Have you ever heard of the phrase “words to live by”? That is exactly what comes to my mind when I think of Family Mottos and Mission Statements. For many years I have wanted to put something in writing for my kids, just a clear concise statement that helps my boys remember what mama is all about.
What is the purpose of Family Mottos and Mission Statements?
Family Mottos and Mission Statements are unique ways to build legacy and pass down traditions. They can be anything really, from funny to spiritual or straight forward to creative. Using these tools are like giving your children a foundation to launch from or a banner to wave saying this is who we are.
When the nation of Israel set up camp they pitched their tents in a particular location around the Tabernacle. The 12 tribes were instructed to divide into four groups. These groups were positioned at the North, South, East, or West of the camp. Also individual tribes were instructed to fly their tribe names on banners outside their tents. This instantly identified to others their position, responsibilities, and the family to which they belonged.
Maybe you have bumper stickers on your car, a flag outside your home, or a plaque hanging on a wall that points to your values.
Family mottos and mission statements are also ways to make this known.
More than pasting it around for others to see, however, the idea here would be to write them on your hearts and live them out by letting your actions speak for themselves.
What”s your family motto?
Chances are you may already have one or two and just don’t know it. Family mottos are often those little phrases that you repeat often to remind your family of what is important. If my husband, David, had his way our motto might be one borrowed from Shriek, “Better out than in I always say!”.
Some common examples you might find already painted on a handy piece of wood in your local craft store might look like one of these.
- Live, Laugh, Love
- Dare to Dream
- Together Forever
Make your motto original.
While you could adopt one of these, and there are lots of examples you can find online, your family motto will have more meaning if you and your family come up with something unique that is all your own. Gather your family together and ask if they can think of some inspirational or teaching words they often hear you say. Have a brainstorming session together and list your family values or gather ideas that everyone can agree on. Are you an outdoors family, musicians, athletes, or Sci-fi fans? Your family motto can also reflect your personalities.
Listen to your conversations for clues.
When our kids were little, we referred to ourselves as the McSillys sometimes instead of the McFarlands. That is because laughter and goofing off where a big part of who we were. (Our now teenage boys don’t really go for that anymore).
For a while I borrowed a motto that one of my mentors used while her kids were growing up. Speak Life and Love. It is simple yet says volumes about how we speak to one another in our home.
Mottos can address a need or be a message of encouragement.
Something I often catch myself saying “Let’s be problem solvers, not problem makers”. This one helps defuse “teen drama” when a simple task just seems too overwhelming. It sounds a little better than,”Get over it, it is not the end of the world!”. 😉 Also, there is the added benefit of the encouraging message that we can solve problems.
Here is one that a friend shared with me the other day . God had used this motto to heal her from perfectionism.
It doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful!
She explained the Lord showed her through this phrase that if we do our best with the intention of worshiping Him and serving others, then our actions will reflect Him and be wonderful. After all, she added, Wonderful is His name!
Family Mottos Point Inside
To me a family motto points to the inside of the family. It is something that should resound from the walls of your home. A motto should be intimate to your core family group, how you live life together, and treat one another. I want our motto to hold us together like glue in good times and bad. It could even be like a password that is spoken only by those in the inner circle of your home.
My idea for our family motto is that it would reflect the fact that our home is a safe place where everyone gets to be themselves without judgment. Home is a place where you can be silly or serious, celebrate or have a meltdown, and struggle or succeed knowing that you are always loved and supported. Now, I just have to put that into words.
We do have this verse hanging on a wall in our home as a constant reminder of how we are to treat one another.
Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Loves never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Now I just have to put all of that into a simple, concise, and memorable statement and I will have it!
Mission Statements Point Outside
While to me a motto would say who we are to one another as a family, a mission statement says who you are to the world. What is the calling that God has on your life? Your children may be too young to know, even as teenagers I don’t think my boys have figured that out yet, but what about you? As parents it is vital that we let our children know what we are passionate about and what God has called us to to for His Kingdom.
Finding your personal calling is exactly where to start.
Here is a great resource from a dear friend of my that can help you do just that.
These self questions are also a good place to start.
- What kinds of things am I good at?
- Do I have a favorite Bible verse verse and why is it my favorite?
- What are the issues or who are the people that pull on my heart strings?
- Are you drawn to teach, help, serve, create, encourage or intercede for others?
- How can you use gifts and talents the Lord has given you to accomplish these things or make a difference in this area?
I know that I am called to intimately worship, fellowship with the Lord, and teach His Word. I am also called to a ministry of restoration to the Bride. This includes individuals and families both young and old. My husband feels his calling is to simply shine the light and the love of Jesus into dark places bringing truth and healing.
These are things I want my children to know is part of their legacy. God gave them to us to raise for a reason. While they may not have the exact spiritual gifts or personalities, I believe on some level their calling will be the same:
To Shine the Light of the World into the World and Illuminate the Pathway Back to the Father’s Healing Love.
Hey! Maybe that is it! I will have to run that Mission Statement idea past my family but I like it!
What would Jesus’s Motto and Mission Statement Have Been?
I think that is pretty easy to figure out.
Motto – Love the Lord with all you got! Heart Mind and Soul! Love your neighbor as yourself.
Mission Statement – Sharing the gospel with the world and constantly conforming into the image of God.
Simply put, I guess those are things we should all be living by.
Let me know what you come up with!
I will be sure to share with you our final creations. I hope you will share yours with us as well. Remember the most important thing is that we don’t forget to pass down to our kids the things that are really important!
Hey if you haven’t read my post of teaching your children about prayer, check out this post:
Blessing to your family from ours!