This post is a part of The 15-Day Relationship Challenge. If you’re just now tuning in, click here for the whole series.
A New Mission & Vision
Welcome to the final day of your 15-day relationship challenge!
I hope that it has been a productive, connecting, and celebratory journey together. You’ve spent some time in your individual stories, in your marriage story, and we’re going to end with spending some time in developing a plan for the future stories you will live. Your marriage needs a mission statement. Just like a business, every marriage needs a mission for why it exists and what it hopes to accomplish. If you aim for nothing, you will hit it every time.
A mission statement provides a guiding light in times of distress, confusion, trouble, and glorious moments. Without a clearly defined mission, marriages become lost and aimless in how they attempt to resolve difficulties, and accomplish goals. This loss of clarity can (and usually does) lead to couples fighting against each other, instead of for each other.
When we don’t set our sights on an achievable destination, we invariably end up at the same place that we were attempting to avoid. So let’s define what you’re aiming for.
Creating your marriage mission statementThe first step is to identifying your marriage mission is to brainstorm together. Brainstorming is like free-time on the playground — there are no rules, right or wrong ideas. Let anything that comes to mind be stated and not be judged (even by yourself).
Every mission statement needs to have a defined purpose, values, and hope.
To get those clearly defined, work together on the following questions:
1. What are the opportunities or needs we are passionate about that we want to address? (the purpose of the marriage)
This could include an internal (family) need or an external (community) need. An example of this purpose for our family is hosting. Stephanie and I love to host. This takes shape in having friends over for dinner, out-of-town guests stay for a weekend, or having other families come over and enjoy good food, drink, and conversations. We see a need for fellow travelers to have a place of respite. We want to create a home that is a respite for our family, as well as others.
Other purposes could include:
- Raising children
- Live Contently Together
- Fight together, not against
- Serve our community
- Encourage others
2. What principles or beliefs guide our marriage? (the values of the marriage)
This is about your moral, ethical, and spiritual beliefs and how they show up in your relationship. What role do you want God to play in your marriage, and how will this impact the needs we answered in question 1? What virtues do you want to live by in your marriage? There is a difference between values that we already live out, and values that we aspire to live by.
3. What are your unique strengths both individually and together as a couple?
First Answer this question individually, and then share your answers together. There are three parts of this question: My strengths, My Spouse’s strengths, The Couple’s strengths. Often times we see in others what they cannot see for themselves. This is a good opportunity to speak some truth into your spouse’s life.
4. What goals do you want to accomplish in life together?
Setting goals will help you to identify what your you want your marriage mission statements to look like (ie – we want to take a big vacation every 3 years….the mission of this could be that we want to create memories and adventures together). If you are thinking of starting a family be sure to add what values you will teach them into your statement as well.
Now that you’ve answered these questions, you’re ready to write your marriage mission statement. Here are some guidelines that will help you to craft your statement:
- Short and sweet. Make sure that you can remember what your mission is without having to pull the dusty file folder out of your closet out to find your printed version. Keep it to 2-3 sentences.
- Avoid clichés.
- Mission statements do not need to shame or cause guilt-trips.
- KISS – Keep It Simply Simple. Don’t try to impress, be true to your relationship.
- Use proactive verbs that describe what you want to do/accomplish.
- A good marriage mission statement will provide vision and clarity when life happens.
- Address the marriage, family, and community.
- Keep it up to date. Review your mission a couple of times a year to see how you’re doing.
Here are some examples of others’ marriage mission statements:
John & Carly (M. 11 years, 3 kids)
Our marriage hopes to raise our children to be productive members of society, to provide a safe and playful environment at home, and to explore the world around us together. We give grace to each other, desire to seek and grant forgiveness, and serve each other first. We want our friends and community to feel welcome in our home, and encouraged in their lives.
Roger & Sherrie (M. 36 years, 2 kids, 3 grand kids)
The purpose of our marriage is to glorify God, reach the next generation for God’s kingdom, and live together in sacrificial love. We value keeping short accounts of wrongs with each other, spending time in nature together, and rich experiences with others. Above all else, we want God to be pleased with what we have done with his grace.
Rondell & Tonya (M. 9 years)
We want to live a happy, peaceful life together being quick to forgive each other. We desire to have a home that is warm and welcoming to our friends and neighbors, and that we are generous with our time and money.
Once you have written your statement, revisit it in a few days and make any changes. Then share it with your family and friends that are close to you. Let them in on the healing and new vision that you are aiming for. Remember, supporting a marriage takes a community. We need others around us to accomplish what we hope to do.
Now that you’re finished with this 15-day challenge, you might be wondering what’s next. Some of you might be exhausted from all this reflection and home work, some of you might want to do more of it. Take some time and talk together about what you might want to do next together. Here are some suggestions:
- Play. Go do some fun things together.
- Read a book together. Start with fiction, then read non-fiction.
- Travel. Go on dates. Make memories.
- Need further help? Setup some counseling or marriage coaching with a professional.
I hope this has been a relationship-changing experience for you two. If so, would you mind dropping me a note to let me know how this was for you? Also, if you wrote a mission state, I’d love to read it and share it with my readers (with your permission).
Please consider sharing this challenge with your friends and family who could use some encouragement and work on their relationships. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up to receive updates in the future on more challenges, courses, and projects yet to come.