There is a plague that faces our culture today. A plague of Fatherlessness. It has myriad causes, but at its root is men not being the men they were created to be.
Whether from a lack of knowledge or a lack of desire, the cure for Fatherlessness has to start with selflessness. Somewhere beneath selflessness is love.
The recognition that it’s not about us. As much as we fall into the trap of believing otherwise, it’s not.
Many of you are parents and I don’t know any parent that wouldn’t aspire to ‘be a great parent’. But, what does that actually mean? What would it look like to be selfless?
Like any aspiration, this pursuit is organic, always changing.
Therefore, we need to change with it.
Is there is a universal framework we can apply which helps lead us in the direction we want to go, constantly changing along with our world around us?
I believe so.
Three simple words, when combined, give us incredible control over our lives. They create a framework for us become intentional. Too often, when caught in the stream we lose focus on one, or all of these. The result is always chaos. These three words are:
Define. Seek. Act
- Define – What is your desire?
Don’t simply give lip service to what you want to do, give it thought and a definition. Definitions bring clarity. By writing something down, it sparks inside of you possibility beyond your conscience imagination.
Selflessness is valuing others before yourself, always. If you were to repeat that mantra in your head, you would respond differently when your child was throwing a tantrum. You would react differently when your wife asked for help with the dishes. You would seek to serve out of love. As we learn from John “perfect love drives out fear.”
- Seek – What is the truth?
There is no substitute for wisdom. Andy Andrews, in his book, The Noticer Returns says, “We should seek wisdom like we were looking for a lost child or buried treasure.” What wisdom is out there concerning your desire? The book of Proverbs was largely written by one of the wisest men that ever lived, King Solomon. That may be a good place to start.
Proverbs 18:1 says “An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgement starts quarrels.” Could it be possible that the quarrels and fights around us are stemming from our selfishness? That’s a tough realization to consider, but we must seek it should we want the so-called desire.
- Act – What are you going to do about it?
All three words are equally important, but nothing happens until you engage. I read a fabulous quote from CS Lewis that said, “The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour.” What are you doing with your 60 minutes, 24 times each day? You have limitless opportunity to move in the direction of your dreams. It starts with the little decisions every day. Little decisions in a different direction. Don’t blindly stumble through, every second matters.
What selfless actions can you take today? Take your kids to the park. Sit down and play pretend with them. Grab some flowers for your spouse on the way home. Give your spouse a 30 minute reprieve. Any one of these things will move you in a right direction.
So why bother?
Just the other day, someone asked me, in regards to my writing, “Why are you doing all of this?” There was this condescending tone as if pointing to a belief that it was worthless. For whatever reason, it didn’t make sense to them.
You get one chance to live your life, one opportunity to make a difference.
You get one chance to create a legacy for you and for your family.
The decision to live richly happens a minute at a time. It starts with one decision.
A decision to change. The decision to:
Define. Seek. Act