“Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in his commands. Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed” (Psalm 112:1-2 KJV).
Families are a pretty big deal to God. It’s the main reason God created man and put him on this planet. After God created Adam, He could have just stopped there and called it good. But He didn’t. God said, “It’s not good for man to be alone.” So, He made Adam fall asleep, took out one of Adam’s ribs, and created a woman, Eve. Adam woke up one rib short, but he gained a beautiful wife and someone with whom he could create a family.
When God created Adam and Eve, He didn’t make them like angels. There was something special about this being He created called man. In Genesis 1:27, the Bible says that God created man in His own image and likeness. God wanted someone like Himself that He could love and have fellowship with. He wanted to create a family.
Most people desire to have and be a part of a strong family. That’s because it’s the way God created us to function and live. A key to having a strong foundation for living a successful life on this earth is in knowing that God places a lot of value on families. It’s His will that our families be godly, strong, prosperous, and blessed, so that we can be a witness for Him on this earth and be a pillar and a blessing to society.
Solid, godly families have a strong influence on those around them and are a witness for God on this earth. But strong families don’t just happen. They have to be built. The first place to start is by respecting and honoring God and His Word. Read the Bible and pray over your family daily. Pray this prayer, “Father, as a family, we put You first in our lives. We honor You by reading your Word and determining to be a doer of Your Word. I thank you that as we do, You cause our family to be mighty upon this earth. We walk in Your blessing and favor, and we are a godly influence on all those around us.”
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“It is better to be a poor but wise youth than an old and foolish king who refuses all advice” (Ecclesiastes 4:13 NLT).
Men, I hate to say it, but something that many of us have to watch out for is becoming stubborn and refusing to change. If we allow that to happen it can cause us to fail and not be successful in life.
Now I’m a typical male, so I’ll use myself as an example. At my house, I have a favorite chair that I like to sit in. It’s pretty much “my chair.” When I’m home, I don’t want anyone else sitting in my chair because I want to sit in my chair! When I drink my coffee, I use the same cup. I bet we’ve got fifty cups, yet I use the same cup every time.
There are habits I’ve developed and certain things that I like, and I don’t like to change. A lot of us men are stubborn in that way. But what we must realize is that sometimes we have to change because if we don’t, we won’t grow.
We live in a world and culture that is constantly changing. When I was growing up, a lot of men worked for the same company for thirty years or more and then retired. They weren’t afraid of losing their jobs by having it outsourced because outsourcing wasn’t as common as it is now. If a job needed to get done, a position was created within the company to meet the need. But that’s not necessarily the case in today’s culture. Outsourcing and contract labor is a big part of the labor market. Job security within companies isn’t as reliable as it once was, which means we have to stay flexible to learn new things and always be ready for transition and change.
Don’t develop a stubborn, “Bless God, I’m not going to change!” attitude. If you do, you may find yourself left behind in an age that is ever progressing and advancing. Don’t get stuck in your ways. Keep growing. Keep learning new things. You might have to learn how to use the latest technology, or routinely take classes to stay current in the field you are working in. If you want to keep moving forward and continue being successful, you have to be adaptable, continue to learn, and be open to change.
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“Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds” (Proverbs 27:23 KJV).
God expects us to us live by faith, but He also expects us to have wisdom and common sense. Many men fail to succeed in life because they ignore the results of what is happening in their lives. For example, if I have a five-year plan and two or three years into it I haven’t moved a step closer to accomplishing it, then I can’t ignore the results. I need to be smart enough to realize something’s wrong and go talk to God about it. “God this isn’t working. What’s going on? Is this the right plan? Are these the right steps? Am I not in faith? What am I missing here?”
If I ask, God will talk to me. But many people won’t go to God and ask; they’ll just work harder to try and make things happen. But I can’t keep trying to push forward by working harder, thinking I’m in faith, when there’s a reason I’m not getting results. It takes both faith and works to get results, so if I’m doing a whole lot of work and not getting any results, then I’m either doing the wrong things or else I’m not in faith. I need some wisdom from God, and He said if I’d ask, He’d give it to me (James 1:5).
If you want to succeed, you’ve got to start looking at the results in your life. A good way to keep track of progress and see if things are working or not working is to have a plan, a budget, and a calendar. If you’re going over budget by constantly throwing money at something that’s not producing results, then something needs to change. Or, if you have a set timeline but roadblocks keep popping up, and the timeline keeps getting adjusted, maybe you need to step back and see what issues need to be addressed or what adjustments need to be made. Paying attention to these kinds of results will help you stay on track and see any changes that need to be made so your plans will be successful.
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“The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you” (Psalm 32:8 NLT).
My wife and I were young when we got married, and the only plan I had was to suck the lips off my wife’s face and eat cheeseburgers. That was my five-year plan. It lasted about three months, because after a while your lips get raw, and you can’t kiss forever. My wife wanted to know what my goals and plans were, so she could help me reach those, and I had to answer her by saying that I didn’t know. I realized, I had no idea where I was going. I had to get a plan.
