There’s a lot to be said for spontaneity – for innovation and for winging it. But that’s not always the best approach to life. If you set out on a road trip to visit your in-laws in Omaha but wind up in Bangor instead, you’re going to have some ‘splainin’ to do! So today we are promoting goal-setting and being intentional about your family so that, to the best of your ability, you and yours don’t wind up some place you never hoped to be. (But that doesn’t mean you can’t sometimes have ice cream for breakfast.)
Today we are introducing a new, free resource which is both a fun family activity and an important foundation for your household. It’s called Making a Family Covenant because of the covenants or agreements that God makes with His family. We have a covenant-making God not because it is necessary for Him to define His relationship with His children, but because it is necessary for us. In the Old Testament this covenant was defined in terms of obedience. Just as a toddler must be taught through limits and experiences to obey his/her parents, so humanity was taught to obey the Creator God who approached Moses in both love and power. The New Testament introduces us to a New Covenant of grace and faith where our righteousness is given to us based on Christ’s obedience, not our own. Instead, we know how to please God because of all the commands and principles we have already been given, and we are motivated to do so by our gratitude. That’s the same transition we hope to see in our children as they progress from infants to adulthood.
Humans also make covenants. A marriage is explicitly a covenant, an agreement between a husband and wife to become a loving team. But you could also think of a job description as a covenant, spelling out terms of employment. The laws of our municipalities, the vision statement and house rules at a school or college, the bylaws of a condo association – these are also types of covenants, endorsing a certain style of living and promoting the public peace. As parents, we inherently ‘covenant’ with our whole family to walk together through life, to promote certain values and to treat one another with understanding and respect. Yet we rarely spell out our hopes and expectations. Whether you are a married couple without kids at home or the parents of a house full of munchkins, a great way to cement, seal and celebrate your implicit promises is by writing a ‘family covenant.’ The conversations you have along the way will be priceless, and there are lots of fun things you can do with the results of your work. So download Making a Family Covenant today. Maybe you can work on it over Spring Break or your summer vacation. And let us know how it impacts your family. Do you think it might help you end up in Omaha rather than Bangor?