Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Routine of a Father

I guess some of us like schedules and some of us don't.  It really depends on our personality, right?

Some of us, if given the choice could sleep in to 10AM or later every day.  
Some of us couldn't think of sleeping past 6 o'clock.
Some of us have no problem letting our lawns grow a foot before we cut them.
Some of us couldn't imagine having anything but a "golf course" for our back yard.


Choices.
Regular choices.
It's those choices that weave us through each day from start to finish.  When I was a child, I chose things that were young.  Now that I am older, I am hopefully making wiser choices.


Being married and having kids, I have had to learn to make wise choices.  Not just for myself, but for my family as well.  I have not just had to make those choices, but I had to choose to put myself into a routine of making right choices.


For my family, those choices look something like this:
  1. Wake up early.
  2. Talk with Mary.  Now this is a conditional one.  Sometimes Mary wants to talk and sometimes she doesn't.  I want her to have her time to wake up.  She doesn't need me telling her what to do at 5:45 in the AM.
  3. Exercise.  This too is conditional.  There was a period in my life that I couldn't exercise.  Not because I was lazy, but because there were other priorities that needed to take place.  I must confess though, that for a long time, I did exercise and leave Mary to do so much work alone.  I was completely selfish during that time.  So look at your time to work out only if you have the time for it.
  4. Personal quiet time.  Not in some book, but in THE BOOK.  The enemy hates us.  Hates me.  Hates you.  Hates all of our relationships.  Hates our marriages.  Hates our children.  He has three goals in mind - to kill, steal and destroy.  The only way to withstand the fiery arrows of the devil is to be in the Bible.  David said, "Your Word have I hid in my heart that I may not sin against You."  I take that as saying that to keep from sinning, I must be in the Word.  
  5. Get myself ready for the day.
  6. Breakfast with the family.
  7. Devotions with the family.  Take the time for this.  We have the ability to set the tone for the whole day with this action.  It doesn't take much time, but you just have to do it.  Your wife will be reminded of what is important.  Your kids will be reminded of what's important to you as well.
  8. Work.  While at work take time to pray.  Short prayers are still prayers.
  9. Home from work, lovingly set the leadership role in your home.  Take the time to listen.  See what needs to be done and who needs to be served.  Don't just become a kid again and start rolling on the floor waiting for dinner to be served.  Take the time to listen to your wife.  She, more than likely, needs to talk to another adult.  So just shut up and listen to her.  She will love you for it.  Keep in mind that you are not your wife's "helper" you are the leader of your home.
  10. Dinner.  Converse with your family.  Ask them questions about their day.  Enjoy each other.  Eat. Laugh. Love.
  11. Devotions the family.  This is how we do it in our family.  For breakfast and dinner.  Again, it helps to remind the whole family what is truly important. 
  12. Clean up.  Men - that's our job.  Let your wife have a break.  She has been "cleaning up" all day.  She will be grateful.
  13. Play and interact with the kids.  They will think you are amazing!
  14. Put the kids to bed.  Men - again our job.  Spend some more time thinking about the Lord or singing worship songs with your kids.  They will now what is in your heart.
  15. Love your wife well.  Serve her by making sure that all the responsible things are taking care of.  Laundry, bills, groceries, house maintenance (honey-do-list)...
Now this is how it's done in our home, and your home may look completely different.   That is OK.  As the head of the household, I had to realize that I needed to get into a routine as a husband, as a father, as a leader.  If I didn't, what would be the alternative?

Have you figured out your routine?  If so, what is it?  I would love to see how you manage your family and your day.