“Somewhere along the line we stopped believing we could do anything. And if we don’t have our dreams, we have nothing.” Billy Bob Thornton as Charlie in the movie The Astronaut Farmer.
It is said that ‘A family that prays together, stay together.’ But I have come to believe that ‘A family that dreams together is inseparable.’
A family is a unit made up of individuals. In most cases there is a husband (the leader) and wife (the ‘second-in-command’) with children. It is a team were one is born into. Upsetting the functionality of a family leads to serious losses to its members.
A family does not exist, apart for a reason. It is important to find your purpose as a family. This may involve individual soul searching, identifying what you want as a family (vision), what you stand for (values) and what you are good at or have (resources). These things bring fulfilment into families.
Some of the most important issues in a family are integration, consultation and good leadership. The husband is by nature the leader and his role is to support and advance the cause of his team. He protects the members and stirs the course on behalf of the family. Being authoritative normally leads to down fall and subsequent loss of his most needed pride. On the other hand being docile and passive, creates even more problems. They say ‘organisations (and families) fall on leadership.’
A family without a vision is of cause going nowhere. At the end members will start to seek purpose somewhere. Develop a vision. You may have to write it. A family vision is simply a dream or what you see yourself in 5, 10, 20 or 30 years. The vision can be broken down into sub-visions and goals covering specific area. If you want support, allow participation from each family member. Give feedback on progress. Track progress. Make everyone buy in to the vision.
One of the most inspiring movies I ever watched is ‘The Astronaut Farmer.’ I like in particular Charlie’s father-in-law’s words when he said, “I couldn’t get my family to eat together. You have your family dreaming together.” It was indeed a crazy dream! But the idea of Charlie, a farmer, making a rocket and managing to take it to space, despite opposition from banks, the community and even the government, is really amazing. This shows the power of a family with a single dream! Nothing can stop a family united in a dream!
Marriage or the relationship between the parents dictates the stability of a family unit, and is to be valued as top priority. On long term basis, trust and honesty become more important than physical features of the couple. Once trust is broken, it’s not easy to be restored. But it can! Be a person of integrity by keeping the words in the vows that you promised your spouse. Help each other to realise personal dreams. A successful family helps each member to realise his or her dream. Selfishness brings frustration to family members.
Values go from top to bottom. The parents’ values become the children’s value. A study in schools in Pretoria East’s the low density suburbs really shocked many. 82% of the children admitted that they have at least once seen their parent bribing someone. Above 50% said it happened more than once. These are the so called affluent suburbs where managers and leaders stay. These statistics say not just a lot but the truth, but about the current leadership. And this is the seed that has been sown to the children.
Changing and keeping values is not an easy task and is not a one day job. Never the less ‘integrity starts at home’. The reason why our nations are in a mess is because there is no integrity at home. We are nice angles on Sundays and devils at home. We criticise leaders or relatives right in front of our children and expect the children to respect the same leaders and relatives we criticise. If you bad mouth your pastor or church in front of your children, how do you expect them to obey them? And it’s even worse when parents fight in front of children. I will not say anything further on this!!