Men, as the leaders of our families, we aren’t supposed to go through life with a “que-sera-sera, whatever will be, will be” attitude. We need to have a plan, and not just any plan, but God’s plan. How do we find out God’s plans for us? We go to Him and ask Him to show us what it is.
Jeremiah 33:3 (KJV) says, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” A lot of people make this really complicated, but it’s not. A lot of times, they’re desires that we’ve had in our hearts all along or things we’ve thought about doing, but maybe we just didn’t think they were possible for us to do.
God knows the plans He has for us, and He’s able to make them clear, so that we can see them and walk in them.
As you ask God to help you see His plans for you and the steps you need to take to walk them out, He’ll start bringing things up in your heart. Most likely, He won’t speak in a loud, audible voice. It’ll be more like a thought, or an impression, or a desire will come up in your heart. The more you spend time reading His Word and praying, the more that thought will keep coming up, maybe about a step you need to take, or a goal to write down and pursue, or maybe even a class you need to take. As you follow those small promptings on the inside, He’ll begin to lead you into the plan He has for you. And remember, most of the time He’ll lead in steps, not in great, big leaps. Just follow Him one step at a time.
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“He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy]” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 AMPC).
One major reason why a lot of men fail in life is because they have absolutely no plan. They have a “well, I’m just gonna show up” mentality when it comes to living life. They don’t have any real goals. They’re kind of like the teenager in junior high or high school that just wants to hang out all the time.
However, you can’t hang out forever. It’s one thing to be a teenager sitting in the back of a pickup truck in a Walmart parking lot at two o’clock in the morning on a Saturday night, just hanging out and having fun, but you can’t do that when you’re thirty. Eventually, you’ve got to grow up and find out God’s plan and purpose for your life.
God is a planner. He created you, so that means He has a plan for your life. Everything you see around you—the sky, earth, plants, animals, sea creatures—was a plan in the heart of God before He created it. YOU, being born on this planet, were a plan in the heart of God. He said in Jeremiah 29:11 that He knows the plans He has for you. And guess what? They’re plans that will inspire hope in you and give you a great future!
And let me tell you, there’s no better or more fulfilling way to live life than walking in God’s plan for your life.
God has a plan for you that fits exactly who you are—your gifts, your talents, your abilities, your personality. It’s a plan that has been tailor-made for you to walk in. Take time to read His Word, pray, and ask Him to show you the steps to take to walk out the plan He has for you. I guarantee, if you’ll ask in faith, He’ll respond! Pray this today, “Father, I ask You for wisdom regarding the plan of God for my life and the steps I need to take. You said that I could come to You in faith and ask you for wisdom, and You would give it to me. So, Father, I thank you for showing me the plans you have for me and step I need to take right now.” Then when He shows you that step, be diligent and quick to respond and do what He shows you to do!
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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV).
When I got married, it changed my life. All of a sudden, I went from being single and not having a lot of expenses to having a pretty big “need” list! I thought getting married would mean our expenses would just double, but that wasn’t the case—they quadrupled! Man, oh, man! I had no idea what I was in for!
How many of you know that newlywed love is great and wonderful, but you can’t live on love! It takes money to live! You’ve got to buy food, pay rent and utilities, buy furniture, and all the other necessities you need just to live life. Then after you’ve been married for a while, everything that was new when you got married starts to wear out. The dryer door won’t stay shut, so you have put duct tape on it. The couch starts to sag, and the bed looks like a camel died in the middle of it!
It didn’t take long for me to see that I needed some help! I needed to know what God had to say about money. So, I got my Bible and a good concordance and started looking up all the scriptures I could find on the blessing of God, wealth, and finances. As I began to study the Word and see that God wanted me blessed and prosperous, my faith began to grow! As a result, my finances began to increase.
It was God’s plan all along to bless me, and He’d already made the provision, but I had to go to Him and seek His wisdom on how to appropriate His blessing in my life.
There are a lot of scriptures in the Bible about money, finances, stewardship, favor, and the blessing of God. Take time to look them up, meditate on them, and ask the Holy Ghost to teach you how to apply God’s Word in these areas to your life. God has plans to prosper us, but we have to ask Him what they are, and then He’ll show us and teach us how to put those plans into action.
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“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower” (Psalm 18:2 KJV).
If you look around, watch the news, and skim social media headlines, it doesn’t take long to realize that there’s a lot of instability all around us. The economy is constantly shifting, natural disasters and worldwide catastrophes are a frequent occurrence, crime is on the rise, and the list goes on.
The Bible says that in the last days perilous times are going to come, so we shouldn’t be surprised when the world starts going crazy all around us. However, if we only focus on those things, it can cause a lot of worry, fear, and instability in our lives.
