A new year is a new opportunity to look back over the former year and redefine the purpose of your family. Just coasting through last year’s resolutions is like being out to sea in a boat without a paddle. Not very effective and we won’t get anywhere fast.

Maybe everything is going smoothly and we are content enough just to keep status quo. The problem with status quo is that something eventually will come in to interrupt or disrupt it. Then our purpose becomes just trying to establish status quo. Not very fulfilling or meaningful.

Purpose #1: Glorify God. Sometimes we can get lost in even the Christian fads that try to define a purpose for the family. We can think it is all about developing a happy family unit and forget that the first and foremost purpose of the family is to glorify God. Individually, each member of the family God has a unique calling on, but corporately they work together to serve God as a family.

We glorify God by being sensitive to His leading in our family and leading our family to be living for God. “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD”. Part of bringing glory to God is serving together, seeking God and worshiping God together.

So how do we find our family purpose, especially if individuals within that family have different callings?

Purpose #2: Equipping and Discipling. For the parent, there is a standing purpose that will likely change in application from year to year, but behind the primary goal of glorifying God is the purpose of discipling and equipping our children, which remains a top priority. Being intentional about family devotional time or creating moments to be able to talk, listen and provide counsel are just part of the foundation of discipleship.

Purpose #3: Messengers of the Gospel. As the family grows individually and corporately, spurring one another on as messengers on a mission is a singular purpose that characterizes purposeful families. It is not enough to have a purpose. Bearing fruit is evidence that we are achieving that purpose. Some of the mission will be together and some apart, but in it all a supportive family framework can make the difference between fulfilling our God-given purposes and not.

This article from Focus on the Family discusses how to identify our gifts, passions as well as the dissatisfaction in our lives to pinpoint our purpose. Once we have our purpose defined, we can set goals and benchmarks to help us stay on track to meeting them.

Here’s to an effective, blessed year full of godly purpose for our families.

Yours in Building and Stewarding Your Legacy,