Most have read Pilgrim’s Progress and remember Talkative. What a guy! He had all the right answers and said all the right things. The only problem was that he didn’t live it out. He was all talk, an empty suit, a talking head.
In his book Jack, Straight from the Gut, Jack Welch explains that GE rated their employees with what they called “the four Es of GE leadership.” I have modified the points to highlight dad’s leadership. What if keeping our job as Dad depended on our ratings on the following points?
1. Does Dad invest his time in his family?
2. Does Dad inspire his family to live for Jesus Christ?
3. Will Dad make difficult decisions in following Christ even when others don’t agree?
4. Will Dad be the first to step out and implement those decisions?
The last point is primarily what sets a real performer apart from a “Talkative.” It’s easy for you and me to talk well but lack execution. If we are a great trip planner, but never go on the trip, what’s the benefit? “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works” (Hebrews 10:24).
Ask your family to rate you (1–10) on the four points and give you examples to support their ratings. It’s a good exercise. I did it. BTW, at GE those in the lower 10 percent in each department were expected to go find another job. Let’s strive to be in the top 10 percent in the universal pool of Christian dads.
Would you feed her?
I do. She’s about 80 pounds of fierce muscle and eats squirrels whole. It all started because I wanted her as a friend and not an enemy. (Wouldn’t you?) That’s the flesh. I did it for my gain. Now she “loves” me but only because I feed her choice scraps of meat.
It’s easy to value others because of what they do for us. When we walk in the Spirit, however, we are to love others with an agape love, whether they are good to us or even bad to us. “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).
May we love our wives and children because of who they are and not because of what they do for us.
Someone once told me about a sign he read on the wall of a business: “We want employees who want to work here, not just for a paycheck.”
That sentiment is similar to a common corporate mission statement that proudly proclaims: “Our employees are our best asset!”
Don’t both of those statements sound good? Wouldn’t you want to work there? Well, maybe yes or maybe no. Doesn’t it depend upon whether management actually makes decisions for the good of the employee consistent with those statements? One question would be: Is the company investing in their employees?
We could say something similar about our homes. A father may desire that each member of the family wants to live in his home, or he might say that his family is his greatest treasure on earth. The question is: What is he doing to make those statements a reality? Is he making decisions for the good of his wife and children? Is he investing in his wife and children?
Have we evicted anger from our lives and ushered in love, gentleness, and patience? Let’s tally how much time we spend with our wife and children each week. Why isn’t it more? Might that fact be the difference between words that sound good and reality?
“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (1 Corinthians 3:13).
Let’s make our homes a place of nurturing and love. It begins with a choice. Will we make good choices and then implement them?
On average a mom will change 2,500 diapers for her newborn baby in just the first year. Do any of us truly believe that Moms’ “why” in changing diapers is that she loves to change diapers? We can be sure she is looking down the road and investing her life in the children because she is raising them to love and serve the Lord.
How seriously do we Dads take our responsibility of discipling our children? Providing a paycheck is the easy part. That is necessary, but the hard part is raising sons and daughters who love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
Raising children who love the Lord is a LOT OF HARD WORK. The more we invest, though, the greater the return. I can assure you that the investment is worth it. Was it tough at times? Absolutely! But I delight in my children. People groan when mentioning teenagers. I can’t imagine that. The teen years are when the real “pay-off” is beginning!
One very senior citizen recently told me that she issued an ultimatum to her daughter – at 18 either the daughter would move out or the mom would. Sadly, that attitude is so common today.
It’s very easy to “father” a child. The hard part is to be a father to that child.
What’s our “why?” What sort of fathers are we? What level of effort are we willing to invest?
Seriously Dad is for dads who want to grow spiritually, personally, and relationally. It doesn’t matter where you are starting from, The question is: Do you want to grow? If you know another dad who is serious about being challenged and moving forward, send this on to him.
Frequent doses of spiritual, vocational, and family relationship “vitamins” for dads are coming your way beginning March 20th. Won’t you join me?
Your Brother in Christ Jesus,
Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. Psalm 68:19