Vision Statement for your Family
A vision statement, much like mission statements in the business world, gives definition to what you want to become. A vision statement though often defined by the parents, should be passed onto the children so that they to can capture the excitement of what it means to belong to this family.
Intentional and Directive are two keywords that Peter and I hold to when looking at our lives and making decisions that affect all of us. Though we never forget the scripture that says,
In his heart a man plans his course,
but the Lord determines his steps.
How do you want to spend your years – building grass-castles (empires) or establishing your children’s lives? In order to stand against the flow of society, where the normal is to be focus on material goods, we must have a plan if we are to be focused on heart issues, focused on things eternal.
Over the years Peter and I have set aside time to discuss our vision for our family. It is from this basis that we can then set goals for our Family, for our Home, for our Business, for our Homeschooling, for our relationships with other people including Church.
Heather McEwan, of Purity Paradigm, and her husband define family as: a sense of belonging, of sharing the same clear moral guidelines of conduct, of being supportive of each other, it is loving one another unconditionally, it is feeling comfortable with the role the family projects to the public.
There is much to think about in that definition of family.
What do you want your family to look like?
What do you want your family to be?
My husband, Peter, is a pilot and he loves to look at maps and see the world from this perspective. As he plans his flights he tells me that should he be a few degrees off, even for a short period of time, at the end of his expected flying time he would find himself no where near his expected destination. This is obviously important as he flies around the outback of Australia. It is also an important lesson to be learnt in the training of our family. First we need to have a map to know where we are heading, to know our destination. Secondly we must keep our instruments true to that flight-plan and be prepared to make the adjustments necessary in order to arrive at our destination.
Are you busy doing or being a Family
So often parents get swamped by working in the family – the day to day chores and responsibilities that need to be done; the cleaning, feeding, instructing etc. That is the “doing” side of family life. In order to focus on the “being” side of family life though it takes some commitment, some honesty and some time. I encourage you to take a weekend and connect with each other, and then start to discuss some of these foundational issues to family life.
The Ongoing Purpose of a Vision Statement
Once your family has a clear vision for who they are to be what next?
Peter and I wrote our vision statement when our children were young. They were not involved in the process, not just because of their age but because we felt it the parents responsibility to set the tone and direction for the family and to give leadership this way.
Over the years as we pondered, prayed and discussed the conclusions we wrote out, each year they were clarified and simplified. Though our Vision statement is about 60 words long it can be summarized to four simple words: Wisdom, Order, Creativity and Peace. Though I am not saying this is THE way to write a statement it has made it easy to pass that onto our children. As they grow older we share more and more of our specific vision and they jump on board as they see the authenticity of our heart.
The ideal is to revisit your statement and the outworking of that on a yearly basis. As our vision statement became clearer and clearer we edited it less and began to focus on the goals our family needed to walk in that vision.
If your family is in a place where you have not been intentional and directive I encourage you to set aside some time together and seek God to know what is important for your family.
I recently read a little e-book,
Purposeful Planning by Phyllis Sather
and I highly recommend it to you if you need to set some goals for your family. Over the years, Phyllis and her husband have put aside time each year to plan and review their goals for themselves and for their family. This little e-book will give you the framework to plan for such a weekend.
Phyllis shares her journey honestly. She shares the things that she has learnt from years of packing up her family and preparing for a weekend of focusing on the big picture with her husband, which will in turn save you plenty of trial and error. The book is a great outline for all the topics you would discuss - based on Phyllis' own experience. Peter and I found these to be very comprehensive and helpful.
If the idea of discussing big picture stuff seems overwhelming to you and your husband this e-book will take away the unknowns and be a great place to start.
Live life with your kids!
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