from Molly on her new website, Pastor Molly.)     

Ben came on Fireside Talk Radio recently and wowed me with all his practical insight about being intentional in family life. Peace at home follows family values that reflect our true priorities. Remarkably, even for normal people without seminary training, establishing a set of family values is pretty simple.

Asking Good Questions

In fact, flourishing as a family can be as simple as having a conversation that includes asking good questions and making a list, according to Ben. “Is my family thriving? Is there a way I can serve them?” are two of Ben’s favorite questions.

“When I ask that question (about thriving), I’m included, too,” he adds. “Obviously, it is about Molly. It’s about my children. But I also ask, do I have the things I need to flourish as well? The more that I’m at peace, the better I am able to serve them.” He thinks of peace in the Jewish tradition of shalom, meaning wholeness.

Peace at Home as a Marker of Wholeness

“‘Peace at home’ is a critical marker for how we are doing, says Ben. ‘Peace’ involves each person and the entire unit. We have to evaluate how we are doing physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. And peace begins with me.”

Finally, if you're a Baylor bear fan, you’ll especially love the story he shared about asking Molly to marry him. Or, if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to live with a baby North American black bear in your apartment, find our podcasts on Fireside Talk Radio.   

May I pray for you?

Dear Father, You are the One who set the stars and planets on their path. You designed all nature, including bears and their cubs. You are trustworthy with all things that affect our family. So, now we turn to you and ask You what you would have us value. Help us identify the things that matter to our own families. Give us a heart of gratitude and peace. Strengthen us for the battles all families face. Bless our beloved children with good health, physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. Give us Your peace. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

We love to hear from you!

How has your family established family values? In what ways do you see peace and family values tied together in your life? Would you share a story about a time when values and peace (or turmoil) came together for you?

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Cathy Krafve, Texas Columnist, Speaker, Radio Host, and “almost” Author, focusing on fellowship in Marriage, Family, and Community, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at Truth with a Texas Twang.


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