Before I was a Mom, I worked in corporate America, specifically in training and leadership development. One of my primary roles was to help our company communicate our vision in meaningful ways to the employees and customers. It all seems rather bland as I write about it twelve years later, but life is coming full circle as my husband & I have found ourselves using many of the same principles to write and tweak a vision statement for our family.
When we first attempted this 7-8 years ago, friends teased us. How type A can you be? But last week as we attended a rich and meaningful marriage conference, it was one of the primary suggestions of the counselor leading the training. As we reflected back on some of the major financial, moral and calendar decisions we’ve made—it was clear that those early conversations had made a positive impact on our family.
It’s biblical, “without vision the people perish” but as we celebrate a dozen years of marriage and our first decade of parenting, I am finding it quite practical as well. When we aren’t clear what we stand for, decision making can be difficult in good times and downright disastrous in hard times. Of course, none of us can see into the future or grasp what twists and turns life would take. However, when you’ve discussed you guiding principles and come to an agreement about what you want your family to be about—those commitments serve as anchors in rough waters.
It doesn’t have to be complicated either. No fancy wordsmithing is necessary. Just a conversation and a notepad. It is more fun than you think.
Questions For Focus
We can’t do/be it all. So, let’s narrow our focus to where God is at work in our lives by asking ourselves some questions:
Where has God called us as families? How has He gifted us? What tweaks our heart?
When are we at our best individually? As a couple? As parents?
What do we want our lives to be marked/remembered by?
What words do we want to be used to describe our marriage?
What are our non-negotiables for parenting?
These are just a few conversation starters. Your story will evolve over time. This also shouldn’t be viewed as a term paper. The idea is to mine for key words that make your heart cry YES!
Our family’s vision uses words like:
adventure, service, gratitude, bravery & the love of Christ.
The beautiful thing, is that every family’s words will be unique to them. It’s the glory of the body of Christ.
Conversations during seasons where perspective is clear are vital to unity and clarity when life is coming fast and hard. This is a simple but profound exercise to unearth your guiding principles.
I challenge you to initiate a date night with your spouse and just answer these questions. Write them down. Pray over them. Then watch God work.