What is a Family Culture?

A proper definition of a family culture is long overdue. I’ve been avoiding the question because it seems so large and overwhelming.

What is culture? What is a family culture?

As much as I love the idea of a family culture, I don’t feel like we have much of one. Who am I to blog on building a family culture?

It’s time to tackle these questions and fears. Thankfully, I recently found some guidance in the form of a gripping book.

culture making

Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling by Andy Crouch

I’ll be tackling sections of the book bit by bit over the next few weeks as I grapple with what Crouch is saying and seek to find application to family life. There’s a lot in there and I’m super excited about it.

I’ll share some quotes and some thoughts and I eagerly wait your insights in the comments.

Here’s a quote to whet your appetite, although the family is just one of the many areas for culture making discussed in the book.

“I hope families will read this book and discover that the family, so seemingly insignificant in an age of technology and celebrity, is still the heart of culture, the primary place where most of us are called to cultivate and create.”

This is the introduction to the Culture Making series.  Read Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, and Part VIII here.

2 thoughts on “What is a Family Culture?”

  1. Oh, yes, yes! The family IS the heart of culture, yet in the last 50 years I have seen this honorable and most basic of social structures persistently attacked from every side, including from the church.

    I’m adamant that we must never lose sight of the ideal family as one man and one woman, married for life, with all their children by birth and adoption, plus all their relatives by blood, marriage, and adoption. We must resist the spirit of the age that insists on deriding, diluting, and redefining this.

    And yet … this ideal has been terribly bludgeoned and wounded in the last half century, and has in consequence failed so many people, that we need, somehow, to throw a much broader net when discussing family culture. I don’t want to be like the schools, which in their efforts to exclude no child have seemingly redefined family to be “the people you live with,” nor like those who stretch the word to mean “those beings, human and animal, with whom you have a mutually caring relationship at this particular moment in time.” Terms that become too broad become meaningless.

    But a good deal of this process of redefinition comes from people’s desperate need for family culture. They still crave what they have not found in the ideal — because the family is, indeed, the heart of culture, the heart of the world.

    I’m looking forward to hearing more of what Andy Crouch has to say, and your own reflections.

  2. What an interesting comment, Linda!

    People are feeling an intense need for family culture because the very concept of family has become so intangible that it has essentially disappeared. Your dorm mates are family! Your step cousins step aunt is family! Your neighbor is family! What???

    As usual, in our efforts to be all-inclusive we have simply taken a word (family) and stripped it of any real meaning at all.

    Janet, this book sounds really interesting. I’ll be interested in hearing more about it!

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