Daddy, can you play dinosaurs with me? My oldest son asks me as I’m running out the door for my first appointment of the day. His big blue eyes shine with hope as he anticipates me sitting down and grabbing the triceratops. I’m sorry buddy, daddy has to go to work but we will play when I get home. My heart aches as I close the door of my car, feeling like I let my little boy down.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” — Matthew 6:33
Have you ever felt like you are pulled in 22 different directions? Do you wish you could photocopy yourself five times over to meet all the demands of the day? As men, we have a tremendous amount of responsibility on our plates, and it can be challenging to feel like we are giving 100% in each area of our life. I have learned from the wisdom of other men that to be the best husband, daddy, and leader I can be, faithful priorities are critical! So where do we start?
Our #1 priority needs to be God. Jesus said in Luke 14, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.” Do not allow the word “hate” to shock you in this statement. Many times, Jesus used strong words to get our attention, and the point is God needs to come first. God is not only our 1st priority in life; God IS our life! Everything revolves around Him. Having this mindset helps us become better husbands, fathers, and leaders. Schedule your daily appointments with God…it’s the advice Jesus gave to Martha. Only one thing is needed!
Our 2nd priority is family. The relationship we have with our wives is the essential relationship we serve within our family. If mommy and daddy are clicking, the rest of the family has safety and security. Schedule your date nights, turn off the TV, spend time looking into the eyes of your wife getting to know her. Next is the relationship with our children. I am heartbroken when I speak with men who know more about their favorite athlete’s stats than their children’s interests. With each child, schedule time to get to know them. It’s not always the amount of time we put in but what we put into the amount of time. Ten minutes playing dinosaurs can be more productive than an hour and a half of watching a movie together.
Priority #3 is our careers. Don’t misunderstand me, there are instances where immediate family and friends take priority, but I believe we all feel the demands of providing for our family, which takes up a considerable portion of our lives. Some of our duties as a man are providing shelter, food on the table, and a lifestyle for our family. Also, I have found that men who feel productive in their work tend to feel more productive in their house and vice versa. However, when work becomes a priority before God and our family, we start to feel the strain. Schedule your work time. Put the phone up when you’re at home. Get your emails done when the kids are in bed or before the family is awake in the morning. Our calling and family are worth it!
For more reading materials on God, Family, Career — Designating Faithful Priorities, see below:
- How can I find my identity?
- Don’t find your identity in your work
- Change your heart before your change your profession