Many have embraced the beginning of this year as a time of reflection about what the last decade has looked like. Others feel as if nothing has changed at all, and some are choosing to focus on moving forward. I like parts of each approach. I am embracing the new season but I am the type of person who finds myself in constant reflection of seasons I have been through and how those situations have changed me, enabling me to move forward with a sense of purpose.
I see the beginning of this new season as a perfect time to create a vision for your family by starting with a look at each individual child.
If you have been feeling stuck or just need to get a new start on some things for your family, creating a vision will show you what direction you need to move towards.
What Does It Mean To Cast a Vision?
I remember listening to an illustration from a guest speaker on one Sunday morning that challenged me. Etched in my mind was the image of a relay race. I was not an athletic person in high school so I had never considered the preparation and skill required to pass the baton to the next runner.
The next runner in a relay is poised, ready, and facing forward. Waiting for the feel of the baton in their hand as the signal to take it to the next runner or to the finish line. The position of the next runner continued to parallel in my mind with the position of my teens. Facing forward, ready to move along their own portions of the journey that we were trying to guide them along. Had I been preparing my teens to move forward in life? Had I been giving them opportunities to be ready to take hold of the baton as they continued to get closer and closer to pursuing their own, independent lives?
I was challenged by a vision of how my race looks in terms of passing that baton to my children, preparing them to move forward, push further, and thrive in this world.
My husband and I both walked away with the a new resolve. There was much work to be done. Up to this point, we had overlooked some pivotal preparation. After all, we had not pictured the independence that they would need to be ready for in just a few short years. My focus had been on the season of high school that we were in.
The dictionary defines vision as the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom. My husband and I had gotten it right sometimes by trying to use wisdom as we planned our course in parenting, but we needed to start to imagine what the future was going to look like. This gave us a more defined direction of what our next steps needed to be.
Creating a vision for our children required time to reflect on our purpose in parenting. It caused us to imagine what the bigger picture might like for them in the future. It gave us a vantage point to consider how to approach our daily interactions with them. It opened the door to some good conversations with them. It helped us determine what kinds of responsibilities they need to have while we were in that season and prepare for our part in supporting them as they determined their own options for pursuing their future dreams.
10 Questions to Consider When Forming a Vision For Your Child
Creating a vision causes you to reflect on your values. It’s an opportunity to engage in a conversation with your kids and find out what their values are. There are many questions that will cross your mind when envisioning the future. Here are a few to consider:
1. How do you envision your child as a teenager or young adult?
2. Will your child look for God in his or her daily decisions?
3. Will your child be able to turn to you for advice?
4. Will your child be an honor student?
5. Will your child be a top athlete?
6. Will your child be independent?
7. Is your child college bound?
8. Do you expect your child to live at home and contribute to the household?
9. Does your vision align with your child’s vision for him or herself?
10. What are you doing to help nurture the vision once it has been defined?
As parents, we have lived a myriad of experiences that have given shape to our set of values and leads us to parent the way we do. If you envision something for your children that does not align with your lifestyle or with their gifting, it is important to talk about that together and figure things out.
We discussed many things after that illustration. We changed our approach to some real-life preparation. We were so inspired by that message that we had a family friend sketch a drawing that we gave to our older daughter as a high school graduation gift. This was meaningful to her because she loved to run.
We Are Passing Along a Baton Filled With Faith to Our Children
1 Cor. 9:23-25
I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to et a crown that will last forever.
A vision that my husband and I have always valued is nurturing a daily relationship with God into the foundation of our family. We have made it our responsibility to live out our faith daily. When we stumble and make mistakes, we acknowledge those mistakes, ask for forgiveness from our children when necessary, and do our best to move forward with them along the journey.
Having a vision for our family did not make things perfect but it did make room for perspective by giving us a sense of direction.