Financier, Friend or Father — Part One

Money TreeAs Dads, we have a lot of roles to play as part of our overall responsibility to the family.  This is especially true when it comes to the relationship that we have with our children.  In a brief three part series I plan to consider three particular roles that we play in our children’s lives.

Financier – “What am I made of?  Money?”

I think one of the things that is the hardest for us to understand early in the life of our family is understanding what level of importance to place on the role of money within the family.  And one of the traps that young fathers fall into is the trap of believing that our primary role is to provide financially for our family.  Don’t get me wrong.  Providing is important.

I have no patience for a man who is lazy.  My dad was one of the hardest working men I have ever known.  I can count the number of days he missed work during his career on one hand and have multiple fingers left over.  I strive to be that kind of man.

But the trap is throwing ourselves so strongly into work and getting ahead that we neglect our wives and children.  We focus on the overtime and impressing the boss so that we can the next raise and we have nothing left in our tank when we get home at night.  We are too tired to go out in the yard and play with our kids.  We stumble off to bed after supper without so much as a word of adult conversation with our wife who is desperate for just a little of our time.  And our reason is this.  We are tired after working all day to provide a good living for our family.

Let me prove my point here.  Pause for a minute and ask your wife this simple question. Ask her word for word.   “If you had a choice between an extra paycheck this month or me taking a day off from work and spending it together as a family, which would you choose?”

Go ahead.  Ask her.  What did she say?  — I thought so.  She, and especially your children, will choose YOU over money every time.

So why don’t we act like it?

8 Replies to “Financier, Friend or Father — Part One”

  1. I left a great paying profession where I was unsatisfied. That unsatisfaction led to me bringing home a sour disposition. I left a work at home, company car, six weeks vacation, unlimited expense account, and low six-figure income because I was unhappy.
    I, now, punch a time clock and make a third of what I made before…but something changed at home. I’m home. My family says I changed. They enjoy me more now. The fellowship is sweeter at home.
    I asked the question…She chose me. And she shows that everyday. But I had to make changes. Tough changes.

  2. Kevin, have you been hiding in a closet at my house? This really hits home for me, as this is the only tough spot in my marriage. Somehow I have mistakenly decided I am owed certain respects from my wife and children because I provide for them. I am struggling with changing my thought process on this as I see my marriage struggling because all of the deposits I make are financial and not emotional. I think I act like this because I feel as though being able to provide financially is more important than providing intimacy with my wife. But I ask this to anyone who reads this and I really honestly welcome the feedback, I cannot imagine a wife would say she would rather have you under a bridge than a paycheck at home.

    1. I don’t the only two options are “under a bridge” and a paycheck. I am talking about balance more than anything else here. I am talking about unplugging once in a while and being fully engaged at home.

      But I look forward to the other replies.

      1. This has in my past been an issue of struggle with me (and some now). I would always and I mean always take extra hours when asked in order to provide as much as possible for my family. It is hard to go against that, when invariably once I had a nice big paycheck a nice big car/house issue would arise to take all of my “extra” money. It made it real easy for me to use as an excuse to always say yes. Problem is, I was and can still be disengaged when I get home. My brain/emotions were/are just done for the day. It is a personal struggle because I take pride in being able to give as much as possible to my family, but I sometimes forget that is not just in the material aspect, but the emotional one as well that my family needs me.

        1. I wish I had always made the best choice early in my family life and in my career. But, I was blessed with a wife who understood the power of communication. And she was (and IS) a tremendous blessing in finding that balance that we all seek.

          1. I am also blessed with a wife whose dream house has commonly been a double wide. So personal desires play a part in what makes a partner happy =)

  3. Tom Landry said it best-“God, Family, and, then, football.”
    I love spending time with my spouse. We dialogue daily, date weekly, and depart monthly. We dig each other. She is my bride and I’m her Knight in Shining armor. I would die for her. I lift her up privately and publicly. I speak highly her in front of my boys.
    When I chose to change professions, there was no doubt I was making the right choice for the welfare of my family’s overall health. I am overly blessed. I married way over my head and I am blessed with a wife who sees me as the Spiritual leader of my house as well as the provider.

    My prayer for husbands is that they find the joy in their marriage and man up.

    1. I think Tom Landry had his priorities straight. And I also think that joy is not only “found”, it is also created. And that is the piece that is hard to communicate to young married couples. Sometimes the joy has to be created our of the raw materials of commitment and patience.

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