SURVIVAL GEAR - 7 Tools Needed for the Fatherhood Adventure
In my daily devotional, The Field Guide: A Bathroom Book for Men, “Wyoming Nights” recounts a dangerous night of suffering hypothermia while hunting the high country of Wyoming and needing my body to survive the night. It is an embarrassing—yet memorable—event. Read about it my short story, “California Rodeo in Wyoming.”
From that memorable night in 2001, I learned to carry the proper survival gear needed for every contingency. So often we pack our fears, filling our lives with worthless items, to the neglect of those necessary to be the best father to our children.
Survival Gear 101
In his booklet, Survival Gear: 7 Must Have Tools Every Man Needs for His Journey Kent wrote, “As fathers, we need to know where we are, where we are going, and then, we need the tools and resources to survive the journey. What’s more, we’re taking a family along with us. And, beyond that, we might be mentoring other dads, helping them on their journey.”
Here are the seven tools Kent recommends for Christian men.
Tool #1: True North
Kent writes, “If you’re headed down the path of being a Godly dad, you won’t get too far without something guiding your direction. You’re gonna need a true north. Trusting God is the first tool you need in your pack.”
Without a fixed navigational point, you will veer off course. Even one degree over time, leaves you lost and off course. You say you are a “Christian.”
Are you an active follower of Jesus? Where is he leading you? Grade yourself A-F.
Tool #2: Know the Bible
A man once told me, “Jim, my wife is in Bible Study Fellowship. How can I ever know the Bible better than her??
My answer: “You’re man. You need to know the Bible better than anyone in your family.
If you don’t like reading it, listen to it. There are no excuses.
Tool #3: Pray, Hear, and Listen Often
Shanna will sometimes say out of frustration, “I know you heard me, but were you listening?”
Did you know there was a difference!
Did you also know that Ecclesiastes 5:2 says, “Do not be quick with your mouth or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few.”
Praying should be one part talking and two parts listening. What is God saying to you?
Tool #4: Lock Shields
Who has your back? Who can you call at 2:00 am in a crisis? We were made to lock shields for a band of brothers.
Who are yours? Do you lack a man who has your back? I have several and my life is much richer for it.
Tool #5: Serve others
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
When we serve out of duty, we’re doing it begrudgingly. We do it because we have to. When we’re serving from a place of devotion, we’re serving because we care about the other person. We do it because we choose to. When we serve from a heart of delight, we’re looking forward to serving. We do it because we get too.
We are saved to serve. God created us for display on the arena floor, not the anonymous bleachers.
Tool #6: Steward Your Life
The Godly dad understands everything he has is not his own. His money, time, family, possessions, influence are all gifts that must be stewarded well.
Spend your life well. Leave nothing on the arena of life.
The greatest tragedy is when a man breathes his last and departs the great arena called life with fight left in him.
You have one life to live. Spend it wisely.
Tool #7: Bring Them with You
Your legacy is in those rooms next to you. It is your sons and daughters. It is your grandchildren. Do not leave them behind.
Strategically and spiritually disciple your children beyond deferring your leadership to your pastor and local church.
Because you are better than that.
Boots on the Ground
Take the time to listen to our interview with Kent about being better dads.
Becoming His Best Version,