Real Men Take Point

Men, we’ve read the Bible and understand God’s expectation that we take point and set the course for our families, but the role is tough as we determine the next ten steps and the overall direction. We do much more than clear spider webs from the trail for those who follow. A typical week forces a man to be a plumber, carpenter, mechanic, tech support wizard, coach, counselor, and gardener, all while holding down a full-time job, communicating effectively, and transparently sharing feelings. We don’t get timeouts, and shunning our responsibility exposes those we cherish to the devouring attack of evil.

God never asks us to take this march alone. To enable our success He offers His presence, resources, and wisdom. Father’s Day is an opportunity to check our progress, renew our commitment, and reset our bearings. Walk through this checklist, and see how you’re doing. Make necessary course corrections so those following you travel in the right direction.

Men need healthy eating habits.

Any man can name the five basic food groups—ketchup, fries, pizza, burgers, and ice cream—but are we overlooking the most important nourishment? Peter urges in 1 Peter 2:2 (NIV), “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.” As Joshua prepared to lead Israel into the Promised Land, God left no doubt about the path to success. Joshua 1:8 (NIV) instructs, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Am I devouring God’s Word?

Men need to breathe.

Do we hold our breath while we tackle the daily challenges of leading our families? The harder men work the more oxygen we require. Without a steady air supply our efforts falter and eventually stop. Prayer is to the spiritual life what breathing is to the physical life. Paul urges us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to pray continually. God welcomes our prayers, and He invites us to come to His throne for help (Hebrews 4:16). God understands the challenges of leading, and He offers wisdom in James 1:5 (NIV), “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

Is my praying as regular as my breathing?

Men need regular exercise.

After a hectic day our pressing desire may be for a nap on the sofa. But how can anyone sleep with the clamor of the chore list and the clang of other demands? Our attitudes turn sour when we forget God has placed us as servants in our families. Jesus taught in Matthew 20:26-27 (NIV), “…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant…” He then modeled the teaching in John 13 as He knelt to wash twenty-four dirty feet. Our children will learn the servant work ethic when we demonstrate that for them. Our wives will feel the love when we display our devotion by our service.

How am I doing as a servant?

Men need fellowship.

Any job becomes easier with a friend by our side, especially if his knowledge supplements our own. A fresh set of eyes drawing insight from a different collection of experiences might result in a workable solution we missed or wise counsel we never considered. Solomon captured the idea in Proverbs 17:17 (NIV), “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Men, we need each other. We readily share our knowledge of carpentry or engine repair with a friend. Why not share our spiritual experiences, life lessons learned, and parenting insights? Why not bravely admit our struggles to one another? Solomon predicted the result in Proverbs 27:17 (NIV), “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

Who am I sharpening, and who is sharpening me?

Happy Father’s Day, men, and thanks for your service and sacrifice in leading your families! When the responsibility of taking point grows heavy, claim this truth from Romans 8:31 (NIV), “…If God is for us, who can be against us?” Is there a better Father to follow?

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