Christmas is now behind us and it’s time to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. People get all amped up about things they want to accomplish in the next year and while we usually have great intentions, it doesn’t take long before we start to deviate from our best laid plans. However, there is one friend of mine who is very consistent when it comes to sticking with his plans for the new year.
Our friendship began years ago when we were in seminary together. Paul and I have stayed connected for a little more than a decade now. Early on, we became accountability partners and would discuss our challenges and aspirations with one another. Near the end of our first year in school, Paul and I decided that we should work on some aspect of self improvement for the following year. We bantered about a number of ideas, but Paul was very clear that he had room to grow as a husband and father.
Of course, I think there is always room to grow in these areas so we agreed that the theme for the following year would be our families. We committed to doing everything we could think of to become better leaders, devoted to our wives and children. The main component of the challenge was to grow in our faith and make sure that we set good examples for our children in honoring God. It was very rewarding for both of us. The following year, it didn’t take long for us to realize that we both still had room to grow and so we stuck with the same goals for the next year – working to be better husbands and fathers – setting the example for our families.
Since then, we have never changed the goal for each successive year. Every year is the year of the family – and so I am sure that we won’t have more than several minutes of conversation before we sign on for another round of improvement as men of God and continue our desire to work on dedicating ourselves to improving our respective roles as husbands and fathers. One might think that at sixty years old, I would have perfected this parenting thing by now – but I haven’t. Each year there are things I see that fall short of the standard that I have set for myself.
And so the journey continues. Paul and I will touch base sometime between now and January 1st – if for no other reason than to once again hold each other accountable for our choices. The verse for tonight is from Luke’s recording of the Acts of the Apostles. We are told in Acts 10:2, “He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.”
My encouragement this evening is that we all have several days left to decide what ways we wish to improve ourselves for the next year. My prayer is that you will choose wisely and that perhaps you will join Paul and me by dedicating next year to ways that you can work on helping your own family – in whatever capacity that may hold for you. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…