Mission statements are all the rage now-a-days. Virtually every business, organization, club, and social institution has a mission statement posted on their website or highlighted in their marketing materials. If you are a business owner, a mission statement tells the world what you are about and what you are striving to do, but maybe more importantly, a mission statement is an internal gauge and guiding light for your employees. Why do you exist? What are you doing? What are you striving for daily?
It’s my conviction that the family needs a mission statement too. A mission statement can bind people together under a common goal, reinforce values, hold everyone accountable, and tell the world what you are about. Since the family is the most foundational and most important institution, it needs a mission statement, preferably a personalized mission statement for each family.
This is our working mission statement as a family; allow me flesh out some of the details too:
The Hutches family seeks to establish a God-honoring and productive household where the individual members cultivate and are known for strength, virtue, and wisdom, accompanied by a kick-ass approach to life.
- We are a Christian family
- We strive to do all things for God’s glory
- Our household and lives will be ordered according to God’s Word
- Producing more than we consume – limits on over consuming food, media, entertainment, safety, comfort, etc.
- Making our household productive through economic endeavors, fellowship, fun projects, education, and hospitality
- Finding things we can work on together
- We are stewards – working with the land God has given us produce gardens, food, livestock, shelter, and beauty
- Our property will be a mixture of work and rest, labor and comfort – we will build, build, build, build, build, build, and rest (“Six days you shall work…”)
- Progressive growth
- 1% better daily
- Forming better habits
- Time spent doing these things (strength, honoring God, wisdom, etc.)
- Physical – becoming stronger through constant training and attention to health will be a huge priority in our home
- Mental – mental toughness/fortitude through doing hard things
- Character – strengthening/shaping/forming the character will be on the same level as educating the mind
- Will/Resolve – knowing our convictions, where to draw lines, and standing by our decisions
- Faith – growing stronger and stronger in our faith as the years and decades go on
- Strength allows you to do fun things now and in the future, but it also makes you effective and useful in any circumstance
- My personal goal is to do fun things with my grandchildren (bike, swim, fish, ski, etc.) and still have the ability to do hard, manual labor when I’m 80 years old
- Greek, ‘Arete’; Latin, ‘Virtus’, meaning manliness or excellence
- Pursuing excellence in every endeavor
- High moral standards
- Manliness – ‘Vir’ in Latin is the word for ‘Man’ so to be virtuous was to be an a responsible adult male. Obviously the Hutches household will have women as well as men. We are using this point of virtue for ‘gendered piety’, highlighting the fact that in order to be a good man, you must be good at being a man. Likewise our women will be good women by being good at being a woman. We will emphasize masculine virtues and raise boys as boys; we will emphasize feminine virtues and raise girls as girls.
- The fear, reverence, homage, awe of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom
- Wisdom is diligence over sloth, light over darkness, righteousness over wickedness
- Wisdom is closely associated with self-discipline, self-rulership, and self-mastery
- Wisdom is constantly learning how to think, speak, act, and live in the right manner, with the right attitude, in the right measure, to the right people/task at hand
- Wisdom is to be pursued over riches, status, and fame
- Tenacious spirit
- ‘Go get ’em’ attitude
- Risk taking
- Thrill and adventure seeking – climbing trees, cliff jumping, having the confidence to change careers if necessary
- ‘Just do it’ – Nike
- ‘Stay hard’ – David Goggins
- Approaching life as if there is nothing too big to tackle
I want to leave a legacy; I want my name and household to be known for something. My wife and I will strive to cultivate all these things in our own lives but also in the lives of our children. We will live them and talk about them. In fact, as my kids grow up, at random times I will ask them, “What are Hutches’ known for?” wherein they will respond, “Strength, virtue, wisdom, and kicking ass!”