Each week on our Love and Money podcast, brought to you by brightpeak, our hosts, Rafael Robert, Director of Love & Money at brightpeak, and Debra Fileta, a licensed professional counselor and author of the new book Choosing Marriage, take questions from our listeners about love, finances, marriage, money and more. In this week’s episode, a listener asked the cast and special guest Jamie Ivey about having a vision for her family.
Hey, my name is Anna and I’m from Ontario, Canada.
My question is where do you begin when creating a mission/vision for your family? I don’t really know where to start.
My husband and I don’t have any kids yet, but I’d still love to develop a vision for a family here and how that could expand potentially to parenting and having kids down the road. I think it’s really important to be purposeful in everything, but especially in a marriage and family. So I’m just wondering where you would start when thinking about creating kind of a mission statement or vision.
Deb: I love the topic of vision. It’s something that’s always close to my heart, and I think it’s close to God’s heart too. One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Just the idea of we’re all going somewhere and if we don’t plug something into our GPS we’re going to end up somewhere, it’s just not going to be where we planned. So I really love this topic.
I’d be interested, Jamie especially hearing your thoughts about the idea of having a vision and a mission in your family unit.
Jamie: First of all, I want to tell Anna you are so far ahead of the game.
So kudos to you up in Ontario, already planning for this. I was thinking about this, and I think in our family, personally, it has just come down to: what are the things that my husband Aaron and I are passionate about? And I think that’s going to naturally come down to your family unit. And one of the things for us, is a phrase that we see everywhere: Love God, love people. But we really want to raise our kids where our home is open, and we love celebrating people around our table, and we love gathering people in our living room and our dining room.
So for us, I feel as though … one of them is just gathering people in our home to love on them.
I think for us—you’re planning ahead Anna, so you’re doing a great job—we just saw that kind of happen over time. We started to see what are the things that we are passionate about and then those kind of rose to the top, as we’re going to take these on as a family and talk about them with our kids. So I think the first thing I would [ask] you is, “What are you and your husband passionate about?”
I think that we can all say if we’re Christians, our family value is going to be to love God. I think that’s an easy one, right? But what are you passionate about otherwise, and see how that can affect your whole family.
Rafa: I think that’s amazing, and I couldn’t agree more that I love that she’s on top of this before their family expands.
One of our most popular products is something called a “Home Headquarter Kit” which we created so that families could really live and center around their values, around their mission, which seems odd in terms of doing this money thing, but it’s not. Because basic behavior science tells you if you have a motivating vision that you’re much more likely to aim for it and stick with it.
So we ask people before they start taking on any money goal, any debt thing that’s standing in their way, we say, “What do you believe?” I would say if you have kids get your kids involved. Make it a game and just ask some questions.
I love the questions Jamie said. “What do you believe?” List them and play that game. What do we value most? How do we want to treat each other and be known for? What are some life verses that we love? And in this kit we actually have this little chalkboard, and we ask people to write it down, or have someone with nice handwriting and hang it.
Put it up there so people can see, and you’re reminded of it. And it makes a difference.
Deb: Something is going to become your vision. Something is going to take that spot as your family mission. You’re either going to decide to be deliberate and call out what that something is, or you’re going to be passive and something is going to slip into that spot.
And I think it’s also important too that we be connecting with God. I know my passions; I know my giftings; I know my resources; But [ask] God, “How do You want me to take this stuff and apply it to the context of my personal life and family?”
I know we aren’t at the beginning of the year right now, but I think it’s something that you can start at any point, is just asking God to give you a word for the year. What is the word, that mission statement that You want me to focus on and pursue?
This year it happens to be kindness, because there was a deficit in kindness between the kids this year, and we were like “You know what? We’ve got to focus on this and make it a priority and this be what our family is known for.”
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is managing editor at RELEVANT Media Group. He holds a B.A. in Practical Theology and an M.A. in Theology with an emphasis in Biblical Languages. He's passionate about music, faith, racial justice, and social change. You can find him on Twitter @andrehenry, and more of his writing at http://andrerhenry.com