The Husband is to Provide… Himself?
I had made a resolution to myself that I would not blog this long weekend. Since, Saturday was my wife and my 11th Anniversary, and today was my oldest daughters 6th birthday. I thought I would avoid the computer, and focus on my family. Now it is 9pm on Monday evening and my daughter is in bed (albeit on a sugar and excitement high and she has school tomorrow– Sorry Mrs V.) My wife is relaxing on the couch watching tv, and Nibbles is running in his wheel. Oh, Nibbles is the newest member of our family…a hamster. A gift for our daughter. So I thought it would be ok to now spend an hour on this short post.
Last week, I wrote a little bit on providing financially for our families. However, not only are we to provide financially, sometimes it is more important for a husband/father to provide himself to his family. Part of being a Christain husband and father is that you provide yourself. Let me clarify, you set aside time to focus on your family, to indulge your wife and children in your undivided attention. This is something that I have been dreadful in committing to in the past. And it has had its negative effects on the strength of my family. For instance in the past I would have worked today – even though it is my child’s birthday it’s also a stat holiday so I would get time and a half if I work! “My Daughter won’t mind, I can get her that present she really wants if I work today…” It does not have to be only on your kids birthday, it can be always working too much or not being available when you are home.I don’t think I am the only one guilty of this. I see it everywhere and I believe it is a major issue for men today. We are a preoccupied with work, finances, sports, overtime, and leisure. We are busy people who are overextended financially and in our priorities. And sadly, we are seemingly unable to prioritize what we really need to prioritize – that is, our wives and kids over our work and our endless pursuit of entertainment.
I used to think along these lines “I worked hard today/this week; I don’t want to be bothered with the kids/chores, get them out of my sight, and grab me a beer while you are at it…and what’s for dinner/I am going to play this video game for 6 hours/watch the hockey game/ go out with the guys/etc” Sadly, when I was home from work, I believed that I was permitted to indulge in endless entertainment and relaxation – and I indulged in video games/tv/beer/movies while my wife took care of the baby, cooked and cleaned. Men do you irresponsibly pursue things? How about power or advancement at work? How about money? What other idols do we sadly put on the pedestals of our lives that all come at the expense of your family?
Do you put TV over family devotions? Do you put Facebook over your couples devotions? what about just getting to know your family? Do we make that a priority?
As a husband I need to provide time for my wife, too look deeply in her eyes and reconnect – no distractions – no kids – no tv – no computer – no Facebook …and no blog 🙂 Set up date nights with your wife at least once a month – with no kids (it does not need to be expensive either).
As a father I have to provide time for my kids, both together and individually. I need to talk with them, find out their fears and their triumphs. My 2 year old will tell me the most interesting stories that would never hear if I didn’t take her alone and talk with her. I need to encourage them, to ask them questions about them…don’t assume you know everything about your kids. I need to answer their questions, and they have a lot. Men, we need to focus on even these little questions, show them that you care about what they are curious about – even if it is a silly question. Go on “daddy-dates” with your kids. This is a time I treasure with my daughters. Even something as simple like going to the park or a walk on the river or for a “kids cone” at Dairy Queen. Your children will thank you for it – maybe not now – but when they are grown they will have a Dad that provided himself to them over work and entertainment. No one on their deathbed ever regretted not working enough or not watching that movie or getting to the next level in a video game, but how many men have regretted not being involved in their family’s lives…how many of us will regret not providing ourselves? 1 Timothy 5:8 says:
Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Provide not only financially but provide yourself give yourself to your family – you won’t regret it, you might not have that extra 100 bucks, you might not be able to afford that video game but you wont regret it…nor will I.