On my desk sits a compass a leader gave me. She said, “May you and Bill always hear God’s voice louder than any other. Follow God’s true North. Let His Word be your compass.” From that point on, we began to merge two lives, creating tools to help us have a family compass.
In “Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti” , and “7 Simple Skills For Every Woman,” we offer detailed advice and activities to help you pinpoint exactly why God placed you here at this time and at this place. These tools help you identify your purpose as an individual, a couple and as a family. Having these purpose-driven discussions can aid you in fulfilling your calling both as an individual and as a family. The following tools will help you form your compass and recognize God’s plan and path for you.
What’s Your Marriage Mission Statement?
In seminary, we went to a marriage conference where Dr. Norm Wright challenged us to write a personal mission statement and a marriage mission statement. As undergrads, Bill and I had each had written out own simple personal mission, but as newlyweds, we felt a need to create a unified marriage mission.
The principle of a family mission is found in Joshua’s calling for families to make a choice who they would serve:
“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” —Joshua 24:15
Create Your Compass
You too have a mission. Below are a few questions to begin the conversation to help you discover your unique calling as a couple and create a clear, concise compass to direct your path.
- As a couple, when we combine our strengths, how can we be best used by God to bring people to know Christ?
- What do others compliment us on most often?
- What do we love doing together?
- Do we have a verse that captures our passion or calling?
- If someone were to write a book, a song or a movie about our love or life, what would they title it?
- What key words, symbols, images would best capture who we are as a couple and family?
Step 1: Mission Statement
Using the answers to the above questions as clues, see if you can create a mission statement paragraph that sums up why you think God has placed you on earth. You might begin with words like:
- We, the [last name]believe (are called to) …
- To fulfill God’s call on our lives, we [husband and wife’s first names}]hereby declare …
- I, [your name]am compelled to fulfill my destiny of …
Step 2: Motto
While it is possible to memorize a mission statement, a short motto will more easily stick in your mind – and your children’s hearts. Make your mission a bit more memorable by summing it up into a catchy phase. Our family motto is a piece of a favorite verse:
“Those who honor God, God honors.” —1 Sam. 2:30
Before we make a decision, we match it up next to the family motto to see if it does indeed “honor God.”
Step 3: Moniker
Last but not least, make it visual! What symbol or symbols, reflect where you are going?
Our moniker was created when Bill was a youth pastor and we were praying about what we wanted for our children. In short, we wanted our children to be “Learners and Leaders who Love God. The interconnected hearts symbolize our commitment to keep our promises. The cross with the star means that we believe each person has a God-given passion or calling.
Some couples select a “coat of arms” or a symbol to reflect their values. For example, in a home where the daily motto is “Soar like an Eagle,” simply hanging a photo of an eagle above the fireplace could carry a powerful daily message.
If you asked us now, almost 38 years later, whether it was worth the time and effort to create our family compass, you would get an enthusiastic “YES!” Everyone in our family agrees the family compass was the navigational tool that God has used day after day to help direct our decision-making, set and reach individual, marriage and family goals, and keep our family and marriage strong. In a world where the pace of life is hectic, information bombards us, and demands make us dizzy, a family compass is the tool that always points us toward God.
You may also be interested in Laying A Marriage Foundation To Build A Strong Relationship