The Family Leadership Manifesto

Why I'm trading in authoritative advice for ongoing conversation.

The Family Leadership Manifesto

I’m a family leader.
I am a part of a community of moms and dads who believe that family leadership, is an ongoing conversation.

family leadership manifesto, lead, family leader

I won’t tell you how to parent, and I won’t judge you when you fail.
I use the words, “When you fail,” and not “If you fail,” because good family leaders know that failure is a natural part of the family leadership process.

The perfect family…
The perfect marriage…
And the perfect advice…
These are all myths.

As a family leader, I’m falling in love with the process of learning how to live, love, and lead well!
I am coming to term with past mistakes.
I am learning from them, and as a result I am building a brighter future.

A brighter future for my spouse…
A brighter future for my children…
And a brighter future for me!

The Family Leadership Community

One of the greatest parts of this family leadership process is that I’m not alone.
Countless adults have embarked on the journey of growing their family leadership, and you can too.
Our journey is an ongoing conversation–You might even all it a coffee shop conversation!

It is a journey filled with joy, laughter, honesty, mistakes, tears, and success.

Our family leadership motto is: No perfect people allowed.
The front of authoritative perfectionism prevents growth and halts conversation–Thus, letting go of insisting there is one right way for all families, is required.

The Family Leaderships Invitation and A Word of Warning

This manifesto is an invitation.
It’s an invitation to join the ranks of imperfect husbands and wives, moms and dads, brothers and sisters, and friends, who are learning to balance truth and grace in their everyday interactions.

Family leaders don’t always get things right.
We challenge each-other’s thinking.
We encourage each-other to grow.
When we fail, we return to the drawing-board, learn from our mistakes, and try again.

Warning, if you join us on this family leadership journey you will fail, and you will connect with people who let you down–but this is all part of the growing process.

A Call to Lead with Truth and Grace

Family leaders understand that family leadership is a skill and and an art.
On one hand, family leadership can be taught–There are certain basic principles that are relevant to all.

On the other hand, these principles must be applied with wisdom and tack. The way that you integrate the key principles of:

  • love,
  • joy,
  • fun,
  • structure,
  • peace,

And the many other qualities that could be listed, into your family, might differ from how I integrate these qualities into my family.

Family cultures differ…
Family nuances differ…
And every family is made up of a unique combination, of one-of-a-kind individuals.

Because every family is unique, individualized family leadership is required.

Wise Family Leadership is an Ongoing Journey

One of the best definitions of family leadership I know is: Doing the next right thing, for the unique individual, and for their specific situation. 

Will you join me in this ongoing family leadership conversation?

My Family Leadership Story

If you assumed that there is a story behind my family leadership manifesto, you are right. Ten years ago, I faced an series of family crises.

These crises were bigger than any challenges I had previously faced, and it felt as if my world had come crashing down. I met with a number of family leaders who provided straightforward, authoritative advice. Because these people were in a position of leadership, and because they spoke with confidence, I put their advice into action–With no questions asked.

This was a mistake.

Our family crises grew bigger, and I tried harder.

Insanity, is defined as doing the same things, over and over again, expecting different results. I lived this definition for over a year, and it was one of the most painful experiences of my life.

Then, I discovered the power of family leadership. In 2007, I returned to school. I pursued a degree in psychology at a local seminary–The same seminary I graduated with a Master’s of Divinity degree, a few years earlier.

That first night of class, as our dean provided an overview of the basic counseling tools and techniques that we would be learning over the course of the program. As he spoke, passage after passage of Scripture came to mind. The light-bulb in my head turned on–I was inspired!

I saw how key principles from Scripture (truth), could be combined with psychology (or conversation and grace). It was during this class, that I understood that family leadership is all about learning to balance truth and grace, though the means of ongoing conversation.

I understood:

  • Truth is real.
  • Grace is needed.
  • Balancing the two requires wisdom and tact that comes though ongoing conversation.

And this is what family leadership is all about! Will you join me in this ongoing conversation of learning to lead our families with truth and grace. If you are in, would you write, “I’m in,” in the comments below. I would also love to hear more about how you balance truth and grace in your family, and what some of your greatest family leadership needs are. I can’t wait to join you in this ongoing family leadership conversation!

 

Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm stoked you're joining our conversation! Please note: I do reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. However, I welcome open and honest conversation, so please feel free to comment often. I look forward to our conversations!

