Posts Tagged ‘advice’

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Over my life I have seen a strong shift in the media’s portrayal of dads and men.

On TV, for example, I can remember watching Diff’rent Strokes, The Cosby Show, Who’s the Boss?, and Full House. The dads, adopted dads or live-in dads weren’t always saints in these shows but they were the leaders of their families despite success and/or being widowed.

albundyAs I grew, Al Bundy of Married with Children and Ray Barone of Everybody Loves Raymond became the standard depiction of men on TV…lazy, irresponsible and disconnected.

Ray was a momma’s boy who couldn’t untether. While funny, his lack of leadership is nauseating. Al was abusive to his kids and wife, lazy on the job and at home and an all-around dirtbag. The Art of Manliness saysIf you want a lesson on how not to be a man, watch Married with Children.

Regardless your thoughts about Aristotelian mimesis, the media’s portrayal of men and dads has not been a positive contribution to society.

Research clearly shows us a couple of things. 1) Bad dads are bad for kids and society. 2) Good dads are good for kids and society. See here, here and here.

Aside from cultural norms, ancient philosophies and scientific research, I believe this portrayal of dads is a spiritual battle. Hollywood’s assault on fathers undermines Scripture’s clear call for men, more specifically husbands and dads, to be the leaders in their homes.

Scripture teaches that, for a wife, disrespecting her husband is sinful (likewise for the husband who doesn’t love his wife).

In Ephesians, Paul writes

Each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.
Much has been written about these complementary phrases. The proven principle is this…when a husband loves his wife, she respects him more. When a wife respects her husband, he loves her more.
How many shows or movies do you see couples living this out?
And earlier in the passage…

Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything.

Here, the Bible shows how marriage is a picture of the Gospel, what God the Son in Christ the Messiah did for us on the cross by taking our sin and then joining us with him through our belief in his finished work. Divine love, divine sacrifice and divine unity. That’s why when one-man/one-woman marriage is attacked, it is this picture of the Gospel that is attacked. (More on that later).

Again, I ask…how many shows or movies do you see couples living this out?

Media can be used in many good ways for the proclamation of the Gospel, but when it comes to highlighting strong, biblical manhood and marriage, it is being used to deceive and destroy the family’s foundation…fathers.

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Today’s Beta could be called “practice what you preach.” There’s always room for improvement in these categories.

6 Simple Rituals to Reach Your Potential Every Day by Fast Company. I really needed this list. I’ve needed a bit of motivation in my personal disciplines lately.

Here’s something I really need help with. This article, Men, Don’t Stop Dating Your Wife by Eric Geiger, was a direct hit.

Articles like this are instructive to me –  Understanding How Children Develop Empathy by the New York Times.

Sexual Freedom Always Curtails Other Freedoms by Trevin Wax is not what you think. Trevin talks about men exhibiting emotions and affection toward one another in a manly way. It’s an interesting piece about how perversion in culture can skew reality.

A Star-Tribune columnist talks about the difficulties of waiting to have children in this piece. If I live long enough, I’ll be at least 51 when my youngest learns to drive, 53 when she leaves high school, 55 when she graduates college. It could be another 10 years before she has kids. What about you?

Tough story to watch here, but it ends well.  An inmate finds out his baby momma was murdered after reading the newspaper. See the restoration that happens next –

1) I need to say “I’m sorry” more often.

She needs to know I love her. She needs to know that I know that I hurt her and don’t want to do that/say that again. She needs to know I respect her. She needs to know I’m humbled by my mistakes.

2) Romance is strategic, intentional and essential.

We did this to win her heart in the beginning. It was good and right then, so why wouldn’t it be good and right still?

Buy this book and read it. Wish I would’ve had this nine years ago.

3) “Communicate or Die.” 

This is an old Marine Corps saying about how communication wins battles by collaboration — identifying problems and obstacles, then discussing solutions and successfully executing workable, realistic tactics to get the job done.

Men don’t really do a good job at talking or communicating, which are two different things. We need to be aware of how our manly silence can effect our wives and how our lack of listening is disrespectful and demeaning.

4) Marriage is a sanctification process.

