“One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13, 14

Clear vision gives us a goal to work toward while fresh purpose furnishes us with a reason to live. When we are struggling to take one more step, we can envision a brighter future and gather courage to persevere.

In his essay, The Future-Focused Role Image, Benjamin Singer summarized research that indicated low-performance students had almost no sense of their own future. Their focus was strictly short term. These children believed their future was entirely in the hands of fate and out of their control.

However, successful students carried a much greater sense of control over their future; they thought in horizons of five to ten years out. When identifying successful students, IQ and family background were not key indicators of success. Instead, successful students shared a purposeful and positive vision of their future.

When your children talk of what they will be, take their thoughts seriously. Help them make their vision a reality.

“There is hope in your future, says the LORD, that your children shall come back to their own border.” – Jeremiah 31:17

Consider taking time this week to write a personal mission statement. What is your reason for existence? Start with a few chosen thoughts right now. Keep a copy of your statement in your purse or wallet to remind you at all times. Consider asking your children to create a personal mission statement for themselves.

Next, what would a purposeful vision for your family look like? Gather your family together to discuss drafting a statement of your family’s values. Could your children benefit from more specifics than “Love God and keep your room clean?”

Ask each family member for input, perhaps five essential traits, and combine them into one unified statement. When everyone is agreed on the final product, frame it and post it in a visible spot in your home.

Having a clear goal to work toward can provide your family with fresh purpose and a healthier future.