In his book “Winning,” former GE chairman Jack Welch speaks about work-life balance with our families.
Outlining the life of a good parent, Mr. Welch is admittedly chagrined about his poor performance as a father. “I say that I found time for golf because I didn’t spend my leisure time on much else. As for my children, I didn’t “manage” them, except to crack the whip on grades and play social director during my three weeks of vacation each year. Their happy lives today have a lot more to do with their mom than me.”1 Jack Welch was “fiscally” on target in matters of business and financial success, but admits that when it came to family and fatherhood, he was woefully lacking.
As a father, I must also admit that I too have often bought into the world’s definition of a “winner.” The fact is, most men really don’t understand the clear biblical mandates of being a “winning” father.
Time vs. Money
During a recent conversation, an 11 year old explained her relationship with her wealthy dad. They rarely see each other except late at night when he arrives home. “I’d rather have him than all the money in the world” she lamented, her eyes wet with tears.
Her father really believes he’s being a good parent by providing her all of the material possessions and opportunities that he never had. They both want a happy life, but their perspectives about achieving this are miles apart! Why the confusion?
Parental “bungling” is Biblical
The Bible says that being confused is only human. Look at this “reality check” found in Jeremiah:
“I know God, that mere mortals can’t run their own lives, That men and women don’t have what it takes to take charge of life.” Jeremiah 10:23, 24 (The Message / Remix)
According to this verse, the only thing that I do well without God is to mess up my life! It’s not my fault that I’m human, but I stand guilty before God if I choose not to follow his counsel in all things…including parenting.
God’s here to help
God can help us in our struggle to be good dads. Look at this verse:
“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with thine eye.” Psalms 32:8 (KJV)
Another version gets even stronger:
“Let me give you some good advice; I’m looking you in the eye and giving it to you straight.” (The Message / Remix)
Three positive steps toward being a better father
I certainly don’t have all the answers, but may I submit three positive steps that will help us to be “winning” fathers?
1. Revitalize. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 (KJV) With all that life “serves up,” being spiritually focused can be a challenge. Placing high emphasis on our relationship with God often cuts across our humanness. God promises however, that if we choose him first, that he will “soften the edges” and help us make good scheduling decisions. No one has more than 24 hours a day, and he wants us to make the best use of our time for his glory, our satisfaction, and for our family’s legitimate need to have a leader, provider, mentor, and father. A revitalized relationship with Christ that is deep and real will help us stay on track.
2. Downsize. “The little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.” Psalm 37:16 (KJV) Society is all wrong about material possessions! Stuff doesn’t make us happy, and it never will. “Trimming the fat” of our possessions, and focusing attention on what’s really important will pay emotional dividends. Time is priceless! Once it’s is gone, it’s gone forever. Is “stuff” really worth the extra effort?
3. Prioritize. “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.” Malachi 4:6 (KJV) Can I answer affirmatively that I really have my child’s heart? Scripture tells me to teach my children when I rise up, when I lie down, and all through the day. That’s impossible if I rarely spend time with them. Have I swallowed the fallacy that “quality time” is more important than quantity time? I’m reminded of Harry Chapin’s song, “Cat’s in the Cradle,” where a busy father doesn’t have time for his son, only to realize later, that his son has modeled his harried existence and no longer has time for his father. I want to be close to my kids, so I have to be willing to make some “trade-offs” with my schedule.
Becoming a “winning” father is hard work! The journey is not easy! But God’s promise remains;
“Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place.” Proverbs 16:3 (The Message / Remix)
1. Jack Welch with Suzy Welch, Winning (New York: Harper-Collins, 2005)
Read more at the source: Fathers Who Win
Article excerpt posted on en.intercer.net from Spiritual applications.