Watch Your Lips Junior

My oldest son was around fifteen and we were driving somewhere together when he decided pestering me was a good idea. He was just playing around and being obnoxious when I said to him, “Micah you better stop it or I’m going to punch you in the face.”

He replied laughing, “Oh dad, come on, you know you’re not going to punch me in the face.” and he went back to pestering me.

About ten minutes passed when I reached over and punched him in the jaw.  “Hey! You hit me! Why’d you do that for?”

“Because you said I’d never do that.”

Suffice it to say the pestering stopped. (At least for the remainder of the ride anyway.)  I don’t advocate punching your children in the face, and this is the only time I’ve ever done it.  I used it as a teachable moment for my son.

Lip service is the advocacy, adherence, or allegiance expressed in words but not backed by deeds.  Have you ever known anyone who did this?  They talked a good game, but just didn’t seem to have what was needed to back up all the talk?  It can be infuriating when someone does this.

One thing men should do above all others is keep their word.  If you tell someone you’re going to do something, then do it.  My kids will tell you as they were growing up they heard the phrase, “We’ll see.” more than just about any other.  I learned early on if I told my kids we were going to do something and didn’t, they would call me on it.

Whenever they would ask if we were going to do something, and I wasn’t sure whether or not I could come through on it, I’d say, “We’ll see.”  It got to the point where when I would say this; the kids would groan and say, “Dad that means we’re not going to do it.”  I know they probably wished I would have stopped saying it, but keeping my word to them was too important to me.

Years ago if two men were doing business and came to an agreement, they would shake on it.  Once they had done this, it was a binding agreement and to break it was unthinkable.  In today’s world, we have to sign legal documents to get men to honor their word.  It’s sad to think you can’t trust a man unless you have a piece of paper stating he will do what he said.  When did men give up their integrity?

I want to be known as a man of my word.  I want people to say, “David was a man who always did what he said he was going to do.” I don’t embarrass easily, but it would cause me great shame if I told someone I would do something and then didn’t follow through.

There have been times where I said I would do something, and either ran out of time, or ended up going in another direction and the thing I said I would do failed to be done.  In these instances, I have always contacted the person and explained what happened, promising to get to it as soon as time allowed.

Being a man of your word also means you put the things you want to do on hold sometimes.  This is a difficult area for a lot of men too, because they are looking out for what’s in their best interest regardless of what they’ve said.  If you’re like this, then you should change.

Stop telling people you’re going to do something if you’re not really going to do it.  It’s kind of like the story about the boy who cried wolf, before long people will stop believing anything you say, and when you find yourself needing them, they won’t be there for you.

Being a man means you keep your word, with no exceptions.  The only thing we as men can truly lay claim to in this life is our name and our word.  The first becomes great, only if you hold to the second.

Now you know what I think, what do you think?

Say What You Mean, Do What You Say

My oldest son and I were driving somewhere together one day when he was in his teenage years.  He was pestering me, just being a teenage boy when I said to him, “Micah you better stop it or I’m going to punch you in the face.”

He replied laughing, “Oh dad, come on, you know you’re not going to punch me in the face.” and he went back to pestering me.

About ten minutes passed when I reached over and lightly punched him in the jaw.  “Hey! You hit me! Why’d you do that for?”

“Because you said I’d never do that.”

Suffice it to say the pestering stopped. (At least for the remainder of the ride anyway.)

One of the worst things you can do as a man is to say one thing and then do another. While I don’t advocate punching your kids in the face, this one time I had to get a point across to my son, and be a man of my word.  Too often we tell people we’re going to do something and then it never happens.  Is it any wonder our world is such a mess?

What are we teaching our children when we do this?  We perpetuate this idea of saying one thing and doing another as the norm.  When my children were living under my roof, I really made an effort to do what I had told them I’d do.  If I said we were going to do something, I made every effort to make sure I could honor my word and do it.

