Tool#1: Family First/Fun
When you enjoy the blessings of life with your family by putting them first today, you create a stronger family for tomorrow. Family fun time is the best time of all.
“Do not be deceived . . . a man reaps what he sows.”
Galations 6:7, NIV
“Early in my career, I thought to myself, “What am I working for everyday?” The answer was “my family and their welfare.” So I made a pact early with myself that I would put family first. This meant crafting my own career so that I would not be traveling a lot, finding ways to plan out my week so I could home for dinner with my family and cutting out weekend work when the kids were young. Not easy to do, but 20 years later I know I made the right decision.”
Randy H., Pleasanton, California
You might think, Wow, this first tool is a no-brainer. I’m good at that already. Maybe you are. Maybe. But I’ve found that many dads have lost the ability to put their families first and have fun with them. Of course, very few of us would ever admit this. But here is a simple test: Do you have fun with your wife and kids on a frequent, regular basis?
If your answer is “not too often” or “I’m not sure” or “you don’t understand my situation,” read on. Even if your answer is “sometimes,” you probably could strengthen your use of this tool. In fact, all of us could strengthen our skill with this tool.
For too many of us, weeks, months and even years go by, and there’s too much strain, stress and striving and too little laughter, love, lighthearted fun or quality time of any type with dad. That is really tough on our families—and especially on our children. Why does this happen? I believe that in many cases we as dads choose, consciously or unconsciously, to put something (or multiple things) in front of our family. We all choose what we focus on in life, and if we choose to put work or worry or our bank account or something else in front of our families, we will eventually reap what we sow.