Only God can bring stability in an unstable world. That’s why we need to fix our eyes on God by spending time in His Word. Isaiah 33:6 (KJV) says, “Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times.” The Word of God is the wisdom of God. And reading the Word of God will produce faith in our hearts so that no matter what is going on around us, we can have hope, peace, and faith that God will keep us and take care of us.
Men, as the leaders in our homes, we need to have some stability about us so that our homes can be places of peace, security, and refuge. That kind of stability will only come from having faith in God and a strong personal relationship with Him. Take time to read the Word daily so you will grow in faith. Develop a prayer life where you learn how to not just talk to God but also learn how to hear Him speak to you. The stronger your relationship with God, the stronger your faith in Him will be, and as a result you’ll grow greater in stability.
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“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6 KJV).
One of the primary roles we have as men is to be the providers for our families. And this is a responsibility that God takes pretty seriously. First Timothy 5:8 says that anyone that doesn’t provide for his family has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel (or an unbeliever). However, God never asks us to do something that He doesn’t enable and equip us to do.
If we’re believing God to supply all our needs so that we can provide for our families, then a key area to consider is our soul. Poverty and prosperity are conditions of our souls, not our checkbooks. Third John 2 (KJV) says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” Our prosperity isn’t dependent on the economy, the stock market, or our job; it’s dependent on our faith in what God has spoken to us from His Word.
Philippians 4:19 (KJV) says, “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” That scripture tells us what God will do for us; our job is to have faith that He’ll do what He said He would do. Faith in God is the mark of a true believer. Without faith we can’t please Him. But with faith we can step up to the plate and be the providers for our families, resting in the fact that God will enable us, give us wisdom and favor, and bless what we set our hands to.
Men, realize this, God is for you and will help you in every area of your life if you’ll ask Him. But He won’t get involved without your permission because He’s not a dictator or a bully. He’s got a whole lot of wisdom and direction He’ll share with you if you’ll take time to read His Word and pray. He’s just waiting for you to come to Him in faith and ask.
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Those who are righteous will be long remembered. They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly” (Psalm 112:6-8 NLT).
Men, to be successful in life and to be a good leaders and providers for our families, it’s going to take more than natural wisdom and abilities. It’s going to take faith in God and His Word! It’s good to get an education, get a good job, or have a great career, but no matter how much training we get or how much natural skill and talent we have, we must have faith in God. Bottom line, God says that without faith it’s impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6).
In Psalm 78 the Bible talks about the Israelites and how their lack of faith in God angered Him. Even though God did all kinds of miracles to deliver them out of slavery and get them to the Promised Land, they continually doubted Him. The Bible says they were “a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that set not their hearts aright nor prepared their hearts to know God, and whose spirits were not steadfast and faithful to God” (Psalm 78:8 AMPC). As a result, it goes on to say in verse nine, “The children of Ephraim were armed and carrying bows, yet they turned back in the day of battle.” In other words, when it came time to go to battle, even though they were trained soldiers, they wimped out because they had no faith in God.
As fathers and leaders, we can’t afford to be stubborn, rebellious, and weak in faith. We need to be men of faith and not wimp out when we’re confronted with a battle. To have strong faith in God, we need to know what His Word says. Our families are looking to us for stability, direction, and guidance. If we will look to God and have faith in Him, He will strengthen, enable, and equip us to lead our families.
The biggest investment you can make in yourself and your family is to take time to read God’s Word and get it rooted in your heart. Faith comes by hearing the Word, and faith is what wins victories. Life is full of challenges. Things might be going well today, but tomorrow you might get thrown a curve ball that you didn’t see coming. The thing that will anchor you, sustain you, bring you through to the other side, and cause you to rise to the top will be your faith in God and His Word.
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“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6:4-7 NIV).
Passing our faith down to our kids is a pretty big deal to God. God isn’t just a one-generation kind of God. God is multi-generational and that means He wants to be involved with your kids, your grandkids, your great grandkids, and on down the line. His desire is to have a godly seed on this earth who will love Him and keep His commandments and that He can bless.
In Psalm 78:4-7, God made a law in Israel that the fathers were to teach their children and the generations that came after them all the laws of God and the wonderful works of God. He wanted fathers to pass down the stories of how God delivered them from slavery, how their shoes and clothes didn’t wear out for the 40 years they spent hiking through the desert, how He defeated all their enemies, how He blessed them with abundance, and gave them a Promised Land they could call their own. God wanted the future generations to continually hope and trust in Him. He didn’t want them to forget about His ways, His works, and His wonders. He wanted to be their God so that He could provide for them, bless them, and protect them from generation to generation.
Dads, the most important responsibility we have as fathers and leaders in our homes is to pass our faith in God down to our children. A godly legacy is the most important thing we can leave them, and it’s something we must be intentional about doing. If we want our kids to be successful and victorious in this life, it starts with us teaching and training them to love and respect God, His Word, and His ways.