Tag Archives: family

Fathers Need to Die

I’m a dad and I need to die.  In fact, I think all fathers should die.  We’d all be better off for it.

I don’t mean that we should all literally die, of course.  But in a sense, good fathers kill themselves.

I’m not getting any clearer, am I?

How about this:  My selfishness needs to die.

In any relationship, there is a constant battle of what-I-want VS. what-you-want.  That kid (hopefully not mine) throwing a tantrum in the toy aisle?  Selfishness.  He wants the toy, you want your dignity.

The problem is that while our tantrums (hopefully) decrease as we grow older, the root of the tantrum often hangs around much longer.  To be a great dad, I need to kill this root of selfishness.

Break out the Roundup.

I’m not merely talking about sharing your ice cream with your little one.  That’s easy and mostly inconsequential.  It’s exceedingly more difficult to be selfless with our time.

Is your hobby killing your family?

A tremendous young pastor, Josh Lindstrom, spoke some wise words for dads.  Between his job and his family, he doesn’t have time for hobbies.  Truthfully, I don’t either.  Do you?

Do you have kids at home but play golf every weekend?  Why?  Shouldn’t your family be your hobby?

If I took the time for hobbies, something would suffer.  But it wouldn’t be my work duties.  Family often gets the short end of the stick.

I love to go mountain biking with my friend.  But when I go, half of my Saturday is gone – prime time to chill with the family.

So you’re saying I can’t ever have any fun?

Nope.  But I have three suggestions for dads:

1.  Consider changing your idea of “fun”.  Sure (insert activity) is fun, but find something you can do with your family.  Spending time hiking or just being outside together has been great for my family.  Find what works for yours.

2.  “I’ve earned the right to ____________.”  Get over yourself.  You have a family.  Therefore, you have earned the right to lead them courageously.  One of the greatest ways you can do that is to…

3. …be intentional with your time.  I don’t know about your home, but with my kids, the days are often long but the years are way too short.  Spend time doing things that matter with people that matter.

And who matters more than those little people who buy you ties every June?



Phone Stack Your Life

Ever notice that in some situations people pay more attention to their phones than to the people around them? (Everyone with a teenager who has a phone is nodding their heads vigorously.)

Brian Perez is trying to change that with a dinner game called phone stacking. In a nutshell, when a group goes out to dinner, everyone puts their phones in the middle of the table. The first one to check their phone pays the bill. You can read the official rules here. It’s a clever way to get people to love the ones their with, so to speak.

I think the phone stacking principle can be applied to other areas of life, especially for those of us who are married or have kids.

What are some things you can put aside to focus your attention on those who desire your attention? While my family doesn’t have a TV to pull me away, too often I’m guilty of hopping on the computer to “just check on one thing.” The problem for me is that I don’t have the discipline to do that. Before I know it, two minutes turn into ten which turn into more.

I need to “phone stack” my distractions until there is a time in my day when those activities won’t take me away from my family. They’re worthy of my attention.

How about you? What can you stack?


The Lion’s Den

As a US resident, I enjoy living in relative safety. My car has airbags. My pancake syrup has a seal on it to tell me if someone’s messed with it. We don’t have lions roaming around trying to eat us. We’ve got a pretty good thing going.

But…we DO have lions roaming around. One of the biggest “lions” is naked women.

The Lion’s Den is a perfect name for a porn shop. Lion’s Den Adult Superstores had 38 locations as of 2009 in the United States (so says this article). Almost all of them are located along interstates. Men drive on interstates. Men are prone to like looking at women. It makes good business sense to put porn shops on interstates where men who like to look at women drive by.

If you’ve seen The Ghost and the Darkness you saw the fear that a prowling lion can strike in a human’s heart. You probably don’t want to see a lion because they are relatively scary and fierce.

So how is it that we miss THE lion who plans on killing us? He’s a sneaky devil. Oh wait, he IS the devil.

The problem is that the nasty porn lion is everywhere, not just lonely truck stops. Billboards, bookstores, grocery-store checkouts, hotel pay-per-views, the mall. It’s hard to look anywhere and not see cleavage and leg. When you’re married or want to be married, cleavage and leg that aren’t your wife’s aren’t good for you.

Peter wrote “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” Devouring is serious stuff. It’s not taste-testing.

If you’re a man, this is what porn does to you. You can’t taste-test porn or near-porn and come away unscathed. IT WILL KILL YOU! (And I don’t give a care about someone’s “rights” to be naked or semi-naked. Just because you have the right to do something doesn’t make it beneficial.)

Are you married? Watch out! Do you have a girlfriend? Watch out! Do you have kids? Watch out! Are you alive? Watch out! Porn can getcha, for real.

Abigail Tucker wrote an interesting article called The Most Ferocious Man-Eating Lions. She opens with this:

    In encounters with the king of beasts, an unarmed person is “one of the most helpless creatures,” notes Charles Guggisberg in Simba: the Life of the Lion. “Man cannot run as fast as a zebra or a gazelle, he has not the horns of the sable antelope or the tusks of the warthog, and he cannot deal terrific blows like the giraffe.” People are, in other words, easy pickings.

In my fight against the porn lion, I am not defenseless. I’ve learned where the lion hides. Plus, I’ve got a secret weapon: I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.

My family is better for it.

The State of OUR Union

President Obama will soon give his State of the Union address to cheers or consternation (depending on which side of the aisle you’re on). And while the President’s address has some impact on the overall workings of the country, what he says won’t really have an impact on the daily life of my family. I’d like to offer a much more meaningful and impactful dissertation on the state of OUR union.

My wife and I have been married for nearly twelve years. We have three awesome kids who bring joy to us each day (no lie). I’d like to offer some updates on domestic issues that I feel should be highlighted:

*LABOR The number of workers in our domestic workforce will increase twenty percent. How is this possible in the days of high unemployment? Our son will turn two soon and has been doing more and more things around the house like putting away his toys, books, and sippie cup. His workload will increase throughout the year, therefore the increase in labor.

*THE ENVIRONMENT The First Lady and I have made a concerted effort to destroy the invasive species colorus televisius and its cousin flatus screenus. I am happy to report that all specimens have been removed from the domestic environment which has resulted in unprecedented tranquility, reduced spending, and greater communication across all departments.

*POPULATION Population totals are expected to remain stable. However, we are not completely opposed to welcoming new members and if they should arrive, appropriate measures will be taken to ensure that they are welcomed and their needs met until they can effectively contribute.

*DOMESTIC SECURITY A great indicator of the level of domestic security is the level of debt that has been taken on. I am pleased to report that debt has been attacked and is retreating as we speak. Within half a year, all debt is expected to be driven from our home, creating a safe and secure financial environment. The enemies of student loans, credit cards, and hospital bills will not be welcomed back.

*HEALTH The premiums are too durn high. Some things are out of my control.

If you’re married, consider the state of YOUR union and make the necessary changes to make it better.