What is family culture?
Webster’s Dictionary defines culture as “the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization.”
Walter Rodney in his book How Europe Underdeveloped Africa said it this way:
“A culture is a total way of life. It embraces what people ate and what they wore; the way they walked and the way they talked; the manner in which they treated death and greeted the newborn.”
Andy Crouch amplifies the definition in his book Culture Making as “meaning-making.” It’s a way that we make sense of the world through the activities we choose to live out daily.
I’ve heard it said that culture is what most people do most of the time.
Culture is essentially a values exercise. What do you hold as important? Whatever you hold as important is how you’ll act.
By necessity, culture is designed to deflect or resist change. Indeed, when a set of values, when a way of life takes root, it is hard to bring about change. And that resistance to change is one of the benefits of culture.
So what is family culture?
It’s when we have a specific set of articulated values, a vision for a way of life and a mission of living that out daily. Taking off what Crouch says, family is one of the first places we find meaning in the world.
Our challenge is to build it intentionally.
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Published November 21, 2022
Topics: Family Legacy