Family Creed

February 07, 2012

Part 2 of an 8 Part Series on Your Family

They looked at me and said with all the conviction they could muster, “But we have teenagers. It is too late to start something like this.”

I think that is a lot like saying, “I've fallen to this ledge. I might as well throw myself the rest of the way down the cliff.” It may even be more like saying, “I am so lost there's no sense in looking at a map.”

It would be like ordering a cheeseburger at a restaurant, finding out that the meat is bad, the cheese is moldy, the bun is rock hard and you find a toenail in it. You finish eating it though based on the principle that you have already started it. And then you go back to the restaurant again and order another toenail burger every day. That would be dumb.

It is never too late to do something right and to stop doing things without reason. Every family already lives by a creed. It makes me laugh when I hear that it is too late to put a little wisdom into parenting. Quite a few families live by the motto, “If it's in front of us we'll do it.” That is called the Tyranny of the Urgent Creed. It means that we are willing to raise kids accidentally. That seems crazy to me.

Advertisers put more thought into what our kids will eat, listen to, wear and do than most parents do. Too many families are raised by the school system. That is by no means a rip on teachers either. I just know that the governments control public schools. I just don't feel confident that anything run by our government can produce well rounded, spiritually grounded kids. Seriously, have you seen the tax code? How confusing can something get? I want for my children to understand the purpose of life not to comply with the codes.

That is why many families would rather make it up as they go along. If you think that life is an undesigned journey, and that a plan will steal the freedom, just do your next vacation that way. Get in a car and drive. My family tried that once and ended up in Toledo for four days.

By the way, a creed is simply the grid that we sift our lives through. It is not a system of rules. It is never to late to apply a few guiding principle to how we live as a family. As I write this concept down, I would suggest that this could be a fun family discussion. Ask each kid in your family what they want from their family and go from there. Create it together.

Families are not really one set of parent's responsibility. In talking about the things that YOUR family will be about, you have shared the vision and perpetuated a legacy. 

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