Well guys, it is almost time for the men to start thinking about Christmas shopping … after all, we don’t like to peak too early!
If you are like me, you are always thinking about the perfect gift (and, if you are like me, you always wonder if you actually got the “perfect gift”). Of course, there is the standard jewelry, electronics, tickets to their favorite shows, gift cards to their favorite store, collectibles, or the “mommy” gifts that melt her heart. These are pretty good, at least most of the time. But maybe this Christmas you could give your wife and children something better.
These “better gifts” cannot be purchased at a store or ordered online, yet they are worth their weight in gold.
A Commitment to Grow in Your Walk with the Lord: I have never met a Christian woman or a child who wished their husband or dad didn’t love Jesus so much. But I have met lots of wives and children who begged God that their husband would be more committed to Christ. It is unfortunate that mom, or one of the children, is the most
spiritual person in the family. So, men, one of your presents to your wife, family and friends could be a commitment to grow. At the very least, this would involve (1) a commitment to the Word (2) a commitment to prayer (3) a commitment to be in your church community and (4) to serve. These commitments require that you put to death selfishness, anger, foolishness, and wasting time. In so doing, your walk with Christ will strengthen and all those around you will be blessed.
A commitment to lead your family toward Christ. Leaders always lead in a direction. They lead people to say and do certain things. Sometimes that direction is positive, and sometimes not so positive. As you are growing in Christ you are encouraging the Spiritual growth of each person in your circle of influence. If this is happening in your life, then conversations find their way to Jesus…complaining by others is interrupted by thanksgiving to the Lord, prayer exists not simply to pray about the things we wish were different but are prayers of thanksgiving and asking for the Lord’s will to be done in our lives, service is done with a smile, and giving is done cheerfully. Sometimes people struggle to be led initially, but over time they see the blessing and freedom that comes from being continually directed to Christ.
Produce an organized financial plan in your household. Debt is crushing many people and foolish spending places many in a position where hardship is inevitable. While some financial crises are difficult to avoid, such as a very costly medical issue or the loss of a job, others are a reflection of not learning how to steward what God has entrusted. Therefore, men, have a renewed commitment to fix that and to put your family on a different path. Some of your decisions may not be popular with everyone, but in the end they will reap a bountiful harvest. If you need help, there are many resources available in your church to help you understand the financial world and how to use a budget to honor and glorify the Lord.
There is a lot of pressure to buy the things that will supposedly make people happy. The “if only I had ___ then I would be happy” syndrome is especially powerful at this time of year. As husbands and fathers, we are often in conflict between getting our loved ones what they would really like, and buying what we can afford. It is helpful to remember that the best gifts, and the ones that do not break, are gifts from the heart. So whether you are able to afford the kind of Christmas gifts you would like to give, or whether you have to settle for something less, remember not to forget to give the gifts that really matter.
Wishing all of you a Truly Merry Christmas.