As summer comes to a close, many families are getting ready to head back to school and are preparing to dive back into a daily routine. And now that our New Year’s Resolutions are but faint memories (I mean, that WAS a whole 7 months ago), it might be time to revisit our promises to one another. Building a family covenant can be a great way to start off a new phase of the year on the right foot.
What is a Covenant?
Building a covenant is another way of talking about the promises that we make with one another. You may have worked with your congregation to put together a “Covenant of Right Relations” and noticed that your kids made a classroom Covenant. Going through the process of building a covenant can help you and your loved ones think about what each of you need to feel safe at home, and it helps to initiate conversations about how to find a path to forgiveness when promises are broken.
How can we create a Covenant?
Invite the entire family together (young and old) to brainstorm some ideas about how we want to be with one another. Consider asking these questions to help start the process:
· How should we behave when we are together?
Examples might be broad: “We keep our home safe and fun,” or “We use loving words,” while others may be more specific like “We turn off our electronics during dinner.”
· How SHOULDN’T we behave when we are together?
Examples might be, “We don’t call each other names, even if we are angry,” or “We don’t hit each other.”
Remember to post your family covenant where you can refer to it easily and add to it as needed.
· How should we remind each other when we break our covenant? What words should we use?
Have fun with this activity and remember to honor the voices of young and old; sometimes the most obvious things can be the most profound!
What is in your family covenant?