“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is. Psalm 39:4
We all leave a legacy. What will your legacy say about the life you lived ? Lewis Carroll said, “If you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there.” Leaving a godly legacy starts with having an ongoing, deepening and intimate relationship with Jesus. We must first possess that which we desire to pass on. We are to be obedient to God in raising our children, but the outcome ultimately is up to Him. How was I to accomplish the task found in Proverbs 14:1? “A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her hands.” Without a clear direction, one’s past is easily repeated. Determining a plan to redirect your path will keep you on course. As the saying goes, “If you fail to PLAN, you plan to fail.” Seeking to leave a Godly legacy I intentionally pursued a goal-oriented philosophy versus a survival- based philosophy.
What eternal difference are you investing in future generations? More importantly, when you stand before God will you hear the words, “Well done good and faithful servant.” If so, you’ll want to create a clear, compelling vision of what you and your family are about. The values you hold most dear should define your mission. A vague sense of destination leads to over commitment, indecision as to how to allocate scarce time and resources, inaccurate goals either too small or big, and the inability to plan properly.
Agreeing on where you are going is essential for oneness in the family. Look at Amos 3:3 “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” One can see the importance of agreement in this verse: the direction and destination of the walk, the path taken to reach their destination, their speed, and whether to go together. My family has utilized three directional tools, Purpose/Mission Statement, Goal Setting, and Values/Vision Statements.
MISSION STATEMENTS are like a compass, guiding you as you navigate life. Your mission statement is your destination expressed vividly enough so that it motivates you and compels others to want to help you get there. Begin with the end in mind. HOW will you reach your destination and WHY are you going there? Your mission emerges out of a combination of your God-given design and the circumstances of your life. Writing out your mission statement is a process and these steps will help:
- Begin with prayer for God knows the plans He has for your life (Jeremiah 29:11) and who wants to labor in vain? (Psalm 127:1)
- Ask these questions to help develop a family mission statement
- Invest the needed time.
- Examine (your past, present and future).
- Seek feedback from mentors once completed.
- Write out your mission statement. In Habakkuk 2:2 the Lord tells the prophet, …Write down the vision; write it clearly on clay tablets so whoever reads it can run to tell others.
- Hang it on the wall to be seen by all.
- Live by it thereby staying on course.
- Re-evaluate and revise when necessary. Ours is in need of an update as our family dynamics changed two years ago when our older daughters moved away.
This Franklin Covey tool may help you begin the process of building a personal or family mission statement.
GOAL SETTING helps you decide how to invest your time, energy, and resources. Goals should be tangible and measurable. Achieving positive outcomes rarely happen by chance. Areas where goals can be helpful include spiritual growth, family (for each child), home schooling, financial, marriage, career, ministry, etc. Learn from your daily experiences and adjust your efforts based on the desired goal and what you’ve learned.
Key ingredients for setting goals are:
WHAT do you desire to see accomplished?
WHY is this important to do at this time?
HOW will you accomplish the “what”?
WHEN will the “how” be done?
Have SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result oriented, and Time-limited.
Here is an example to help you get started. Example Goals – Proverbs
VALUES or VISION STATEMENT: Values are those things you esteem and what you give worth to. Values are an expression of your core beliefs. Values determine where you spend your time, energy, and money. Some of our guiding values are our faith, being missional, family togetherness and Godly character. Other values encompass guiding bible verses (1 Timothy 4:12, Philippians 4:8, etc.) Also, many of our values are incorporated into our mission statement. Proverbs 29:18 “without a vision people perish.” King Solomon declared the need for vision… a sense of direction and destiny. The contrast seems clear; perish or flourish; wander aimlessly or stretch forth purposefully.
I found this extremely helpful Determining Core Values Project by FamilyLife Today
We are all on a journey through life. There are many destinations clamoring for our attention. With so many options, we must begin with the end in mind for each day takes us toward some destination. The decisions made today will impact your future, what you become and how your loved ones remember you. “A righteous man will be remembered forever.” Psalms 112:6b