Each month, on the last Tuesday morning, I have the privilege of speaking to our men in what we have dubbed FFC’s Fight Club. No, it’s not an actual physical arena, but simply a time of gathering together as a “band of brothers” in order to learn how to fight hard for our faith and family. We typically alternate between doctrinal talks and “deedinal” talks — messages on what we need to know and what we need to do.
This past Tuesday I began a two-part exhortation on the family from Proverbs 24:3-4, where both the product of a valuable home and the process for getting there are in view. (To hear it, click here and click on round 8.)
I won’t go into all the details again here, except for the final application, mainly because some men have asked for the information again.
Essentially, I encouraged the men to think about where they were in the process, both physically and spiritually. In other words, when it comes to your physical journey, are you just starting? In the middle? Nearing the end? When we say ‘physically,’ what we mean is your age and season of life.
Next, where do you think you are in this process spiritually – just starting? In the middle? Nearing the end? Here’s why I think this simple evaluation is critical: It tells us if our “home building” efforts should be centered around intensity or consistency. Let me explain briefly.
You see, not all people have built a spiritual home; some have simply resided in a physical structure. So even if someone is 55+ physically and their kids are almost grown and gone, he may be just starting out spiritually when it comes to building a valuable place with a lasting legacy.
Conversely, some are just starting out physically. They’re newly married with little kid(s), and their home is a nursery and toddler playpen. Few memories have been made, and they don’t have much materially. Yet, they started out on the right foot spiritually and have been at it for a few years. So from that perspective they are a little further down the road, even though physically they still have miles to go.
Here’s why this matters: the further apart the physical and spiritual, no doubt intensity is the primary issue in “building, establishing, and filling” (Proverbs 24:3-4). You’ve got to make strong gains quickly, so dig in deep and go after it with lots of gusto! Sure, consistency will matter, but you need to make some rather large spiritual investments pronto as one way to humbly “win back” some of those lost years.
However, the closer the two are, then consistency is the primary issue. This does not mean intensity doesn’t matter, but you have time as an ally, not an enemy. You will make your strong gains through tiny deposits, so focus on disicplined regularity as your main “building, establishing, and filling” method.
As you think about where you are in the physical and spiritual process of home building, which word best describes the primary manner in which you need to “build, establish, and fill”?[NOTE: To hear the talk and utilize the study guide, as well as the take-home worksheet, click here and look for the handout labeled “Family.”]