I was at a conference not long ago speaking about the subject of family. It was surprising about the number of families that were struggling. The dream of a warm, happy family had faded into the reality of division and disconnect.
One of the prevailing questions was how do I build a great family culture?
We tend to not think about idea of family culture. The culture word is usually focused on businesses or organizations. How do you build great culture inside of organizations?
Just what is culture anyhow? I think one of the simplest definitions goes like this: culture is what most of the people do most of the time. It’s the beliefs and values of the people, put into practice.
In building family culture, one of the first steps is to define the values and practices of the family. In the same way a company might define its values as honor, joy, simplicity, creativity etc. a family can undertake a similar exercise. By defining the family values it become far easier to define the practices of the family. It helps to define the why of family traditions, and activities—whether the family vacation, family dinner, or family service project.
But like any organization, it is not enough to define those values and practices, the key to building culture is to repeat and reinforce those values, beliefs and practices.
The well-repeated bible verse from Deuteronomy 6:6-7 provides instruction—talk about them (your values, etc.) in the morning, when you walk by the way, and in the evening.
It’s one of the first keys to building family culture.
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Published January 2, 2023