Category Archives: Dad’s Corner

Garbage Disposal

Our’s recently quit working, and it was disappointing considering it was only 7 years old. It’s an essential “appliance” in our home. Of course we put most plate “gleanings” directly in the trash, but there are always smaller things, especially from salads that we prefer to wash off the plate into the sink. So when it “died,” replacing it went to the top of my prioritized to do list because it was both urgent and important.

I’m guessing that most homes today have a garbage disposal. Did you know that Scripture highly endorses the concept? “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness and receive with meekness the engrafted word which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). James tells us to lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness. The concept is to get rid of the garbage.

I’m amazed at what “tries” to come into our homes, whether by the mail or electronic means. It might be as innocent as through clothing catalogs. Most are fine, but on occasion–garbage. When it is spotted, into the garbage it goes.

We use Internet filters on our phones. There is a reason. Pity the poor male 3ho felt he was immune to that sort of thing only to be held hostage by it later. My guess is that Satan’s best friend is a man’s pride. “I’ll never fall for that sort of thing,” he proudly says to himself.

Our world has so much garbage, and it can easily flow into our homes and hearts. Each home needs one or more garbage disposals. Will we value and protect our family’s purity, or succumb to the flood of garbage?

Steve

Not Good Enough?

Do you ever compare yourself with others? It’s hard not to. The other guy:

• may seem more spiritual, 

• may make more money, 

• may be in better shape, 

• may have better behaved children. 

Oh, Friend, may I encourage you to be at peace? If you are trusting in Jesus’ shed blood for your salvation, rest in the Lord and in His grace. Be at peace with yourself, and that will greatly affect your relationship with your wife, your children, and others. We all fall short, but may we cling to the One Who can do what is needed in our lives? (BTW, if it is a matter of sin, then we forsake that sin. If you need help, ask a brother for help, but forsake the sin.)

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29). 

Will Our Children Read?

I spoke to a dad recently who used to give guest lectures to junior and senior public high school classes on a financial topic. He always began with the question, “Does anyone know what ten percent of $50 is?” After many lectures, he said he never had a student correctly answer the question. We would all agree that math is important for life.

What about reading? I’m confident you want your children to be able to read well. Reading is the basis for much learning. As believers we know it is critical for our children to understand the Bible and from it, life in Christ. Do we ever think about how important our example in this area of reading would be to our children? If our children never see us reading, will reading be important to them?

I’ve received emails from moms, in response to a book recommendation I’ve made that might help their situation, who say their husbands don’t read. Consider this statement from an unknown originator, “The person who doesn’t read is no better off than the person who can’t read.”

If reading is important for our children, is it important for us parents? In this age of video everything, do we read? Do we read the Bible, and do we read other beneficial books? If we don’t read, are we any better off than someone who can’t read?

“How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words” (Ephesians 3:3).

No One

I have observed the outcome of decisions I have been very curious about. Why did someone do that? As I was out driving yesterday, there was a five-mile backup on the southbound interstate because one lane was closed. There was no sign of a work crew or any work being done, but there must have been a good reason (in someone’s mind) to put out the cones and not pick them up.

Other things that make me curious are: the way a house is situated on a piece of property, a “feature” on a car’s dash, or the navigation scheme on a website. I have come to believe that no one makes a dumb decision on purpose. In fact, I am confident that everyone does the best he can with the information he has at the time and with his reasoning abilities.

Those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ’s shed blood on the cross for payment of their sin debt and who are in fellowship with Him have incredible advantage over those who are lost. Think about it. We can seek His direction for every aspect of our lives and spare our families hardships that can be avoided.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Open Garage Doors

During the summer Teri and I go for our walk soon after sunrise. It is a delightful time of fellowship and exercise. One thing we regularly notice is a house where a garage door has been accidentally left open. While Dad, the protector was sleeping, his family and his house were vulnerable.

What doors have you left open or unlocked? Dads, how vigilant are we?

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

Paying Ahead or Behind – Vocational Success

Seems like everyone has heard someone bemoaning their school debt. US News reports that the average college grad has more than $35,000 in school loans. That is a lot of money. Young families often struggle greatly under such a burden, and it puts tremendous pressure on a fledgling marriage. What if both husband and wife have loans? Trying to pay behind for “success” might be the greatest obstacle to their being able to attain it.

Now, picture raising your children with the mindset of paying in advance for success. They learn to make the most of their youth years. From twelve on up, they use their time preparing to be skilled adults while making a reasonable income in exchange for their time. This does not mean that they don’t have fun. They just find beneficial ways of having it. Instead of video games, they thrive on the enjoyment that comes from learning. Instead of hanging out with friends, they work out with siblings or dad or mom, which build strength and family relationships.

