Mission. Vision. Action – when and where will you begin a plan for your marriage?
Going Away to Plan
The year Robert and I were married 25 years, we went away for a week on a retreat. What would the next 25 years hold? What would our mission be? We didn’t have a specific book or a plan to follow, just a grouping of ideas and instruction from various places. We looked back at our 25 years of marriage – and then looked forward to and created a plan. It would have been very useful if we’d had this book (or the others listed below) – at that time.
The Mountaintop of Marriage: A vision retreat guidebook for couples. by Jimmy & Karen Evans
Where there is no vision, the people perish…
~ Proverbs 29:18 KJV
Preparation for the Mission and Vision
This book is really a workbook – and the first part is about how to prepare for your retreat. We all can spend hours pouring over guidebooks, cruise-ship books, travel magazines and websites when we plan a vacation – this preparation for a vision-creating retreat is just as enjoyable and important.
They encourage you to plan for: prayer, Bible study, journaling, fun, romance, communication, and worship.
During the retreat, the workbook gives pages with questions to prompt thought and discussion, then it has spaces to write down:
- a broader vision for your marriage
- goals, plans & vision
- a 12-month vision calendar
- developing an overall marriage & family vision statement
- an encouragement to follow through, track progress & victories
The authors suggest doing this planning every year to stay on track.
When two people are together in any endeavor in life, it is only possible for them to remain unified and productive if they both share the same vision and purpose. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that every couple hoping to succeed take the time and energy to get God’s vision for their marriage.”
~ Jimmy Evans
This is not a textbook – there’s not a lot of written content. It’s short – only 37 pages. It’s meant for the couple to write their thoughts down and plan ahead. I really appreciate the questions that are asked to create conversation – there is great value in good questions!
My final thoughts on this book:
I can imagine Robert and me working through this book. We’re always looking for new tools to hone our understanding of the direction God wants us to take. However, it probably wouldn’t be the only tool we’d use.
It’s never too early – or too late – to pray for, ask for and search for a vision for your future as a couple.
Do you have a mission or vision plan for you & your spouse?
Here are links to a few other resources:
A Vision Retreat Guidebook for Couples – Jimmy & Karen Evans workbook for a retreat – It’s actually called “The Mountaintop of Marriage”, but I like the subtitle better! This is now available as an ebook at an OK price, but the printed version doesn’t appear to be available except as a used book. (and the printed version is a bit pricey in my opinion.)
Discover your Differentiating Values as a Couple – A workbook/resource to understand how your shared values as husband and wife can shape your decisions and ultimately your life. We chose our 3 differentiating values as a couple: optimism, loyalty & discovery. We find we use our top values as a decision-making tool in many areas and it’s been a great help.
Creating a Mission Statement – Online – Franklin Covey’s online resource for creating a mission statement for yourself, your family (no actual ‘couple’ reference, but it would be appropriate to do with husband and wife), or team. I spent a morning going through the online version for a personal mission statement. At the very least, give this a try and see what happens. It’s free & simple to try.
The 48 Hour Relationship Retreat: Your Step-By-Step Guide to Finding Your Dreams and Planning for Success Together in One Fabulous Weekend – It’s a funny, comprehensive plan to create a get-away to grow.
Vision, Mission, and Action benefit your family!
You might believe that you and your spouse are the only ones who can benefit from a time away and a plan for the future. However, your family, friends, and community also will grow because of your proactive way of living! Be a good example!