Family with a Purpose

How to make the most of your time together—and have fun doing it!

It's not like I never set goals!

There was the night I stayed up til 3 a.m. drawing plans for a playhouse in our backyard. I used transparent overlays to represent phases of construction, colored pencils to indicate various building materials, and a black marker to pinpoint each nail. The good news is, my architectural masterpiece has been put to use: It's under my coffee cup, protecting the wood grain of my desk.

Then there was the time I planned to lose thirty pounds before summer. I lost five and discovered that you can really perk up the flavor of fat-free cookies with the simple addition of two scoops of Breyer's Rocky Road ice cream!

I've created elaborate plans to help me clean my house, motivate my kids, and improve my marriage. And what do I have to show for it? Elaborate plans to help me clean my house, motivate my kids, and improve my marriage.

Sometimes it's tempting to throw up my hands and let the tyranny of the urgent direct my daily path. What squeaky wheels need greasing today? How many fires can I extinguish before lunch?

And yet, there's no denying good things usually don't happen by accident. Setting goals, particularly goals in line with God's will for my life, is a wise thing to do. Sure, sometimes my plans fall short. But even if 60 percent of my goals are made in vain . . . wow! That means 40 percent of my plans have a good chance of bearing fruit!

You may already be setting little goals like "Joshua, you've got six weeks to bring your grades up to par," or "Honey, let's get a babysitter and have a date night once a week." But what if you sat down with your family and came up with a master plan? What if you instilled in each family member a vision of who you are, and what God might have had in mind when he placed you together? What if you crafted a purpose statement that summarized what you hope to accomplish during your years together under one roof?

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