Have you noticed how many live as if life had no end and there was no accountability for how they lived it? They are wrong on both accounts.
May we live every minute knowing how precious it is and that we will soon be called to explain how we used it.
“But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you” (Jeremiah 7:23).
Most of us have worked with a coworker or for a boss who was ungrateful or hot-tempered. Working together was pretty miserable, wasn’t it?
Can you imagine being married to a person like that? Why is it some husbands think it is okay to be ungrateful, angry, or impatient toward the one they vowed to love until death? Where’s the fear of God?
“And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?” (Luke 9:54).
“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).
What is the cheapest and most expensive thing you have to give? It costs you nothing, yet what you give it to will either reap huge dividends or be a burden if given to harmful things. It is your attention!
If you pay careful attention to your Lord, His Word, your wife, your family and to increasing vocational skills–oh what value you will receive back.
Families are starved for their dad’s attention. In addition to my observations, I recently read how men usually stop increasing their vocational skills after five years of employment. May we give our all to our Lord, our families and our work.
“Who hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 13:9).
I’m confident that every parent knows what it feels like when a child is ungrateful or has an entitlement attitude in spite of our best efforts to teach them to have a thankful heart. Don’t you agree that whatever we have given our children is minimal compared to the blessings our God has showered on us? What an awesome and loving God we serve, and oh how blessed we are.
Maybe it doesn’t matter if our children are ungrateful. Then again, maybe it is serious – far beyond our wildest imagination.
“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen” (Romans 1:21-25).
Have you appreciated the fact that:
- days are 24 hours long – everyday,
- weeks are 7 days – always,
- the sun rises and sets – always predictively?
Can you imagine how difficult life would be if:
- days varied from 16 to 32 hours in no predictable fashion
- weeks might have any number of days without rhythm or reason
- and the sun’s behavior was totally random, came up some days and maybe never set other days?
It is easy to take for granted consistency. Sure some might consider consistency boring. However, consistency makes life much easier and is a huge blessing.
Dad, how dependable are you in the good things that matter? You will consistently:
- go to sleep at the same time
- wake up at the same time
- keep your word
- come home when you committed
- have personal and family Bible time
- help with the children when you are home.
It must be all of the time, consistently! (BTW, It is not a blessing to be consistently late or lazy, nor to be counted on some of the time – the problem is not knowing when.)
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Everything in life is a trade. You exchange something you have for something you want. Your time is the primary currency you begin with. Then you earn income and exchange that for things.
Now consider what will you exchange to bring up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, to disciple them in the grace and love of the Lord Jesus Christ, to give them a love for the Lord and disdain the world? I believe the correct mindset for that trade is EVERYTHING. May we not hold anything back when it comes to our children. What does that mean practically?
It could mean:
- Dad takes a lower paying job so he has more time to work with and disciple his children.
- The family moves across town, or across the state, or across the country.
- The family drives farther to a church because it is likeminded.
- Dad gives up expensive hobbies to have more time and money for the family.
- Dad structures his day so that he has personal and family Bible time every day.
- Dad sees how negative entertainment is and chooses simple family pleasures.
- Ultimately Dad gives up his rights in exchange for the good of his family.
What a heartbreak to observe families losing children where Dad is unwilling to count the cost and give everything he holds dear for the good of his family.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).
As a young airman in 1970 stationed in Thailand, I could tell the baht bus I was riding was entering the small town because the smell from the open sewers announced our arrival. Thankfully, it wouldn’t take long to become accustomed to it.
Driving west on I-70, there is a large cattle feed lot from which smells overtake you if there is a southerly breeze. I assume those living near it become used to it.
It is amazing how quickly we adapt to negative things. Sadly, our soul can all-to-quickly adapt to things after our initial repulsion. I’m confident that is why the Lord told the Israelites to destroy things that would be a snare to them as they conquered an idolatrous land.
“The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the Lord thy God. Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing” (Deuteronomy 7:25-26).
Are we being on guard for things that will ensnare us and our family? At first it may seem harmless, even a bit funny. However, Satan will package it any way he can to get it into our homes and hearts, but evil is still evil. There will be consequences.
Most people have two sets of priorities: the set they think they have and the ones they live by. I find it fascinating to learn their real ones. You can not find out just by asking them. They must be observed.
I think we might surprised ourselves by our real priorities. Simply observe what action or activity bumps another out of its place. The real priority is the one that wins.
I might say that spending time reading my Bible is important. If so, how consistent have I been? What took its place if it didn’t happen. What about family Bible time? What about exercise? What about time with my wife or time with my children? May we each examine ourselves.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
Okay, what did you really think when I encouraged you to have a consistent bedtime/wakeup time every day? Crazy? Extreme? Why would I suggest such a thing?
The answer: Because consistent bedtime/wakeup time is one of the greatest needs in a family. Often Dad is the one who sinks his family’s ship. Mom is desperately trying to get things done, but Dad throws marbles in the cookie batter.
Once bedtime/wakeup time is set, so many other things will fall into place. Simple. Easy. Seriously, you can do it. Try me on this. It is amazing. Be a hero in your family, not a ____.
I’ve heard from some dads who have had the courage to step up and do it. I have a cow horn on my desk I blow for such occasions. Good going, guys. You can show the rest how easy it is.
Here is what one dad wrote. Is this cool or what?
“BT/WT has almost become a habit now. I start to get tired at the same time every night and am normally awake before my alarm now. Thank you. I have noticed a difference in how I well feel and my attitude and thinking throughout the day.”
When I see guys “step-up” like this, I am SO encouraged.
“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13).
Does this sound like today or what? “For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely” (Jeremiah 6:13).
There is such a craving for the things money can buy and if you don’t have the money, companies stand in line to give you credit.
It begins with going to college so “you” can have the good life even if you don’t have the money for college. Young people broker future wages against the “certain” (?) high wages from their degree, presuming the money will be there to pay off the school debt. School debt is more permanent than marriage. You can divorce and lose a spouse, but even bankruptcy doesn’t get rid of school debt. Few (even believers) seem to take their debt seriously.
Why not trust a loving Father to supply all of your needs? He will supply all He agrees with.
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). May we dads be an example of being content and working hard.