Chapter 14: Establish a Vision for your Marriage and Family

Chapter Summary

Goal setting and decision-making.  Includes instructions for your Goal Setting Retreat.

  • Proverbs 29:18 provides a simple foundation for goal setting and having a vision
  • Without an idea of what we want tomorrow we won’t know if our current path is leading us to our vision
  • Paul meant what he said in Ephesians 3:20 -21; God is able to do more than we think or imagine… so, why not dream big!
  • The earlier chapters of IE help diminish the fear of dreaming.  Daring to dream may have led us to severe disappointment in the past.
  • Dreaming with the understanding that God is the source of our hope is much more secure than dreaming on the basis of demands upon others
  • Goal setting is beneficial for several great reasons; pages 185-187
  • Past Remembrances, Present Reflections, and Dreams of the Future combine to form the basis of goal setting and developing vision
  • Page 209, is the summary page for 8 categories of goals
  • Until the goals become part of your calendar or other system of reminder, you may find that Chapter 14 contains too much information to remember or do.
  • The suggested retreat can be done away from or at home.  Home works if you can remove distractions and dedicate the time.  Some couples need to get away in order to focus.
  • This exercise requires time to be still, to think, and to have meaningful talks.
  • Follow up is key.  Many of us need a schedule/plan so that the planning we’ve done doesn’t get lost in the business of “life after the retreat.
  • Marriage staff meetings, quarterly or monthly check ups, daily pray and talk, or another “mutually-agreed upon plan make great ways to keep on track.
  • Remember these are guidelines not the Bible.  Encourage progress but understand interruptions may stop 100% completion of the goals.
  • Achieving 50% of good goals is usually better than achieving100% of no goals.


Small Group Questions

  • Describe a few of the positive aspects of the goal setting exercises.
  • What were some of the more difficult aspects that you encountered in this process or were there any?
  • About which of the goals you established as a couple are you the most excited to accomplish?
  • Which goal seems to be the most difficult to reach?
  • How do you plan to keep the momentum going?
  • How might scheduled Marriage Staff Meetings contribute to progress?
  • Did you discover goals that overlap in two or more categories?  How did you handle that situation?
  • How have you made progress (even a little) toward reaching some of your goals?
  • What is the potential impact of reaching even a few of these goals?
  • How does establishing a vision for your marriage increase the chances of having others describe what they see in your relationship as “abundant?
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