A Christian Counselor’s Perspective
If you work for a company, or are part of a social group, club, or church, they will undoubtedly have a mission statement. Every successful business or group has a singular set of guiding principles that articulates their actions and decisions. It is the document that outlines the organization’s purpose and the end goal of its existence. So, if your businesses and your church know that they need to specify what drives them, what about your marriage? Is there any value in in having a mission statement for your marriage? Would there be any benefit in spelling out the guiding principles and values that you and your spouse share?
The Importance of Choice in Marriage
Life is all about choices. Most would agree that when you make the right choices and live intentionally in regard to your marriage, then positive things happen. When you make wrong choices, significant challenges can rob your home of the peace and success that you desire. But there is also third category … those who fail to choose and whose marriages will lose by default. Letting life take its course in your marriage without setting priorities and goals leaves your marriage and home exposed to the current cultural norm.
A couple of verses come to mind when considering developing a marriage mission statement. Joshua 24:15 tells us: “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” Your decisions set a tone for your home and your marriage. You and I need to live what we believe. You and I need to make the right choices, put God first, and make commitments regarding what is really important. Psalm 127:1 reads: “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.” Will you allow God to be the chief architect of your marriage? Will you build with Christ as your foundation?
Developing a Mission Statement for Your Marriage
As a Christian counselor, I find that this topic surfaces from time to time. In my personal life it came up in a small group my wife and I participated in last year. As a result of the discussion, my wife and I had a dialogue about what our mission statement and vision for our marriage looked like. As I write this article, I realize that we need to revisit the issue and make it a clear, defined, measurable mission statement that can shape our relationship. So I think you know what my wife and I will be doing in the near future. But how about you? Would it help for you and your spouse to define the mission of your marriage relationship? As I consider what needs to be further defined in my own mission statement, here are five key areas that you may want to consider in your own marriage mission statement.
What Guiding Principles Shape Your Relationship?
One key element you will want to include in your mission statement is the things that matter the most to you and your spouse. Think of areas such as communication, trust, friendship, parenting, and money. For example: “We will honor Christ in how we speak to each other, even and especially in times of conflict. We will seek to build each other up and not use words to tear each other down. We will listen to learn of each other’s feelings, and not listen to win an argument.”
What are Your Goals and Dreams?
This could include things like saving for college, setting up a ministry, homeschooling your children, retiring early and devoting your life to mission work, etc. What is positive about this list is that it can also become a source of prayer for your marriage. The purpose of a mission statement is to keep you focused on the things that are important to your marriage. Reflect on it and discuss it often to make sure that your marriage continues on the path you desire.
What Marriage Legacy Do You Want to Leave?
A marriage mission statement should include where you want to end up. When all is said and done, what will remain as an example to your children and to others? What memories do you want to have? What character qualities do you want others to remember you for? What values do you want your children and descendants to have caught and duplicated? In short, what kind of legacy do you want to leave?
What Scriptures Will Guide Your Marriage?
In many ways, the message of the Bible is our mission statement. This means that Scripture has to form the backbone of the direction that we include in our mission. An example of this could be Paul’s response to husbands and wives in Ephesians Chapter 5, or perhaps the verses shared earlier in this article. There is no shortage of guidance from the Word of God.
How Do You Fulfill Your Mission Statement?
What do you need to do and how do you need to treat each other, daily, to fulfill your marriage mission? Simply put, writing your mission statement on paper does not make or shape your relationship. Rather, it is the action and commitment that you put behind your decisions. The points of your mission statement call you to consider your collective and individual actions toward each other. An example of this could be setting aside time every week to reconnect and talk about your goals and relationship. It means doing what is necessary to make sure that your mission as a couple is coming to pass.
Christian Counseling Can Support Your Mission in Marriage
Having a mission statement is something personal for you and your spouse. So, have fun with it. Don’t think of it as a static document, but look at it often and update it periodically. The point of writing the mission statement is to stay on mission to build healthy points of connection between you and your spouse. As a Christian counselor, I often encourage clients and walk them through the process discussed in this article. Please know that I am available to assist you and your spouse in reconnecting in this way. If necessary, we can work together to move your relationship to the place that you dream of together.
Couple With Digital Tablet,” by Ambro, freedigitalphotos.net, ID 10076457;
“Eyeglasses with Coffee Cup In Coffee Shop,” courtesy of punsayaporn, FreeDigitalPhotos.net