In Luke 14:28-30, Jesus talks about a man who due to poor advance planning and a lack of reflection wasn’t able to finish building a tower.
The unfinished tower showed off this man’s foolishness in billboard-sized letters. It’s obvious the builder didn’t count the cost of building it.
Scripture tells us “counting the cost” is one mark of a disciple. By application, it’s essential we fathers do some advance planning to make sure we “finish well” in our responsibilities. So take a few moments—as busy as you are—to ponder the following questions every father must face.
Are you passive or aggressive in solving family problems?
Dad’s Face hundreds of problems. It can be a 3-year-old who won’t go to bed at night. Or maybe it’s a 17-year-old who didn’t come home at curfew. It is crucial for us to understand our natural bent towards being either aggressive or passive problem solvers.
For example you warn your child not to move the glass back from the edge of the table. Of course the glass falls of the table. An aggressive problem-solver will say “OK, young man, clean this up right now then go to your room for time out!” But a passive problem-solver will say “I warned you this would happen. We’re going to have a talk after dinner.” Even if you never actually have that talk.
What is your “default” setting? And what is your wife’s? Is she passive or aggressive? Can you see how facing this issue upfront can highlight the potential problems you’ll face as a parent? What about as a couple? And can you suggest positive ways you can get on the same page?
By the way, don’t think it’s best to be an “aggressive” problem-solver. The more straightforward the problem, like spilling a glass of milk, the easier it is to solve it in an aggressive way. But solving a complex problem, like choosing public, private, or homeschooling, aggressively often can cause more problems than it solves.
Here then are the other three questions I’d like you to discuss with your spouse:
1. Are you trusting or skeptical of new people and information? Do you ask hard questions or feel “things will work out”?
2. Do you want things to go slowly so you can gather more information and finish one thing at a time, or do you like to move fast and juggle lots of balls at the same time?
3. When it comes to procedures, do you like a “rule book,” or are you more of a risk-taker? Do you want to know how other parents have faced something, versus going it on your own?
Talking through these four questions—particularly with your spouse—can help you tremendously not only in “counting the cost,” but also being on the same page as a parent.
If you are dealing with this issue, you do not need to face the challenge alone. Jesus has conquered every challenge so you can move from your present situation to a life of overcoming hope. Invite him to lead you in your journey. He will forgive, comfort, and heal you.
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