The Fifth Family Covenant
As followers of Jesus and participants in community life, Kira, Caleb, Rediet, Heather, Taylor, Charlie and Tarrin make the following commitments to one another, our community, our immediate neighbors, and all people we come in contact with on a daily basis. We will live into this commitment with grace for ourselves and grace for one another, putting these commitments into practice to the best of our ability.
“God called me to be faithful, not successful.” – Mother Teresa
We commit to love
“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor. 13:13)
I will choose to love in every situation, cultivating thankfulness despite my circumstances.
We commit to the practice of listening
“…be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19)
I will ask questions in order to really understand others’ views, and I will invite questions in order for others to understand my views. I will seek to empower those around me to ensure their voice is heard and valued. I will be quick to identify the thoughts, assumptions, and judgments I am making in my head, and replace them with edifying thoughts, making space for others to truly be heard.
“…we take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
We commit to the practice of humility
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves…” (Philippians 2:3)
I will be sensitive to what is important to others, releasing my sense of entitlement, and putting others ahead of myself. I will look beyond my own concerns to find blessings in every person and situation. I will celebrate and embrace differences in others, seeking to understand and love rather than conforming that person to my ideas and perceptions. I will be quick to ask forgiveness, even when it is difficult and won’t be reciprocated. I will be quick to offer forgiveness and work through relationship struggles.
“I have been crucified with Christ: and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the real life I now have within this body is a result of my trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13)
We commit to the practice of valuing others
I will practice recognizing and bringing light to the God given dignity and value inherent in each person. I will recognize my own inherent God given value, and aspire to affirm and restore dignity in others. I will intentionally build relationships, using people’s names to affirm their dignity, treating people the way I would want to be treated.
We commit to community
I will be willing to laugh! I will have grace with others and myself. I will be patient with others and myself, allowing space for growth. I will be willing to dialogue and have one-on-one conversations to work through problems even when it is really difficult and uncomfortable. I will dedicate myself to growing my own gifts and talents, and encouraging those of others, through artistic expression for God’s glory. I will cultivate a heart for prayer, seeking to pray constantly on my own and with my household for the betterment of the community both inside and outside my home. I will strive to use technology in edifying and life giving ways and not as an escape from relationship and community. I will make a conscious effort to seek opportunities in which I can build relationships, being willing to prioritize people over technology.
Photo Credit: Taylor Burch