The more I love and serve my wife the more I see my own selfishness and sin. This recognition can drive us to the foot of the cross or drive us crazy. Men can be too stubborn or proud to change but with God all things are possible.

The goal of marriage is not happiness but holiness.

Through our marriage we live out the image of sacrifice and love that God showed for us by sending His Son to die on the cross for our sins. Good men give their lives up. Bad men destroy people, cultures and countries.

5) Parenting together is incredibly rewarding.

Look at this picture… ‘nuff said.

6) Only God can fulfill her utmost desires.

As much as I’d like her to dote over me and think I’m the greatest, I don’t deserve that.

I’m a man. I do stupid stuff. I’m sinful before a perfect, holy God and she needs to find her purpose, true love and identity in Him alone. She just borrows my last name here on earth.

7) You marry into a family.

In-laws, siblings and extended family become a part of your life.

Those relationships are important to your wife. Support her in those. Stay out of family squabbles. And, as the Bible says, “as much as it is up to you, live at peace with everyone.”

Oh yeah, set a good first impression because that can be hard to shake.

8) Every little decision impacts another person.

Taking the last swig of milk can be the next morning’s breakfast crisis. This one gets me nearly every single day. A trivial decision can cause a ripple effect in someone’s day.

9) “The best thing about money is that it gives you options.”

This is a quote from John Maxwell. Frivolous spending, spontaneous purchases and living beyond your means can set you and your family up for hard times in the future. I’m trying to set my family up for future success and become debt free (except for the house).

10) Leading a family is harder than I thought.

That’s the purpose of this blog–to equip you to successfully lead (minister to) your family.

“Leaders are readers and readers are leaders,” a mentor said to me. I know reading is boring, hard and tiring. It takes away from your NFL, fishing, blah, blah, blah. Men of action get the job done.Men of excuses are lazy victims of life.

Below are some great resources to get you started.

Additional Resources

There are some doozies on this list of 12 Questions for Fathers from @PastorBreaz. Which one is most challenging for you? Is it No. 2 or No. 5?

Another helpful read about seven traits of a godly man. Which one is your strongest trait?

A National Institute of Health confirmed that sexual images lead to earlier sexual behavior in kids in this Baptist Press article by Erin Roach.

Focus on the Family has great series of articles for parenting and other family ministry areas. Here’s one about helping your children become life-long learners. This relates to an earlier article from Ron Edmondson I linked to in this Beta post.

As a leader I’ve found that It’s much easier to educate a doer than it is to activate a thinker. –Andy Stanley

Good news from The New York Times (I think), Dads are Taking Over as Full Time Parents.

Since some ladies read this blog. The following message (below) is a public service announcement from the men of America…

20 ideas for dating your wife. Which one are going to try first? Buy the book here.

With a 3.5-year-old, teaching her manners is a daily occurrence. I am thankful for this list from All Pro Dad. (No. 8 is kind of weird)

Dads, learning to lead your family is the toughest job on the planet. Make sure you are a good steward with your finances. Thom Rainer writes about finances in this blog post.

4 reasons “the One” concept is destructive to marriage. See yesterday’s post for what I think about authentic manhood.

Here’s a grocery store section devoted entirely to men. It’s called “The Man Isle.”

The guy in this video gets my “Dad of the Year” award. (Please, don’t let my daughter see this; she loves roller coasters.)

 

Today’s info for the dad life is brought to by the number “5.” The following 5 links contain some 81 items to help you improve your marriage and parenting.

All Pro Dad’s Mark Merrill shares 10 ways to have a vibrant marriage. There are more than a few of these I need to improve.

Dan Darling gives us 10 things nobody tells you about being a dad. No. 5 is so true. I often tell my daughters that they bring me great joy.

5 things to teach your kids about failure. Again, No. 5 is my favorite here. Don’t define your children by who they are not or what they can not do.

50 parenting ideas you won’t regret. Nos. 17, 22 and 32 are my three favorites. How about you?

Solid advice from Dr. Thom Rainer, part 1 of 12 lessons of fatherhood.

Have a great weekend! Enjoy your summer with your children. School starts soon and schedules fill up fast.