Do you know why your family is here? How do you want your family to be remembered? Do you want to look back when your kids are grown and think, “Thank God we survived!” or do you want to look back and think, “Thank God we made a difference!” The members of a family cannot thrive without a clear direction and purpose. You may have heard the phrase “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” If you don’t like the idea of your kids following just any road, then know where you are going as a family. A family vision statement provides unity and clarity in a fractured world that is often seen in shades of gray. The simple act of sitting down together to talk about your vision can bring a family closer. Family members feel respected and heard, and find a sense of purpose in being part of something bigger than themselves.
There are so many good activities competing for our time that it is difficult to decide which ones to choose. When you already have a family vision statement in place, those decisions become much simpler. If the activity furthers the family’s vision and there is time in the schedule, by all means go for it. But if the activity, no matter how wonderful it sounds, does not fit on the path your family has chosen, then just say no. Soon, you will find that your schedule is filled with opportunities that bring you delight instead of obligations that you dread fulfilling.
No other family is just like yours, so no other vision statement will look just like yours. Your family may spend hours engaged in community service or you may prefer the simplicity of having someone over for dinner. You may love sports or your idea of healthy competition may mean fighting to be the first in line to buy a copy of the newest bestseller. If you are not sure what your family members value, ask them. Make a list of what everyone says and look for common themes and interests. You are on your way to developing your family’s unique vision statement.