This is post #2 in our series: “10 Way to Raise Spiritually Minded Children.”
Now that we have our statements, we need some creative ways to implement it. This week’s idea will help us get started.
I attended a meeting once where another missionary said their family had memorized their organization’s mission statement. “We did it so whenever we had an hour or an afternoon or fifteen minutes of free time, we would ask ourselves what we could do to fulfill our mission.”
I was impressed. As I thought about what she said, I wondered what a difference it would make if each person in my family not only had a clearly defined, personally owned mission statement, but more importantly, whenever we had a snatch of free time, we learned to ask ourselves what action we could take to fulfill our purpose?
I admit, I had visions of grandeur. Instead of asking for ipad time, I envisioned my children memorizing Scripture. Instead of wanting a Friday family night out, I saw them wanting to have neighbors over to share the gospel. I became so excited by what I envisioned that I gathered my children and together we discussed purpose and vision. My oldest son (11) then asked if we could have 30 minutes each day to focus on purpose! Talk about being fired up!
Way #2: Keep a Replacement List
During our discussion, my kids and I talked about things we do on a daily basis and how they fulfill our purpose. We also talked about meaningless activities within our home and personal lives. We concluded our time by asking, “What things can we do in our free time to fulfill our purpose?” We brainstormed ways we can intentionally choose “purpose” activities and made a list of these activities. This list proved invaluable… mostly to me :)
I have our list hanging in our living room but I’ll be honest: we needed to take the list a step further and translate those activities into goals. For me personally, when I make clear, specific, measurable goals, things happen. So this week I’ll be making some specific goals based on our list, such as “Have locals in our home once a week.”
This week’s assignment: Make a Replacement List
Sit down as a family and list all the things you can do to fulfill your purpose statement. The goal is to replace some mindless or purposeless activities with meaningful ones. Some of your ideas will be bigger projects. Others will be small things, requiring mere moments. When you have your list, post it somewhere in your home. Then, when you or the kids have those snatches of free time, suggest an activity from your list to work on.
Each family’s purpose statement will be different, so activities on your Replacement List will vary, but these are a few from ours:
– Invite neighbors over and have spiritual conversations with them
– Help a sibling with their chores
– Ask Mom what we can do to help her (and all of my children do this one!!)
– Write someone a letter or color someone a picture
– Read Bible or work on memory verse
After making your list, translate a few of them into measurable goals, such as memorizing a verse a week as a family. Even having two or three goals is a huge step in the right direction. With your goals and activities handy, you will have the *work* of coming up with something to do out of the way.
This week, try to be intentional about working on your family goals during those snatches of free time. Lastly, in writing this, I was reminded of Ann Voskamp’s “Pick before you Click” printable. A good edition to this week’s challenge, yes?
Feel free to add your comments and suggestions, or hit “reply” and tell me what your family goals are!
Join us next Monday for Way #3: The God Box