I recently read a short article about creating “buffers” in our day in order to help maximize our effectiveness. It was helpful. Nothing deep or new to me, but the last one really grabbed my attention because it is something that I started doing a while back that really helped me lead my family better. The “buffer” was to use the time during your commute home from work to be silent, think, and unwind a bit in order to effectively engage your family when you arrive home. This is a great habit to get in to, especially if your job tends to be high stress.
I’m usually a bit more proactive than this, but the concept is the same. I use this time to try to calm my nerves from the work day and pray that God would prepare me to love and lead my family well when I get home. Most times I give my wife a call when I leave the office to see if there are any major issues I need to know about or that I need to deal with when I arrive. This gives me time to think and pray specifically about those issues and try to decide how best to deal with them in light of the Gospel.
As men, God has called us to love and lead our families in ways that go far beyond mere financial provision. Our day is not over when we leave the office, store, factory, ect. We don’t have the luxury of bringing home so much work or work related stress that we neglect our wives and children.
So men, let me encourage you to create this “buffer” in your life. Turn off the radio. Put down the cell phone. Switch off the task-related, problem-solving, vocational part of your mind. Pray that God would grant you the grace you need to love, lead, and enjoy your family. Use this time to think about how you can best accomplish your most important roles. The roles for which you are irreplaceable-husband and dad.
What other tips do you have for the rest of us that have helped you grow as a husband and father? Leave a comment and let us know.