Guys, am I adequately conveying my enthusiasm about family purpose statements?! I don’t think there is a better place to start if we’re going to build strong family identities.
When we talked last week about why and how to make one, I told you that ours is a work in progress. Eventually, I want our kids to play a big role in creating it, because I think magic happens when kids take ownership. But until they’re old enough, Ryan and I are gathering ideas and letting a few concepts help us guide our family. I thought today I’d share what we’ve come up with (it took us about a month) and a bit about each phrase.
Seek Beauty and Adventure
When we first got married, we both had adventure streaks: mine for travel and his for the outdoors. For a long time, I didn’t think my interest in Europe and his interest in a campsite were particularly in line. As it turns out, what drives both of our adventure streaks is something we share—a love of beauty. We can work with that. 🙂
We hope to share the rush of beauty and adventure with our children. It’s a rush that takes you out of the relatively small life you are wrapped up in and reminds you of the much bigger view God has of you and all of His children.
We’re not true minimalists, but we’re thoughtful about what we buy and what we keep. We want our family to invest in people and experiences, not things. I hope our children learn the quiet freedom of not being laden by their possessions.
In any personality test my husband takes, he comes out as some version of a divergent thinker every time. (And if you’re thinking of the book, I don’t mean he jumps off trains. 🙂 He sees a dozen angles at an issue when I see two; he obeys rules that are based in morals and doesn’t sweat the rest. Whether or not our kids directly inherit this trait, I hope we can foster a family culture where we debate issues just for fun and ask big questions of our faith because that’s what makes us grow. We want our children to know that we are the masters of our own minds.
Do Hard Things
We want the hard things we’ve done (from hiking a mountain to moving to a new city) to become pillars in our family—experiences we talk about often and pull strength from.
Live with Passion
We want to fill our lives up with activities and people that inspire us. Currently we live in building with a lot of people who in their old age seem to be missing that. Some have no children, and as far as we can tell, few deep interests or close connections. We want our lives (and those of our kids) to be filled with things that interest, motivate, challenge, and uplift us.
There’s more we could squeeze in, but we tried to focus on the values that are really “us” at this stage of our lives. I don’t feel any pressure to get it just right since I know it’ll evolve over the years. But I do think we’re hitting on the essence of our family, and I’m excited to see these values become a deep part of our family culture over time.
Right now, if you were to name one value your family holds on tight to, what would it be? I think it’s fascinating how different (but equally awesome) things make each family tick.
Update! Our family modified our statement with the help of our kiddos! You can read the updated version in an ebook I have on amazon now!