Edmund Burke is quoted as saying, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” If all we need to do, as “good men”, is something, then, how much more does it take for us to become ‘great’ men. I argue that it takes doing something intentionally.
When I entered the workforce, I was determined not to become a slave to my career. I made an intentional decision to be home for dinner with the family every night. We often hear that our role as a dad, or a parent, is the most important job we will ever have. It is unlikely that we will have as much impact and influence on anyone’s life as we will our own children.
Early in my career, I worked in the city of Chicago. This required a commute of about an hour each way. So, if I wanted to get home by 6:00 each evening, I needed to catch the train that left a little before 5:00. I worked my schedule out with my boss to come in early so I could then catch the train.
This is not to say I never worked later, but working later would never become the normal routine. The expectation was that I would be home consistently each evening at a time we could all enjoy a meal together as a family.
The point to all this is that I wanted to be available to my kids and my family to influence them. I wanted to be there to play with them and tuck them in at night. I wanted to be there to encourage them as they struggled to take their first steps and teach them how to catch a ball.
It would have been so easy to put extra time into my job. Not that I did the bare minimum but I was not going to “sell out”, so to speak, to my career. You can do a good job at your job while also doing a great job at your parenting.
In a sermon last year, our pastor said that “a godly father teaches and motivates his children.” To teach and motivate our children we have to be present. We have to be available. He referenced this verse in 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12, “…as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”
Often, the real work of the day begins in the evening when we get home. We have kids to teach and motivate. Maybe someone in our family has had a bad day. We need to be there to encourage and lead. The temptation is there to flop down in the la-z-boy and flip on the game. Don’t do it! Engage with your kids and with your wife. These are the times when you are needed most.
You can do this!
I want to end with one of my favorite passages from the Bible. King David is nearing the end of his life and charges his son, Solomon, with these words:
“I go the way of all the earth; be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man. And keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn; that the Lord may fulfill His word which He spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons take heed to their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul,’ He said, ‘you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’ ~ 1 Kings 2:2-4
Go forth, men. Be strong and prove yourself a DAD!
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Phil Conrad is the founder of Intentional Parenting. You can find his podcast right here; click this link: Intentional Parenting
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