Our Family Creed

by

About five years ago, one of the pastors at our church spoke about the importance of creating a sense of team and vision within your own family.

One of the ways he’d done this with his family was by creating a Family Creed – a list of principals to live by, sort of a mission statement to help define what your family is all about.

As he shared his Family Creed, I feverishly took notes. Our daughter was about six at the time, our son was about four, and there were days during those years I felt like I spent half my time repeating myself, trying to teach the kids and discipline them.

The creed sounded like a great way to focus and get everyone on the same page.

As soon as we got home that day, I copied the list our pastor had shared and created our own Heikka Family Creed…

In case you can’t read it…

The Heikka Family Creed

Heikkas share.
Heikkas keep their word.
Heikkas obey.
Heikkas let others go first.
Heikkas don’t whine.
Heikkas respect others.
Heikkas leave no one behind.
Heikkas act like gentlemen and ladies.
Heikkas don’t quit.
Heikkas don’t boast.
Heikkas do everything as if unto the Lord.

When Mike and I shared it with the kids, it gave us a new framework to talk about the importance of things like letting others go first and not leaving anyone behind, like never quitting and always respecting others.

We made copies and taped the creed to each of their bedroom doors.Sometimes the tape would lose its stick and the creeds would fall to the floor, but we’d always put them back up.After a while, our kids even had the creed memorized. They could proudly recite it on their own.

It was helpful as a parent to be able to refer to it over the years, reminding the kids as they’d fight over a toy…”Heikkas share,” or as they’d tell us about someone at school who was getting left out…”Heikkas don’t leave anyone behind,” or if they weren’t putting their full effort into something…”Heikkas don’t quit.”

At eight and ten years old now (actually, almost nine and eleven), our kids need less reminding. And, I admit, we haven’t read or even talked about our Family Creed in a while.

In fact, the copy on my son’s door fell off several weeks ago.  Instead of taping it back up, I set it on his dresser and made a mental note to get to it later.

I didn’t think he had noticed that it had fallen.
Until the other day,

when I walked in his room and saw this…

He had taken it off his dresser and tacked it to his wall, all on his own.
It was still important to him.

And it should be important to me, too.

I might’ve thought it wasn’t needed as much anymore. But the fact that he put it on his wall made me take a fresh look at the principals and vision we share as a family.

And those aren’t something any of us should outgrow.

I loved the reminder my son gave me, and I also loved the fact that he used a push pin instead of tape to put the creed on his wall.

Because I don’t think it will be falling down again anytime soon. :)