Imagine a young couple with a newborn infant. The economy is bad, she’s at home with the baby, and he’s doing everything in his ability to provide. He’s tired, confused, and struggling. We’ve all faced something like that.
The toughest moments in life are when we need to dig in, fight, and lead. The man who places his own needs first is the man who cuts and runs. Our world is full of them. That’s not the man we are called to be. Life is not about me and it’s not about you. Here are some tools we can use to lead our families through the power of personal sacrifice.
Leading by Example
How do we foster our kids’ gifts and talents as we guide them toward adulthood? How do we pay the bills and provide shelter and food? How do married men lead in a marriage? We have to serve more than we dictate and sacrifice more than we take. Leading by example means we make it clear to our kids that we will never tell them to do anything we aren’t willing to do ourselves. If a man asks his wife to cut the grocery budget by 25 percent, and then he spends money on golf, what message does he send?
Having Fiscal Responsibility
Debt is a killer. It weighs families down with worry, stress, heartache, hardship, and, at worst, total calamity. How do we avoid it? With personal sacrifice. All the luxuries we pretend we can afford are, in reality, pieces of the wall being constructed to close us in. When I was in my 20s, I made a good decision and purchased my first home. I was building equity in the future. Then I got selfish and ran up a lot of credit card debt. When I was about to get married, it was time to sell that house. What could have been a nice bundle to start our marriage (the equity I planned for) was all used up paying off debt. My irresponsible self-interest wound up hurting the future of my family.
Seeking the True Prize
The social media-driven era leads to a lot of envy and jealousy. It can affect our decision-making process. Leading a family with the spirit of being first is destructive. Seek the true prize—a healthy, functioning, imperfect, and flourishing family. Being first in some great societal competition means absolutely nothing. But when you’re 85 years old and your thriving grandchildren bring their children to visit you, you will smile with what teeth you have left and know you did it right. You were always second.
Source: All Pro Dad