How True North and Magnetic North Impact Your Life


Being in the great outdoors is something I really treasure. As a Florida native, I’ve done a lot of boating, hunting and camping over the years and have been in a lot of secluded areas. When you’re out in the middle of nowhere, it’s especially important to have a navigational device that you can rely upon to tell you where you are and where you need to go—north, south, east, or west.  To understand navigation better, I researched the difference between True North and Magnetic North.

I found that True North is a constant, marked by the Earth’s axis, and refers to the geographic North Pole. It never, ever changes. Magnetic North, on the other hand, shifts and refers to the pole of the Earth’s magnetic field. It is constantly on the move due to changes in the planet’s molten core, which contains iron.

So what’s the point? Well, I liken what is occurring in our culture and, as a result, in our homes, to Magnetic North. The things that we, our children, and our grandchildren experience every day in the world pull us in a direction that seem to be correct. But when looked at closely, they push us way off course from True North—what is absolutely true—and from a life of joy and contentment. Let’s take a quick look at what Magnetic North and True North are telling us.


  • Magnetic North tells us that we “deserve to be happy” and that if our husband or wife isn’t our star who shines joy into our lives, then we need to find someone else who will.
  • True North tells us that we can find overall joy in our marriage when we unconditionally love our spouse well, are faithful, and are committed to them for life. It also tells us that we can be content in our relationships through sickness, pain, sadness, and grief.


  • Magnetic North tells us that living with someone outside of marriage and sex outside of marriage are exciting and exhilarating, and that there are no physical or emotional consequences.
  • True North tells us that, while sex is good, we are all created to be united physically and emotionally within the context of marriage. When that happens, a man and a woman’s passion for one another will be uninhibited and unleashed without old pictures and pain popping up in their minds.


  • Magnetic North tells us that if our children get a good education, go to college, and get a well-paying job, that they’ll be deemed successful in our eyes and in the eyes of others.
  • True North tells us that learning is important, but learning the right things is even more important. Instilling virtues like like patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control, honesty, humility, and courage into our children is what will really make them successful.


  • Magnetic North tells us that honoring and respecting the authority of our parents is a thing of the past—that parents and kids should just be pals.
  • True North tells us to “honor your father and mother.” When a child honors his mother and father, whether they’ve earned it or not, he will be rewarded.


  • Magnetic North tells us to spend if we want to, save if we need to, and share if we have to. Money is for us…for our needs, our comfort, and our pleasure.
  • True North tells us to provide for our family, to save wisely, and to give cheerfully to those in need.


  • Magnetic North pulls us to the world.
  • True North points us to God.


Always look to the navigational system for life—True North. Always point your children and grandchildren to True North—when they are lost or found, secure or unsecure, burdened or blessed, happy or sad, fearful or fearless.

When you need direction in your life, what are you pointing to? Or, what are you getting pulled to?


Here are some other ways to be a leader of truth for your family:

How Can You T-A-P in to Your Strengths?

Am I Pretty or Ugly?

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