How to Set a Life Vision for Your Marriage

Do you know that vision and mission statements aren’t only for businesses and organisations? Some of the best leaders do a regular exercise of setting up and reviewing their personal life vision. This helps them be intentional about the way they live their daily lives, knowing what goals they are after and finding effective means of reaching them.

In marriage, it’s also a good idea to have a life vision. We know some marriage courses that include a section where husband and wife can sit down and discuss what the purpose of their marriage should be. Marriage guru John Gottman also advocates the power of a shared dream, something that husband and wife can pursue and experience together.

In this post, we hope to give you some practical tips on how to set the direction of your marriage.

They say that the best way to plan is to plan with the end in mind. This is why many leadership trainings include challenging you to think about how you would like your eulogy to sound: what would you like to be remembered best for after you’re gone?
  
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4 Steps for Setting a Couples’ Life Vision

A marriage is made up of two unique individuals who have different histories, values, and dreams in life. When we come up with a couples’ life vision, we take these into account and also look for ways that the spouses can complement each other.

Step 1. Think about how you would like to be remembered at the end of your life.

They say that the best way to plan is to plan with the end in mind. This is why many leadership trainings include challenging you to think about how you would like your eulogy to sound: what would you like to be remembered best for after you’re gone?

Since you’re doing this together with your spouse, we encourage you to think about what each of you individually would like to be remembered for, and then move towards how you would like your family unit to be remembered for.

Step 2. Discuss your individual and shared values.

Next, list down the traits that are important to you, both individually and as a couple. For example, one of you may feel very strongly about being responsible stewards of the earth; the other may list as his or her top values as integrity and honesty. There are no right or wrong answers. Use this time to dialogue about what values you want to embody in your life.

Sometimes, you might have opposing values about certain things. This may be a good chance to talk about them so you can understand each other better.

Then, think about values that you both share and want to impart to your current or future children. This way, you’re setting the direction for your married life as well as your family.

Step 3. Brainstorm about the things you would like to see for your marriage.

I once heard this very good description of what a vision is: A vision is a beautiful picture of a desired future.

At this point, discuss the different things you would like your marriage to be. Do you want to be a couple that serves other families? Do you picture yourself taking care of abandoned children? Are you imagining traveling the world and making friends and connections everywhere?

For example, Joy and I have shared a dream of traveling to every country in the world on what we call our “Godventures” (or God-adventures). We’re not yet close to fulfilling that dream, but each time we have a pending travel coming up, we’re filled with excitement at the new things we would learn and the people we would meet.

Step 4. Write a one-sentence statement describing your ideal state as a married couple.

There are lots of tips out there on the Internet about how to write a vision statement. For the purposes of this post, we would just have you go through your brainstorming and pick one focus. Chances are, a lot of the things you described can fall under one over-arching theme, so stick with this theme.

Then, write one sentence describing what you would like to be as a couple. It can be something as simple as, “We want to be a generous couple that welcomes and hosts healthy conversations around the dinner table.”

Writing a Life Vision for Your Marriage

Writing your life vision down doesn’t mean it will be set in stone. In fact, we’ve observed that it tends to evolve through the years. Perhaps you might want to refine it, or even change some aspects of it.

That’s totally fine! The goal right now is to get started talking about it and deciding on a general direction you want to go. That will already set your marriage apart from all the others with no clear common vision, and help you reach your goals more intentionally.

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