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?