One of the most frustrating things I experience is to watch people as they refuse or neglect to act upon what they know to be true. As a minister, I often have the opportunity to give input, insight, and next step information to people who ask for my help. The frustration comes when I give them an action step to take, and I watch them just never take it. They have the information to take the next step into whatever circumstance, but they refuse to do so.
I feel the same frustration as I parent my own kids sometimes. I give them instruction, and yet they neglect to act upon it, often to their own detriment. I gave them my input, and watched as they refused to act upon it. More than almost anything else, that can be painful to watch.
But as much as I don’t want to admit it, I sense the same attitude in my own life from time to time. I know what steps need to be taken to become the man, the husband, and the father I need to be. But sometimes I just don’t take those next steps, for whatever reason. And that can be to my own detriment as well.
As men, if we are going to be deliberate about become the man that God has created us to be, we need to identify that next step… And then take it. It may be hard, and we may not want to. But we must.
Here are a few of my own reasons I neglect that next step. Maybe they describe you as well.
It’s too hard
Sometimes, I refuse to do what I know I need to because it’s difficult. My belief is that it is too hard, and I give up before I even start. Being a great dad and husband take work. Yes it can be hard! But it is well worth the effort!
I’m too afraid
This one gets me a lot. I know the next step I need to take, especially as a dad with my kids. But often, I’m afraid how I’ll be received, or perceived. Or I’m afraid of the potential growth and change that might come about. Or I might fear the kick back and rebellion that could happen. And so I don’t act due to my fear. But God didn’t give me a spirit of fear, even in the areas of marriage and parenting. He gave me a spirit of boldness and courage to follow him, to be the man he wants me to be.
I’m to lazy
Sometimes, this is the simple truth. I don’t want to put the effort into that next step because I’m lazy and prefer to go with the flow instead of working to become a better man. My laziness can often be my worst enemy.
As hard as it is to admit, my sinful nature gets in the way too. I may know just what God wants me to do. But my rebellious attitude can crop up and I refuse. And I often find myself trying to excuse it or justify it. But let’s just call it what it is. It is sin. Plain and simple.
Fortunately, when I do follow the next action step and seek to become a better man, a more devoted husband, and a more deliberate father, I can see growth, almost as it happens. And that can inspire me to take the next step, and the one after that, and the one after that. And once you get the ball rolling, the growth momentum is easier to maintain.
So what are you waiting for? Take that next action step today!
Be deliberate, men!
What is the next step you need to take to be a better man, a better husband, or a better father? What’s preventing you from taking that step right now? You can leave your thoughts in the comments section below.