My children did hear the phrase, “We’ll see.” in answer to most of their questions about doing something.  It got to the point where when I said that, they would roll their eyes and say, “That means we’re not going to do it then.

Think about it for a minute, if you tell your kids you’re going to do something then don’t, they learn it’s not important to do what they say from the most important person in their life.  In turn, they begin saying one thing and doing another; and the circle just keeps spinning and spinning; people never doing what they say.

Basically not keeping your word means you’re a liar.  Yes, you heard me correctly.  Every time you say you’re going to do something and don’t, you lied. Obviously being a liar isn’t as bad a thing in the eyes of the world like it used to be; after all we see it in politics all the time.  It’s almost as if lies have become the norm, and telling the truth is weird.

Be a man of your word regardless of how difficult it may be. If you tell someone you’re going to do something, then do it.  It’s up to us as men to make the changes in our own personal lives first and if enough of us do it, then we’ll begin to see change in our society and watch as things get back to the way they always should’ve been.

Now you know what I think, what do you think?

 

 

Embarrassment; the Bane of Every Man’s Existence

The day way extremely hot and muggy, and I couldn’t have been any wetter if I’d jumped into a swimming pool fully clothed.  It was getting close to noon when word came down we were going to work through lunch.  I’m usually a pretty easy-going guy, but on this particular day it challenged me greatly to have to do this, and I didn’t handle things the way I should have.

Have you ever watched a fire grow in intensity, getting larger and hotter by the minute?  This is what I began to experience in my mind. Letting my irritation get the best of me, I let the expletives fly in front of some of the men I work with.

The day didn’t get any better, I missed out on lunch completely, stayed both hot and wet, finally ending up home and in bed by 8:30pm.  I just wanted the day to be over. Texting my bride goodnight, she came into the room to see what was wrong with me and I told her I didn’t want to talk about it.

You see, I was totally embarrassed by my outburst in front of those men, and the last thing I wanted to do was explain myself to her.  And not because I didn’t want to share my life with her; it was because I felt like a fool.

One thing I’ve learned in life is men do not like to be embarrassed or look foolish.  A guy will take a kick to the crotch over being the laughing-stock every time. It’s all about honor; without it, we’re nothing.

Men can take just about anything from another man, but to lose face in front of his wife is unbearable, at least it is for me.  There is nothing else which will make me feel more like a failure. This is why I didn’t want to talk to my bride about what had happened at work, because I already felt like a fool, failure and complete waste of space.  And having to explain what I’d done wasn’t going to help.  For me, bringing the day to a close was the thing I needed.

You might be saying, “But Dave, it’s not a big deal to lose your temper and cuss in front of the guys, everybody does that from time to time.” And while I would agree it isn’t a big deal for a lot of men, it is for me. The reason is because I’ve made a decision to live my life as a follower of Christ, and this is not the way Jesus would want me to act. I’m not a super Christian or anything; I’m flawed and realize it daily, but I do try to live my life pleasing to God. This day I didn’t do that, and it really bothered me.

I think I know how Peter felt after he denied knowing Jesus the night they arrested him. Scripture says Peter was pointed out by several people as being one of Jesus’s followers (twice by girls) and this big fisherman cussed a blue streak, saying he didn’t know the man.

Earlier that night, Jesus had told Peter he would deny knowing him three times before the rooster crowed, but Peter had declared, “Never! I will go with you all the way, even to the death!” As he heard the rooster crow and realized Jesus had been correct, Scripture says he ran into the night and wept bitterly.

Like Peter, I too felt remorse for what I had done.  The feeling of failure hung over me like a dark cloud for the entire day.  But I’m happy to announce the next day was much better.  I apologized to the men I flipped out in front of, and moved on with my life, working more diligently for this to never happen again. Will it?  Who knows?  Probably.  I am a man after all, and men make mistakes.

I do know this however, the next time someone flips out in front of me for whatever reason, I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt before making any hasty judgements about them that’s for sure.

Well, now you know what I think.  What do you think?