20 minutes. Maybe less, maybe more, but that seems like a reasonable estimation of the amount of time an average dad has between the time when he leaves work and arrives at home. There’s a myriad of different ways you might spend that time, some more profitable than others. You can break the law and text. You can listen to the radio or a podcast. You could continue to work and make phone calls until the very moment your feet cross the threshold of your home.
But let me, if I could, challenge you to try something else with your 20 minutes:
Consider what you’re bringing into your house this afternoon. Because you are bringing something.
To put it another way, it’s realizing that the temperament of your wife and your kids is going to be altered in some way upon your arrival. It might be that you’ve had a hard day, and you want nothing more than to sit down and watch the news because, after all, you’ve earned it. It might be that you’ve been missing your family all day and you’ll bring laughter and joy with you. Whatever the case, you’re going to bring something. Here, then, is where we get to the challenge.
On your ride home, think about one word. Just one word. It’s one word that you’re bringing with you into the house. And ask the Lord to help you with it.
Now I’m not talking about some mystic sense where the word writes itself on your dashboard; I’m talking about using your God-given wisdom and intuition under the guide of the Holy Spirit to consider what one, key attribute you are going to bring to the table tonight. And chances are it’s going to be different every day:
It’s not that hard to come up with a list, and frankly, it’s not that hard to know what you need to choose to be. You’ve talked and texted with your wife during the day. You know how the kids have been and what their activities have been like. You know. This is just actively verbalizing and committing to what you already know to be true.
Has your wife had a hard day? You bring understanding. Have the kids gotten good report cards? You bring celebration. Has someone been picking on them at school? You bring protection. Is your family worried about finances? Your bring provision.
One word, Dads. What’s it going to be today?