christian fathers

 

The Father's Day Gift that will change his life... forever...
by Carl Caton

I can't say that I was a "well rounded individual" in my growing up years. I enjoyed work and focused most of my energy there. I continued with my penchant for the workday (and night), even after my wife and I were married.  Surely my wife appreciated that trait as well? What wife doesn't like to be provided for?  The only problem was that striving for excellence in your work leaves little time for anything else.  Certainly it leaves little time for a new marriage.

When it came time for kids, my wife and I engaged in some "intensive fellowship" regarding how much (actually how little) time I would be spending with our kids.  I just couldn't see how I would have much time for fathering when I needed to spend seventy hours a week at the office.  Frankly, it just wasn't possible.

Then my wife said something that I'll never forget.  She said, she didn't care what 'standard of living' we might have... she just wanted me home more.  What? I thought it was my job to maintain that high standard of living!  All of the sudden, the weight of the world was lifted from my shoulders.  You see, my wife released me from an unattainable lifestyle.  She freed me from the rat race.  She opened the door to a whole new world and a whole new way of living.

That night, our lives changed forever.  I didn't know it at the time, but it would be the best thing that ever happened to our marriage... the best gift my wife ever gave me.

You see, many wives want their husbands to be involved in their marriage and family.  But they also want... well, stuff.  Right?  I mean, who doesn't want a nice house, a shiny car, and exciting family vacations.  The problem is... all these things cost money... and money takes time.  Time is money.  

In today's corporate world, men are getting the squeeze on both ends.  The corporation is telling them they have to work harder, to get more done in less time.  I know a fellow who lost three co-workers to corporate cutbacks.  The real stinker is that my friend was left there, holding the bag for those who were let go.  He's supposed to do the same work that four people were doing last year.  He's working more hours than ever before.

At the same time, the 'super-dad' syndrome has taken root.  Much more is expected of fathers these days.  We're expected to (and we should) help more around the house.  We need to be actively involved with the kids.  Add to all this the complexity of daily living.  

Wives... you must release your husband from this frantic rat race.  And yes, there will be some major adjustments that will have to take place.  We moved to a smaller home, drove older model cars, quit spending money on needless things, even quit eating out as much.  But it was worth it.  When you release your husband from the frantic workplace, you allow him to become the husband and father he should be.  As such, he begins to have less guilt for not spending time with family.  Joy, yes joy, actually returns to his family relationships.  And God begins to use this man in a mighty and new way.

The story doesn't stop there though.  Actually, you will need to begin giving him new gifts.  You will need to give him the gift of constant encouragement.  You see, the world tells him that his value is found in his work.  Everywhere he looks, he sees this.  It's in the media, the marketplace... everywhere.  Even watching  his old buddies from work move up the corporate ladder will bring doubt back to his thought process.  He will see other husbands providing more lavishly for their wives.  He'll worry that you're not happy with your standard of living.  He'll worry that your Mother's Day gift falls short.  You need to constantly remind him that you have what's most important to you... him! 

But your constant encouragement and love, as well as the joy of being an involved father will overcome these lies.  He will find true meaning and significance... but you must release him to take that first step....

Wait!  Please don't go yet.  Would you take a moment to email me your thoughts after reading this article?  Please drop me an email.

 

 

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(c) 2003 Caton Family

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