Soon they will seek the endorphins adult-type achievement brings as opposed to skateboards and amusement park rides. All choices involve a trade. Will they trade up or trade down for the value of their time? Likely, those trades will have great bearing on the value of their future vocational time. What their time is worth to others will directly correlate with how much time they will have available for their future family and serving the Lord.

Pay for success in advance.

“The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want” (Proverbs 21:5).

Will God Apologize?

God destroyed the people of Noah’s time because of their wickedness.
God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their wickedness.
God gave the land of Canaan over to be conquered because of their wickedness.
God’s people dropped like flies in the wilderness because of their wickedness.
Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians and taken into captivity because of their wickedness.

Do you see a trend? If through the ages God has not spared wicked nations, including His own people when they didn’t repent, why would we think He will ignore our national sin if we don’t repent? If He winked at our sin, He would have to apologize to those nations that received the consequences of their sin. I don’t expect Him to do that. Do you?

May each dad purpose to pray every day for our nation.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

What to Do?

A dad recently asked for book recommendations for his children. His children have read the complete Moody series many times and as many other good books as he could find. He has run out of other good books. What to do?

Reading is critical in preparing our children for life; however, once they have good reading and comprehension skills, it can become little more than a wasted time filler depending on what they are reading. Even worse, they can become addicted to the thrill of reading “exciting” books so that anything not exciting (the Bible and other worthwhile books) will not hold their interest. Think about it: What good is that?

I have NEVER had anyone tell me he (or she) regrets spending time in profitable pursuits growing up. The number of people who have told me they regret wasting their time, however, is beyond counting.

May I encourage you to consider moving your children into skill-based books as soon as their reading level and comprehension allows. What a blessed harvest they will begin reaping as they progress through their teen years.

My son Joseph began reading about programming when he was ten. He has no regrets about that now. In fact, all our children spent time gaining real skills during their teen years. They look back at those years with satisfaction.

Are we guiding our children or letting them float their own boat?

“And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship” (Exodus 31:3).

Time

God created time. Time used wisely coupled with God’s gracious provision, enables our children to be content in Christ. It is the universal bank account that puts everyone on the same level. We each have twenty-four hours a day to draw from and invest. At the end of the day, week, month, year, lifetime: what will we have to show for it?

It’s a trade, the most basic of all transactions. Read about successful people and men devoted to the Lord. I dare you to find one that squandered his time. When I was young, I traded my go-cart for a ball glove to a teenage neighbor. I mistakenly thought, “The go cart won’t run, so what good is it?” I didn’t value my go-cart as I should have, and I made a bad trade. Today, it seems, so many squander their time away on poor trades.

Some say that self-discipline/will power is the greatest predictor of individual success, even beyond intelligence. I certainly agree. However, in addition, I have to wonder if the driving force behind self-discipline might be how much a person values his time on earth. Possibly for Christians, the next step up is our level of desire to please our Lord in all things. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17).

Will we teach our children to value their time? Productively using one’s time is vitally important in having the funds needed for life. That is foundational in being content in Christ and that is a powerful motivator for self-discipline. Learning to spend their time productively will provide dividends that those who spend their time on entertainment will not receive.

Follow-on thought for Dads.
We often receive e-mails from frustrated, struggling moms who are drowning in desperation. They know that their children are suffering from lack of a productive home and will have lifelong consequences as a result. They want to believe managing their lives is possible. Of those who purchase Managers of Their Homes, we know that some number will still needlessly struggle to be successful. The book is capable of helping them as it has tens of thousands of moms, but what is missing is their husband’s support. Many husbands don’t value time, a peaceful, productive home, and their family pays the price.

An example is bedtime/wakeup time (BTWT). We often hear how a husband likes to stay up watching the news or movies and won’t go to sleep nor get up at a consistent time. We have found over the years that BTWT is the single, biggest predictor of a mom’s success in managing her day. Yet, Dad won’t inconvenience himself to have the discipline to go to bed and get up when he should in order to be an example, leader, and help to his family.

Valuing time is critical to your children’s success. If you aren’t consistent with BTWT, I would encourage you that it is time to begin. Support your wife by being consistent. Your children’s futures are worth it. Don’t you agree?

Steve

“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
Ephesians 5:16

Out by the Curb

It is extremely important to know how we are to spend our time. Maybe, even more important is to know how we should not spend our time. I encourage you to take a tour of your house and look for “things” that waste time—yours and your family’s. What a blessing of productive time you will give your family if you move whatever time-wasting “things” you discover out to the curb.

Our time is priceless and limited. It takes courage to do the right thing.

“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:9).