Why Families Should Live on Purpose, Not by Accident

Whether awesome—or crazy—we were unsure.

Last weekend, Christi and I had the privilege of speaking together at a family conference in North Carolina. That part was awesome. Where we felt unsure was taking the kids along with us. 

Plane rides. Diaper changes. Missed naptimes. Sleeping with our kids in hotel rooms. Not to mention preparing our talks—and our hearts.

Christi was especially nervous, as this would be her first time speaking to a group of people since birthing children. (Before I get myself in trouble, let me clarify that statement—this would be the first time she spoke “professionally” to a group of people. Though she’s felt like a recluse the past four years, she really does get out every now and again.)

However, the thought of speaking to a whole sanctuary full of people who could actually tie their shoes both excited and scared her.

If I could brag on her for just one sentence, she was awesome—and super funny.

Afterwards she said, “That was addicting!” [Inferring a contrast to her toddler children, but of course not her husband], she continued, “People actually listened to me. And they laughed at my jokes!

I love that woman.

All kidding aside, her transparency as a stay-at-home mom who lost her identity the past few years and who is on a journey to rediscovering it resonated not just with the moms in the room—but with many of the husbands as well—as they heard the cries of their own wives through the gentle and vulnerable voice of mine.

Driving home from Nashville airport Monday afternoon we concluded that taking the kids wasn’t crazy after all. (Okay, so choosing to fly Christi’s cousin, Rachel, in from Lipscomb University to help us, proved to be a smart decision that increased the awesomeness and kept us all a bit more sane.) 

But the real reason we were able to conclude this trip was awesome—and not crazy—was that we came home knowing that, no matter how difficult it is raising children, getting along with our spouses, working to pay the bills, and dealing with the monotony of the long days—our family is carrying out a purpose bigger than ourselves.

And that’s what unites us.

When I posted this picture of Christi speaking that day, I concluded it with #TeamStraub.

She told me days after I posted this that she felt more honored by the hashtag, than the picture itself.

If purpose and belonging matter this much to my wife, how much more do they matter to our children with moldable little hearts?

This is why families need to live on purpose, not by accident.

Just like companies, who need a vision in order to stay united and focused around a common mission to grow, we too—as families—need a purpose that deeper connects us with our spouse and our children.

One of the greatest gifts we can give our kids is the gift of having something to live for beyond themselves.

Having a purpose, as a family, doesn’t take away each person’s unique personality and gifts, it serves them better by giving them a place to live from their strengths and best serve others.

The purpose of #TeamStraub is to empower other families to live, love, and lead well.

Whether that’s Christi courageously overcoming her own insecurities to invite other moms into our home to encourage them; or it’s teaching our children to treat others with respect; or it’s me learning daily how to place my identity in Jesus rather than work so I can create an environment of laughter and joy in our home—together as a family, in spite of our own struggles, we want to help other families.

For there’s no greater place from which to launch our children into a life of purpose than from the home that gave them one to begin with.

What’s your family #Team purpose?

Joshua Straub, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, and president and co-founder of the Connextion Group, a company designed to empower parents and families. Josh speaks and writes on emotionally safe parents and spouses and the influence of technology on today's family. He is the author of the newly released Safe House: How Emotional Safety is the Key to Raising Kids Who Live, Love, and Lead Well (Waterbrook Multnomah) and along with his wife, Christi, is the producer and co-author of the video curriculum The Screen-Balanced Family: Six Secrets to a More Connected Family in the 21st CenturyHe wakes up each day striving to love others better beginning with his wife, Christi, and their son, Landon, and daughter, Kennedy.

For more encouragement and ideas on marriage and parenting in the 21st century, you can join Josh and a growing tribe of awesome families at www.joshuastraub.com and follow him on Twitter @joshuastraub or Facebook.