We rented a house about 20 years ago, a pretty little house with an attractive exposed brick feature wall in the kitchen, a lovely looking dining nook, and great bay windows. Everyone who came to visit would comment on the visual uniqueness of the house, ‘this is pretty’, ‘oh I love the brickwork’, ‘the dining area is so cute’……… you get the idea.
It didn’t take long living in the house before we forgot about those things that looked good, and were more interested in the hot water system that made so much noise, how an early morning shower woke the whole house, the afternoon sun that beat into the kitchen and dining area and made them unbearably hot, as there was no insulation installed, and the lack of useable family space.
You see the owners had built the house with attention to visual detail, but not attention to purpose.
The purpose of a house is for a family to live in comfort and security.
The purpose had been downplayed for the sake of looking good. Attention to outward visual detail had been rated more highly than attention to purpose.
You could say that image was prioritised over functionality.
In our lives, our families and our business, there can be temptation to choose attention to detail over attention to purpose. We can value image, how we look, what others think, over fulfilling the basic purpose for providing safety, security, respect and encouragement to those around us.
One of the purposes of family is to provide a sanctuary of peace, an environment free of ridicule, judgement and pain.
That’s the purpose we need to keep in the forefront of our minds as we plan, make decisions and make choices.
Let’s build our families with attention to purpose.
In our everyday lives what could attention to purpose look like? Perhaps desiring the kids to be engaged rather than just quiet on electronic games, preparing wholesome foods at home rather than grabbing takeaway to save time, listening to a child’s endless chatter, rather than closing them down so I can focus on more important things.
Making financial decisions that are wise rather than those that take us into debt unnecessarily.
Maybe it could be expressed as making decisions true to our values, true to what’s important to us, true to our own hearts, rather than the decisions we feel pressured to make to ‘fit in’, ‘go with the flow’, or ‘keep up with the Jones’.
Take some time today to imagine what life could be like, if we paid attention to purpose rather than to detail!