The Power of Vision
Having A Marriage Vision
Another year is fading into the distant past. A New Year lies ahead. What will it bring? How can you make the coming year a great year for you and your family?
One of Charles Shultz’s “Peanuts” cartoons offers a clue. Charlie Brown is sitting in a deck chair near the front of a large boat when Lucy walks up. “Some people go through life with their deck chair facing forward, gazing out where they are going,” Lucy says philosophically. “Others go through life with their deck chair facing backward, looking at where they’ve been.” Then looking directly into Charlie Brown’s sunglasses, she asks him, “Charlie Brown, which way is your deck chair facing?”
Charlie Brown shrugging his shoulders answers, “I don’t know, I’ve never been able to get my deck chair unfolded!” That’s how life is. We can get so caught up in the flurry of day-to-day activities that we fail to take time out to get our deck chair unfolded and take a look at where we are going. But if our deck chairs aren’t unfolded and facing forward we’re liable to be left standing- drifting, wondering where our lives went.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish” Proverbs 29:18
When asked if there was anything worse than being blind, Helen Keller replied, “The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but no vision.” King Solomon, the writer of Proverbs, was indeed wise when he said, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29: 18).
This principle is foundational for any successful enterprise, including marriage. Applied to marriage, it could be paraphrased: “Where there is no vision, a marriage stops growing and deteriorates. The contrast is clear: perish or flourish; wander or stretch forth purposely. What’s needed is a vision. Today, more than ever, we as individuals and families need a sense of direction and destiny.
We’ve found there are great benefits and blessings that come from having a marriage vision and setting goals:
1) Having a marriage vision and goals provides a basis for marriage and family oneness. Amos 3:3 poses the question, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?”
2) Having a marriage vision offers a framework for decision-making. Life consists of endless pressing decisions: where to invest your time, attention, effort, and money. By setting goals a family will have a guideline with which to make these difficult decisions.
3) A marriage vision provides us with a reminder of important priorities. Having goals helps us maintain accountability for those priorities. Clearly defined goals help us make our relationships with God and our family the priority they deserve.
4.) Lastly, a marriage vision provides a sense of joint accomplishment and security. As you set goals and see them accomplished, the two of you are drawn closer together. (Continued on page 2, The Power of Vision)
Rather than feeling like your life is haplessly out of control, you experience the secure feeling that you’re living your lives “not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of your time” (Ephesians 5: 18).
Several years ago, we started setting aside time in the New Year to get away and seek God’s guidance as to what He would have us do and to make plans for the coming year. It proved so valuable to us, that we have since made it an annual event.
How about you? Do you and your mate have a vision for your marriage and family? Is it clear and written? Are you both headed in the same direction? Have you established specific individual and joint goals that you want to achieve? What are the priorities for the coming year?
We encourage you to spend some time together at the beginning of this new year to establish your vision and goals for the coming year. To help you do that, here is a copy of our goal setting guide for couples. Establishing A Vision in Your Marriage & Family.