Thursday, May 24, 2012

For Men Only

Last weekend I got the opportunity to speak at our church's men's retreat. Yes, of course we did a bunch of guy stuff: paintball, high ropes course and shooting guns...

Me and Steve after the ropes course and paintball.

The topic for my seminar was "Following God and Leading Your Family." I wanted to share with you last portion of my talk.  When I was in Atlanta, Home Improvement was very popular and when friends were getting married we decided to do "Tool Time" parties for the guys. Girls get to have bridal showers, but it is weird, for some reason, for guys to have showers.

Great lake for fishing, kayaking and swimming. Blob in the summer.
So, we had these "Tool Time" parties where everyone brought some sort of tool as a gift and then we did "guy stuff." (played video games, ate food, grunted, and oohed and aahed over all the great tools he would get). Then we had a very cool time of sharing advice for the guy who was about to get married. Everyone got an opportunity to give him insight into married life and much of what was shared came as a result of mistakes we had made. It is good to learn from your mistakes.

Below is a list of "advice" I shared at the men's retreat that I think would be helpful to making you a better husband and father. I want to be clear...I AM NOT SUPER HUSBAND OR SUPER DAD!!! I have learned from my own mistakes and others' mistakes. I am continually learning and often don't remember the lessons I learned, but these are some lessons I have remembered.

* Care about the wound, not the poor decision. When your kids are messing around and you tell them not to, and they keep messing around, sooner or later they will get hurt.  When it happens, don't jump down their throat and tell them "I told you so." They already know they messed up. Take a moment to breath and then love on them. Don't look to be right, do the right thing.

* Jeanne-Ann was backing the van out of the garage and ripped off the mirror. I remember coming home and not getting upset (like my instinct was) and how much she appreciated that.

* Very recently we purchased a new van to replace the duct taped mirror van and we have only had a a short while.  When she backed up out of the driveway she ran over one of those cable boxes at the end of the driveway. (they are in such an ugly and stupid spot!) She also had a few other things go on that day that were tough.  I brought her flowers. (these 2 incidents were years apart...don't read that she is a bad driver)

* When you come home, put away the laptop and cell phone. I put away my laptop a couple of years ago, but the cell phone has been tied to my person forever! About 2 months ago I started leaving it on the counter on silent. I don't want to hear, "Pappa, is your iPhone more important than me?"

* Make wise decisions with your TV and movie viewing.

* Read with your kids!   A couple of things I have read with my kids recently. Jesus Calling (kids edition) and several of these "Christian heroes of the faith" books that are easy reads about different missionaries (Eric Liddle, Jim Elliot, etc.).

* Know their culture. You don’t have to be someone you are not, but have an idea. Don't let your 10 year old go see the Hunger Games when you have no idea what it is about.

* Have dinner together as often as possible.

* Every night I put my kids to bed. Pray with them and for them. Model prayer. Model reading your Bible. I kiss them good night and say “I love you. Jesus loves you and I love being your Pappa."

* Don’t let your wife do all the work around the house. You would be surprised what doing a little clean up will do to her mood. The happiness level rises...even more so if you do it together!

* Don’t come home and unload your bad work day thinking she has done nothing all day.

* Hold hands and kiss your wife and let your kids see it.

Those are a few thoughts. Chew on them. Do them. Share your ideas. I would love to have you share them in the comments.

If you are of the female persuasion and you read this, feel free to pass it along to that guy you love. But no using it against them.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminder dude.

Fred Hartley IV said...

Good word broski

Anonymous said...

I actually think this is good for independent women, as well. I will take the nuggets you shared. :) -neen

Jessica said...

So my husband was at retreat and said your sharing was brilliant. Now that I know what you spoke on, I will certainly be holding him accountable ;)

Great words that could truly enourage health in a marriage.

Thanks for posting.

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