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For Kathie Lee Gifford, Having Talent Isn't Everything

Kathie Lee and Cassidy Gifford

Kathie Lee Gifford doesn't believe in being a "cookie-cutter Christian."

"I don't want to look like every other Christian," she explained to Parade in a new interview. "I want the kindness and the joy and all of that, that is part of our faith." But, the former TODAY co-host pointed out, "God went to an awful lot of trouble to make us all unique, completely unique and for his purposes. So I wanted to let my children know that they're here for a purpose.”

Kathie and late husband Frank Gifford modeled faith for their daughter, Cassidy Gifford, and son, Cody Gifford. Now a mother herself, Cassidy hopes to lead by example for her own child, Finn, who was born last June (and who Grandma calls a “ham hock”). “I feel like the most important thing in my life is my faith and second, my family,” Cassidy said.

Related: Kathie Lee Gifford Shares 'Blessed' First Photo With Grandson Finn

Faith and family are at the center of the mother-daughter duo's new series, The Baxters, which premiered March 28 on Prime Video. The drama, starring Roma Downey and Ted McGinley, is based on Karen Kingsbury’s Redemption book series. Katie plays the part of Lillian and her daughter plays Reagan.

"It's always great to work with people you love, doing work you love," Kathie said, noting that's what she tries to do in every choice she makes these days. "I've paid my dues," she added. "And I want to work now with lovely people doing really good work."

Although she and Cassidy don’t actually share any screen-time in the first season of the show, Kathie says she’s open to returning to the series for a more substantial overlap—or maybe she’ll just take matters into her own hands and write a movie for the two of them. Regardless, it’s only fitting that her work somehow intersect with her role as a mom, even as her children are now older, because that was always the case for her.

“It's always been about my children, but I also had to go to work every single day,” Kathie said. “I was the main breadwinner in our family for many, many, many years. Frank was a lot older than I was and he had some health problems and he was, you know—other people helped me raise my children, I'm grateful to them. But in the end, I went home every night to my family.”

Related: Kathie Gifford Reveals Adorable 'Then and Now' Photos With Her Kids

Among the lessons she imparted along the way? “I taught them to give and love and sacrifice for the greater good,” Kathie shared. “And that's a hard thing to teach children who are naturally selfish. You know, we come out of the womb: ‘Give me. Mine.’ I think you have to teach love to children. Show them what it looks like. Cody once was winning a race and this little kid tripped and he just stopped and went back and helped the little kid instead of winning the race. Cass was doing stuff like that all the time. When you see things like that in your children, when you see kindness in them, you've done your job. The world does not need any more talented people. It needs more kind people.”

Cassidy also recalls her mom teaching them the importance of being a “blessing in other people's lives.”

“That automatically comes with the need to give it back and to care about other people more than you give a rip about yourself,” she said.

These days, she’s trying to model that behavior for her son. “You can't instill faith into someone, but you can give them the tools to want it for themselves by leading by example,” she said. “Both of my parents did. And I'm tremendously grateful because I wouldn't be who I am today if I hadn't had that every step along the way.”

Next, Hoda Kotb Shares Where She Stands With Kathie Lee Gifford 5 Years After 'Today' Exit