A couple years ago while I was attending the Alberta homeschool conference, the main speaker, Israel Wayne, spoke on the importance of creating a family mission statement. He shared how having a family mission statement, that was visible and known to everyone, helped steer your homeschool in the right direction.
I was two years into homeschooling at the time, with only one school age child and many days I felt unsure of our purpose and goal. It created a lot of fear and anxiety because I felt I was always behind or never measuring up to some standard. My primary focus at the time was to give my child a solid academic foundation, however, I left the conference realizing that my purpose and goal was much greater than anything academic. My ultimate purpose and goal was to train up my child in the Lord and establish a firm Biblical foundation and relationship. I essentially had it all wrong from the start. I quickly realized the Lord had not called me to homeschool my children to prepare them for the world, but rather to prepare them for eternity.
This idea of creating a family mission statement really resonated with me. I didn’t want to just jump into it on my own understanding, so I turned to the Lord in prayer and asked Him to lay out the path He had for us. I very clearly remember the day, I sat down to brainstorm ideas and just how smoothly it all flowed from pen to paper. I can only explain it as words inspired by the Holy Spirit. I quickly jotted them down and set to work on making this a staple of our homeschool.
This is what was God breathed over our family:
We will aspire to glorify God by seeking Him daily, demonstrating godly character, pursuing wisdom and beauty and fostering loving relationships with one another.
I displayed it in our homeschool room as a constant daily reminder. I look to it when choosing curriculum, structuring our day or dealing with resilient children. It reminds me that the Lord is at the center of our homeschool. I prioritize my children’s character, relationships and spiritual growth over academics. Academics is still a large part of our day; however, it is not apart from God. All of our curriculum is Christian based and directs our focus back to our Creator. My children’s understanding and wisdom come from a Christian world view that instills all the things we seek to do through our mission statement. Our academics therefore are not just something we do to be successful but rather to develop our God given talents and gifts in order to better serve His kingdom.
I’m a firm believer that the Lord calls us to homeschooling as a way to sanctify us. He uses our daily interactions with one another to sand off the rough edges of our personalities and character. He exposes the sin in our hearts as an opportunity to be molded and transformed into righteousness. We must see these opportunities in our day not as a hindrance but as an opportunity for growth for both parent and child. Homeschooling provides lots of opportunities to practice this. There are very clear times in our homeschool journey that I recall turning to the Lord in desperation and pleading for His wisdom and insight on how to deal with misbehaviour and poor attitudes. The fighting that was occurring on a daily basis and numerous times in the day was exhausting and left me feeling defeated. The Lord in His infinite wisdom reminded me that character comes before academics. I was led to some much needed Bible studies that helped address these struggles. In having a plan of action, our homeschool days became much more pleasant and loving. By addressing the character issues, we eliminated the battles and began fostering loving relationships. This was all possible because we had put God first. By seeking Him daily, we reoriented our focus off of ourselves and onto Him who can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. He meets all our needs and He provides for us in our shortcomings. He offers grace and forgiveness, wisdom and counsel in abundance.
Another key part of our family mission statement is the passage of Scripture the Lord placed on my heart. It has granted me insurmountable peace in our homeschool. Philippians 1:6 reads, “We trust that He who began a good work in each of us will bring it to completion on the day of Christ Jesus.” What this means is that no matter my shortcomings or failures, no matter my children’s resilience or bad attitudes, no matter how bad our day may go, the Lord will bring to completion the good work He has planned for each of us. I do not have to teach my children everything, I am not expected to be a perfect parent, my children will not be perfectly well behaved all the time, yet regardless of all this, He will do incredible things through each one of us. He has preordained each of my children with a purpose and it is not my responsibility to bring them to completion, but rather His. It is when we trust in that promise that we receive insurmountable peace that saturates our homeschool.
Only recently have I come to see a family mission statement as sort of a list of instructions, almost like how we view the Ten Commandments. The Lord bestowed these commandments to His people to instruct them how to live. He gave it to them knowing they would never be able to fulfill them perfectly and that it would only be through the work of His Son Jesus on the cross that they would be saved. Similarly, a family mission statement, when inspired by the Holy Spirit, is a set of instructions given by the Lord. He never intends for any of us to perfect them, but rather they remind us that we cannot do this on our own accord.
“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” Matthew 19:26
There are days that we don’t seek Him, our character is far from godly, we pursue our own desires over His and we tear each other down instead of building each other up, yet even on those days, He is with us. He is gently reminding us that there is nothing we can do to earn salvation, but rather Jesus has already done it for us. At the end of our homeschooling journey, we will be able to say with confidence that it was by His grace that we endured. We will be made fully equipped to do Kingdom work all for His glory.
SHARE: Do you have a family mission statement? If so, we’d love to hear what yours is. If, not, we’d love this post to be an encouragement for you and your family to come together and create one.