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Posts Tagged ‘Fathers’

What Men Fear Most

ScaredWe may never admit we worry about anything, but trust me, we do.

Weakness and men don’t mix. With protector/provider ingrained in our DNA, men believe it’s our primal job to be strong. If something threatens our strength or ability to provide and protect, we may experience angst, stress and a desperate desire to regain control. However, since we are unlikely to share our feelings, the silent anxiety affects our relationships in untold ways.

As men we want to solve or dispel our fears, but we don’t want to admit them to others. Somehow we think admitting we’re afraid says we are less than a man, or something is wrong with us. Men walk around comparing the worst of themselves to the best other men are portraying, and this reinforces our decision to keep quiet.

So, what are the top seven things men fear most?

1. Failure
2. Do I make enough money?
3. Have I accomplished/done enough in life?
4. Am I going to lose my job?
5. Am I getting old?
6. Appearing to need help
7. Am I a good dad/will I be a good dad?

Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

2 Timothy 1:7 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Read that verse again… When you are afraid you lack power, love and self-control.

Here is the secret: Fear only breads when it’s kept inside. Admitting it releases it and prevents the weight of having to pose. Confession is the key to releasing fear and experiencing peace. Confession eliminates the control of fear. Find someone you trust and give it a go!

Father’s Matter

father-grown-sonThis year my kids are 15, 21 and 26. Like all dads out there I’ve done some things right and many things wrong. If you are a father of young children know that you have an immense opportunity and responsibility. Your leadership will have more to do with their development and future than you now know.

I’ve done a little experiment, and polled a number of men to get their answers to two questions in hopes that we might glean some wisdom from their experience.  While I surveyed men from varying backgrounds and ages, it was very interesting to me how similar their answers were. My Dad used to say, “learn from other’s mistakes instead of making them all yourself.” Good advice!  Hopefully we can all apply it after reading this.

The first question I asked was:

As a father, the one thing I would have done different when my children were young is _____________?

The three most common answers were:

  1. Model Christ to my children better
  2. Focus more on my relationship with my wife
  3. Plan for regular vacations and purposeful memory making occasions.

So, young dad’s out there… How are you doing in these areas? The #2 answer says a lot in the fact that the question was direction towards children but focusing on the relationship with your wife. Don’t miss this one!  Today is a great day to start or restart.

The second question I asked was:

As a grown man the one thing I long/longed for my father to say is _______________?

The same three answers were repeated over and over. In fact these were the only answers given.

  1. I’m sorry
  2. I love you
  3. I’m proud of you

Fathers, listen up! Especially if you’re a dad of grown children. Chances are your children are longing to hear one or all of the above. You probably don’t have to think very long to know what that is. Men, do it now. Pick up the phone, go for a visit and bless your children with the words they long to hear.

He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction. Malachi 4:6

Becoming A Stronger Spiritual Leader

Learn Grow LeadTo state things simply, a man is made to lead. This is a God given, innate desire and calling for every man, but becoming a strong spiritual leader does not happen by chance. This would be the obvious place to start listing things you should do, like reading your Bible daily, praying daily and meeting with a weekly men’s group who will challenge and encourage you. While these are key ingredients, I’d like you to consider another approach.

If you read the title and thought there was room for you to grow as a spiritual leader, the first step is deciding to. You will be finished reading this in the next 60 seconds, and it will be very easy to move on with your day without changing anything. Nothing is more difficult than change. Nothing is more difficult than doing something one way for an extended period of time and then stopping and restarting. I get that! I’m challenging you to do something every man needs to. Decide right now you are going to become a stronger spiritual leader for yourself and your family.

If you said yes to the challenge, increasing your intimacy with God is the next step. You can do the practical things listed above, but these disciplines without intimacy with the Father wither in time. Without relationship you will find yourself at the beginning of each year renewing old resolutions. Revelation 2:5 “…Repent and do what you did at first.” This is the path to spiritual growth.

So if intimacy is key, how do I increase it? Great question! How would you go about increasing intimacy with your wife and children? The answer is obvious isn’t it? TIME. Your spiritual leadership becomes stronger in proportion to your time spent with Jesus.

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13 I want that said of me! How about you?

Your Most Important Work

When does the most important part of your day start? At least five days a week you are spending the majority of your waking hours at work. During any given day there are tasks you perform that are routine, and others that can be stressful due to the importance associated with them, but I believe your most important work starts at the end of the day… when you pull the car into the driveway or garage and turn off the ignition. Typically, there’s a deep breath because your workday is finally done, and you can relax, right?! The truth is, your most important work is just about to begin.

