Our family vacations never went according to plan. Back in the dark ages, before every one had a smart phone with Google maps on it, it was a lot easier to get lost. And get lost we did! We always managed to miss a turn. Or someone thought they knew a short cut to bypass the traffic congestion. A few times I think we stopped for gas and ended up getting back on the highway going in the wrong direction. Maybe this is why I hate traveling to this day? But one of the best ways to keep on track is to follow someone. I never had an issue being in the back of the family convoy. All I had to do was follow the person in front of me. However, that only works if the person in front of you actually knows where they are going. How many of you have tried to follow someone who was obviously lost? That can be just as frustrating.
Now consider your home life. Where is your family headed in life? Do you have obvious goals, clear values, and a good sense of direction? If we do, they may be more assumed/implied but never directly stated. I started thinking about this after a conversation with a friend who was looking forward to mounting a framed mission statement for his family. For most of us, I think it is fair to say we are just winging it. We are just trying to get through the day. But that means our families are in that second spot in the family vacation convoy. They are following someone who really doesn’t know where they are going. That…is not good. Consider setting up some set goals for your family, and don’t let there be any ambiguity.
Consider these as some family goals I found in Stuart Scott’s Exemplary Husband:
- Establish the Word of God as the standard of your household. “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)
- Emphasize Biblical principles in your decision making and be willing to explain that to your family.
- Establish how you will provide for your family (monetarily, physically, and spiritually).
- Establish ministry goals for your family. For God has called us to serve, not sit.
- Establish operational guidelines for your household (devotions, family meetings, phone use, family nights, bedtimes, noise level, neatness standards, etc.)