Friday, June 15, 2012

Dad as Manager

I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”     Luke 7:28

In my office sits a vase that contains 936 marbles. It is a cylindrical glass vase with a 4-inch diameter that is 12 inches tall.  It stands as a reminder to me of how quickly my role of father as primary influencer will pass. (I am learning being a dad never ends!) Each one of those marbles represents a week in my daughters’ lives from birth to 18 years old.

As a father, I have been entrusted with the honor of imprinting four lives, arrows really, that Anne and I are launching into the next generation. I didn’t comprehend this early in my marriage. As a newlywed, my life was full of changes; I had no clue the vast revolution (and blessing!) Hannah and my other daughters would bring to my life and our marriage. I never adequately prepared to answer the third most important question any man can ask in life: What does it mean for a man to become a dad?

 Some of the best advice I received, from a ministry called FamilyLife, is that the responsibilities and challenges comprising the job description of fatherhood center around three M's—manager, minister, and model.  You can read the full article here, but here is a synopsis of their advice regarding the dad’s role as manager:

 Many men, who prepare themselves diligently and work hard to become efficient managers on the job, hardly give a thought to their role in managing a complicated and important organization like a family. When you think of it, much like a company, a family needs attention in the areas of personnel, capital reserves, facilities, cash flow, planning, inventory control, suppliers—even competition (for example, cultural influences seeking to undermine the family's well-being).

Here are some components for your new job description as the family manager:
    Know the strengths and weaknesses of those you supervise: "Know well the condition of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds" (Proverbs 27:23). 
    Exercise self-control, and train those under your authority: "And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4).
    Engage in ongoing enhancement of personal skills and exemplify high character: "He shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them with his skillful hands" (Psalm 78:72). 
    Abide by instructions and bylaws contained in the company policy manual (the Bible): "By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches" (Proverbs 24:3-4).
I want to encourage us as a community to pray for dads, and to encourage men serving in this critical role. 
Father’s Day is amazing at PCC. Prepare to be encouraged!  We will look at the life of John the Baptist, the man Jesus said was the greatest person who ever lived. Want to be great? Read up in Luke 7:18-34!  See you on Sunday!
I love being your pastor!