It’s the time you will spend with your wife and children. It’s such a small amount of time compared to the time you spend at work, but the fruit of your efforts will far outweigh and outlive anything you do at your job. Think about it a minute… you spend eight to ten hours a day at work, and at best, you have about two hours of meaningful time with your family at night. If your honest, it’s real easy to spend those hours in the recliner, isn’t it? After all, you worked all day and you “earned” this time, didn’t you?

Why am I calling this time with your family “work”? Just to get you to think about it a bit differently… you see, work has purpose in it, we understand that. It is intentional and we do it for a desired outcome. The work you are doing at home is an investment. Is your investment growing or diminishing?

When you turn off your ignition today, take a deep breath and ask God for His help to do your best “work”.

Your Greatest Gift To Me Dad

We have all heard how our relationship with our Dad has a lot to do with our relationship with God as our Heavenly Father.  And in the vast majority of story’s I’ve heard the father son relationship has had a negative impact on their relationship with God. As you know, there are so many stories of betrayal, abuse, abandonment and just non-engaged silence.

Dad, you are different! Your level of integrity is rare and it is a blessing to your children. I have told you before that I cannot recall a time when you have let me down. Keeping your word down to the smallest detail is your greatest gift to me. I trust you implicitly. It is no coincidence that I trust God even more. I am so confident that God will keep His promises because you modeled that so well for me. I am convinced that God’s plan for me is to give me a hope and a future because you have represented that to me all along.

Much of your advice, many of your decisions, and all of your discipline, I didn’t like at the time, but I have had the opportunity to reflect and see that your advice was full of wisdom, your decisions were like railroad tracks for me to follow and your discipline was because you loved me. All for my good!  Dad, you have paved the way for my relationship with God and I am forever grateful. Thank you for a job well done and keep up the good work! 

You and I talked about testimonies one time and we joked about you not having one people would pay to hear because it didn’t have some of those “bottom” experiences like mine and others you know, but if you consider where our relationship has come from and that it has been raised from the dead, I think it is an incredible testimony… one a lot of fathers need to hear.

Happy Father’s Day Dad!
All my love,
Michael

Broken Promises

As parents we have a daunting responsibility. For 18 plus years we get to care for (clothe, feed, provide shelter and protect) our children. But we are given something much greater from the child… Their trust. It’s something we are all born with… As children we instinctively trust our parents. By the time we are 18 (usually before then) we have discovered how well our parent’s actions line up with their words.

Sometimes we make a promise to a child and then life happens. The commitment, that promise then gets mixed in with the busyness of our lives. Somehow we start prioritizing all that we are juggling and the promise get postponed and sometimes retracted or forgotten. A broken promise to a child is the same thing as a lie. Broken promises will destroy your relationship with your child. (And others for that matter) I know from firsthand experience. Today I have a good grasp on the importance of this but with my first child I blew it. I’m grateful that God has restored that relationship and if you’ve blown it, own it and make it right. It’s never too late. Start today! As fathers this has a lot to do with how our children will approach and trust God (more on that in this post).

Your words to your children (the promises) have the ability fortify or destroy. Choose wisely and make sure your word gets fulfilled.

A Father’s Greatest Gift (Broken Promises – Part 2)

We have all heard how our relationship with our Dad has a lot to do with our relationship with God as our Heavenly Father.  And in the vast majority of story’s I’ve heard the father son relationship has had a negative impact on their relationship with God. As you know, there are so many stories of betrayal, abuse, abandonment and just non-engaged silence.

My story is different. While my Dad was a strict disciplinarian and that combined with my rebellious teenage years was a recipe for much pain and heartache he was always true to his word. If he said we were going to do something, we did it. If he said I was punished for ‘x’ number of weeks he meant it and never did I get off a day early… I hated that!   His level of integrity is rare and it is a blessing to his children. I cannot recall a time when he has let me down. Keeping his word down to the smallest detail is his greatest gift to me. I trust him implicitly. It is no coincidence that I trust God even more. I am so confident that God will keep His promises because my Dad modeled that so well for me. I am convinced that God’s plan for me is to give me a hope and a future because all along my Dad represented that to me.

Much of his advice, many of his decisions, and all of his discipline, I didn’t like at the time but I have had the opportunity to reflect and see that his advice was full of wisdom, his decisions were like railroad tracks for me to follow and his discipline was because he loved me. All for my good!  My Dad has paved the way for my relationship with God and I am forever grateful. Thank you for a job well done Dad and keep up the good work!  I’m 45 years old and I want to be like my Dad when I grow up. :0)

Based on the number of men I’ve talked to over the years this story is rare but regardless of how your father did, be aware men, that you have enormous power when it comes to your children. You have the power to destroy and the power to launch your kids into a healthy loving relationship with God. With great power comes great responsibility.

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