21 thoughts on “The Family Leadership Manifesto

  1. This is very powerful! I wish you had been around when I went through my own family crisis with teenage rebellion. My husband and I did attend a tough love group and it helped a lot! I love this manifesto and effort to teach and support family through leadership. I commend you and I KNOW God will use you! Thank You!

    • Thanks Susan,
      It’s great to hear that you were able to find a good support group and community to connect to. From personal experience, I know just how valuable those can be. I sure appreciate your words of encouragement!

  2. I love that one of your mottos is no perfect people allowed! I’ve received so much encouragement from other parents who have been gracious with me and shared what they’ve learned–through failures and successes.

  3. I love when I am learning about something that is not taught from a Christian perspective but the Holy Spirit brings to mind a thousand different verses that pertain! Isn’t that wonderful? Truth and grace are so vital in all of our relationships, too. I’m so glad you went through that period of time and then the Lord taught you.

    • Thanks Jen,
      It has been a challenging road, but looking back, I can see how God has and is using it for good in so many ways. He certainly grew and refined me during these times. And today, I can truly say that I am thankful that God brought me though this time as well.

      Thanks for stopping by, and for the words of encouragement 🙂

  4. This is such a great manifesto. It is so important to realize no human being has all the answers, but as a community, we can come closer to finding our answers, that may be different for each family.
    Astrid recently posted…Withdraw in PrayerMy Profile

  5. Family leadership is so so important and resources/community are needed as well! Thank you for always sharing your journey as you lead your family and for offering biblical truths to many. May God continue to bless your family and everyone involved on this “ongoing conversation.”
    Anna Clarke recently posted…Beanie + Sunnies (& Dilemmas)My Profile

  6. As a mentor of teens and young adults over the last 25+ years, I gain lots of perspective on expectations family members hold of one another and of their entire family. Expectations are healthy, if they are realistic and balanced. But I find more often than not that expectations wind up being based in a false perception that becomes a burden. I’ll share two interesting (and potentially humorous) tidbits that are among those I hear most often.

    1. Teens exclaiming with utter bewilderment or disgust, “I can’t believe my [mom/dad] [said/did] that! They’re supposed to be the parent!” And to this I always respond the same way: “Adults, including moms and dads, are just teens in older bodies. Going around the sun a certain number of times is unrelated to solving live’s issues. For you, for them, it takes work. Don’t be so hard on them. We’re all still figuring it out along the way.” And this comes as quite a revelation each time.

    2. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve sat with the parents of Family X who are in circles with parents from Family Y, and when family issues arise, mom and dad from Family X will sob and say, “I don’t know how this happened! I look at Family Y and they’ve done so well with their children! We are failures.” Little do they know that I’ve just sat the day or two before with Family Y, who sobbed with me and exclaimed what failures they were compared to Family X. It seems the missing piece here is people being open with each other about the real struggles of parenthood. What an encouragement that would be to ourselves and one another!

  7. “Family leaders understand that what works for one family, may not work for another” I love this! There are so many wonderful families around us sharing what they do and what works in their family but instead of feeling guilty or defeated when those plans don’t match up to ours, we can know that through God’s guidance, we are doing the best thing for our family without falling to the temptations of what we feel like we “should” be doing. Thanks for sharing!
    Victoria @ Creative Home Keeper recently posted…Women of the Word Recap {Week 2}My Profile

  8. Communication in many families is a lost art. I am glad you are balancing conversation with love and God’s word for your family. Some may not be able to have the husband always take the lead. Especially if he is up at dawn and returns late at night. Taking time to read God’s word to your children in this case is referred to the mother. I can remember my dad reading the Bible to us, but usually it was my mother. Same in our household with our children. Thank you for sharing your awesome post with us here at Tell me a Story. http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/
    Hazel Moon recently posted…Be Lowered to Worship at Jesus FeetMy Profile

  9. Thank you for providing such a balanced perspective to the tight-rope walk of life! “Truth is real. Grace is needed. Balancing the two requires wisdom and tact…” Well said! May God lead and bless you as you continue to share the Family Leadership mission!

  10. What a beautiful article really I am feeling so happy & sensible after this.
    They way you have described the gesture of leading a family is fantastic… I enjoyed it reading today we have realized that in leading family we should lean with sincerity & truth and with grace and mercy close by.
    Thank you for posting what you have learned.
    Keep it up..!!
    Ellie
    Ellie recently posted…Cute NickNames for GirlsMy Profile

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