RELATIONSHIPS

Iron & Clay

Have you noticed that some of your friends are more invigorating to be around than others? They motivate you without even trying, and every time you hang out, you walk away a little bit better of a man in some area. They make you want to step up your game. We’re drawn towards these guys. I call these my irons, because they sharpen me (Proverbs 27:17).

In other friendships you might feel like perhaps you are the one pulling them up. Maybe this person looks up to you and sees you as a mentor. This friendship makes you feel smart and accomplished because it can be flattering to hang around someone that you’re able to help. I call these my clay friendships, because I’m molding them. 

Here’s the thing:  We need to make sure we have a good balance of both iron and clay in our life. Too much iron and all our self-improvement never has the opportunity to sharpen anyone else. Too much clay and we grow dull ourselves.

Seek out friendships of both iron and clay, so that you’ll be a sharp enough man to serve as the iron for others.

Fly The Jet

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate. Every aviator knows that’s the correct order in which you do those three very important tasks. Yet many jets have crashed while the crew was busy looking at the charts or talking on the radio. While the things they were doing were very important they failed to do the one thing that was most important - fly the jet. 

As husbands and fathers we need to make sure we aren’t busy doing a lot of other very important activities while the one thing that is the most important in our life crashes and burns around us.  

We might be doing great things, and doing them very well, but if we put them before family, then we’re failing as men.

It doesn’t matter how great our golf game, trophy deer hunts, or promotions at work are; if we’re not dating our wife and spending quality time with our kids then we’re failing in the most important thing.

Family. Work. Hobbies. Every successful husband and father knows that’s the correct order of those three very important things. Recheck the calibration on your priorities so that the legacy you leave behind isn’t an example of how not to live.

Dads and Daughters

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We men love being fathers to our little girls. We love how they look up to us, and see us as the hero who kills spiders and opens the peanut butter. As long as they are little and cute we’re on top of our dad game. But the idea of that little girl hitting puberty terrifies most men. Will things get weird? Will she even want us around anymore? Will we still hug?

One of the finest books on this subject is Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know, by Dr. Meg Meeker, a pediatrician and counselor. This book helped prepare me for my role as my little girl gets older.

The biggest thing I learned was how incredibly significant a dad is in the life of a girl. We’re so essential to her self-esteem, mental health, and well-being that it cannot be overstated. She learns her value from us, and forms her opinion of men and the world in general from how we treat her. 

Don’t believe the sitcoms that portray dads as irrelevant. Lean into your role, and keep hugging her when she’s 16 the same way you did when she was 6!