What Proverbs Says About Building Family Culture

Let’s dig deep into one of the most, the best passages in Proverbs, they really talk about how you build a family culture. And, it says in Proverbs 6:20, “My son, keep your father’s commandments and forsake not your mother’s teaching. Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life.”

So, the question I want to ask you guys is how does a father command his children? How does a mother teach? How does this work? And there’s a really, I think, beautiful picture being painted by Solomon here that what happens in often in a lot of families is the way a father commands is he actually crafts a culture. And, one of the ways that we talk about that is through articulating a family mission and family values or pillars.

And so, when you begin to articulate those things clearly, then your kids are constantly being reminded of this culture or this way. And oftentimes, what a mother does is she comes alongside of each of the kids and as we are all moving towards this culture together, the commands of the father, she’s constantly instructing them in the way like, this is how this works, this is how that works. And so, this is often the way that ancient families would really train up their kids is that there would be things the father would do.

And, Solomon was one of the most intentional by actually outlining these in the book of Proverbs, by saying here are the things I think that are really important. And so, sometimes this can be actually articulating proverbs or crafting proverbs that you’re hoping impacts the family and that your kids are constantly like, “Ooh.” Every time this circumstance pops up, I’m reminded of this proverb that my dad likes to say, or that my mom is always instructed me about.

So, I think that these kinds of ways of when you see repeated patterns or you start to see things that you want to really cement in the heart or minds of your kids, that you try to articulate them in a really simple way. Especially when your kids are young, if you really want it to sink in, you got to make it super, super simple and clear for them. So, yeah, Jeff, how have you guys thought through this one?

Yeah. Yeah, no, I love that. And I agree, I think pillars are really important crafting these family values in a way that you actually can synthesize them and teach them. A good friend of mine, Joey, who I think he’s actually probably he might be listening right now, he does something, I think, where they have their pillars, and their mission, and a bunch of their one-liners of our family’s this, our family’s this, this is what we honor, this is what we were about. And, he picks one of those every Shabbat, every Sabbath to just talk about for a couple minutes. So, it’s every Shabbat, you’re going to get a little nugget of who we are-


Right, and why we are here. And, you think about me, I’m 52 weeks a year, 18 years, that adds up to really embedding those pillars, and that teaching, and those commandments into them. And so, I think you have rhythmic teaching where you’re coming back to similar type things and instilling those in your kids is really, really important, and certainly within the wisdom literature.


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