When we think about our families, we often focus on the day-to-day routines and challenges. But have you ever considered your family as a team with a mission, values, and a shared purpose? Just like successful teams have a common objective, your family can have a shared purpose that brings you all closer together.
Why define a family mission?
For most families, daily life is complex. There are schedules and commitments, chores and tasks, and of course the conveniently-timed temper tantrums and arguments. Your household starts to feel chaotic, like everyone is running in their own direction at their own pace.
Taking the time to define your family mission and values helps to realign everyone’s path, moving your family toward a greater goal and purpose together. It gives you common language to define what you’re going to invest your time and energy in, how you’ll engage with the community around you, and how you’ll treat each other. It highlights the gifts everyone – even your youngest kids – brings to the table and empowers each other to use them.
But defining a common goal for your family team isn’t always intuitive. It will take some thought, and probably many conversations, to get there. Here are some questions to get you started:
Questions to find your inspiration:
- What is different about me, my marriage, or our family?
- What other people, relationships, or marriages do you admire or respect? Why?
- What is important to me, my marriage, or our family?
- What kind of relationships and/or marriage do we want to have?
- If others talk about our relationships, our marriage, or our family, what would we want them to say?
Questions to highlight your passions and priorities:
- What sets you apart as an individual and a family?
- What do you see as your strengths?
- What do you see as your spouse or children’s strengths?
- think you are most uniquely created to do or offer to those around you?
These questions help define your family's mission.
- How important is God to you? Why? In what way?
- How do you love others well?
- In regard to the world’s needs, what do you care about most intensely?
- Why did I have kids?
- What is my heart and goal for my family?
- What legacy do you want to leave the next generation? Why?
As you think through these questions, you may want to write down the responses that come to mind. Once you’ve worked through all of them, you’ll see some common threads begin to emerge.
These questions may make you realize you love cooking for those around you, or that family dinners are a way you stay present in one another's lives. Or maybe that praying together is important to you. On the other hand, maybe you noticed the same words coming up, like “authentic,” “creative,” or “trusting.” There you’ll find the building blocks for your family mission!
You may find it helpful to put these building blocks into a visual representation. There’s no right or wrong way to do this – whether you choose to doodle a word cloud, write a bulleted list, or full paragraphs.
Don’t go it alone
There are a lot of questions to process through as you’re defining your family mission. Some may have come to mind that weren’t included on the list! This can easily feel daunting or overwhelming, especially if you’re a single parent or caregiver.
Instead of overwhelming yourself with another thing to keep track of on top of your regular family responsibilities, don’t hesitate to seek support from others. There’s a lot to gain from bringing trusted friends or family members alongside you to process and help reinforce your family values when you’re having a hard time.
In the end, your family is a team, and just like any successful team, you need a clear direction. By defining your mission, values, and purpose, you're creating a roadmap that can guide you through life's ups and downs. And when life gets crazy, or, challenges arise, this shared value set will help you get back on track.
We all want to be the best parents for our kids, and we'd love to share some helpful parenting resources with you:
5 Tips for Praying With and For Your Kids
How to Talk to Your Kids About Mental Health
7 Ways to Lead Kids Through Big Changes