Why are you alive? Fifty years after you die, what will have been the value of your life? How will people remember you? Will they remember you?
While ultimately, life is not so self centered as to be about my or your existence, few of us think deeply enough about our reason for being or living.
Recently, my wife and I, along with our eldest, attended a retreat focused on Biblical headship and patriarchy, our third such with this group. It was a refreshing gathering of believers from a number of different Christian/Hebraic backgrounds with the common passion for understanding marriage and headship from a decidedly Biblical perspective. Besides the interesting fact that is was fun to rub shoulders with Christians who don’t see or understand Torah as necessary while decidedly rejecting feminism and matriarchy based on the ‘old Testament Law,’ it was cathartic to hear from others who have experienced rejection from friends and family because they choose truth over tradition in this area. But, I digress.
The Shabbat morning session was led by a gentleman who set the stage for a discussion on the topic of ‘vision.’ He began with a very short introduction then handed out 3×5 cards to everyone and he instructed us not to look at each other’s card. Then, he asked the men to write their vision for their family, and he asked the women to write what they think their husband’s vision is. (This is an exercise I recommend for every reader…)
My wife was sitting with friends across the room, so there was no chance of her looking on and I have never written and posted a vision or mission statement for our family, so I wondered how closely my card would match hers. I should not have been concerned, as we later compared notes, while she wrote in bullet points versus my paragraph, the content was identical. I asked, ‘how are they so close? I’ve never posted this.’ She said, ‘You talk about it all the time.’
Vision is incredibly important and every man should know exactly what his purpose is in our Father’s plan. He should be able to articulate and teach it to his family. It is his reason for being and his direction for leading. Of significance, the vision shouldn’t be attainable in five or even 50 years! It should be a multigenerational vision that becomes a directional beacon for everything the family does.
Consider avinu Avraham. Even today, the vision Abba gave him is still being fulfilled. The land promised to him, from the Euphrates to the Nile, the Mediterranean Sea to about Bahrain, is not yet filled with his descendants or under the peaceful headship of the Messiah (other prophecies factored in…). We, as descendants of avinu Avraham, and members of the house of Israel should, by definition, have a personal and family vision that flows from Avraham’s for the purpose of seeing it all come to fruition. But I suspect, like me, most have never really considered that or put it in writing. And, if that hasn’t happened, then I am pretty sure we are not imparting to our progeny and all of those around us a clear direction for our or their life. Instead, we float or meander along wasting time and life.
After the retreat, my wife and I had further discussions and, with just the minutest adjustments, I have typed out and posted my vision (visible at left) for my family to see. I want it to be a clear reminder that daily helps each of us to focus our lives on the long term goal. Like the North Star to a sailor, this helps set out a visible direction along with a shorter term mission statement that guides us to make each day count for something much bigger than ourselves. Ours is here.
The setting of a course is incumbent upon a leader. Each man reading this is called to be the leader of his home and to establish and lead toward a definable goal. I pray each of you strongly consider your ‘reason for being’ and then articulate and post it as a vision for your family direction.
Blessings and Shalom!!