“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).
God is the Master Planner. With astounding precision, He ordered the universe through intelligent design. His wisdom and power created everything that exists. God had a plan for the Garden of Eden so He assigned Adam to dress and keep it. Moses built the tabernacle according to the plan the Lord gave him. Noah was instructed by God to build the ark and he was given the specific plans. Disorder is contrary to our heavenly Father’s design. He wants you to give time to planning.
Our children were small when my wife and I felt compelled to move out of the subdivision into the country, so our children would be less influenced by negative peer pressure. We scrimped and saved until we were able to purchase a tract of land. I bought farm equipment and set about putting our boys to work. It became a joke because I always had a “list” of tasks for them. They cut wood, ran the tractor and machinery, cleared the fields, planted trees, sowed the lawn, cut the grass, worked in the garden, organized the garage, built outbuildings, and performed a host of other duties. They learned to work with their hands and their heads!
Living in the city is more difficult, but you should devise work assignments for your family. Every child should have chores and duties—doable tasks. Train them according to their abilities to accomplish things—“in the way they should go.” Note their differences, and direct them toward their strengths. Everybody should become an expert in something. Thomas Mann said, “Order and simplification are the first steps toward the mastery of a subject.” Assist your offspring in discerning and developing their capacities. You may find a skilled tradesman to apprentice them in a trade. They may be suited to start a lawn-care business. The way to build confidence is by accumulating a string of successes.
Instead of giving our children an allowance, we chose to pay them for their work. The last thing we wanted to do was develop an entitlement mentality in our children. You will do your family a favor by instilling in them an attitude of self-reliance. Let them earn money so they can buy their own bike when young, and purchase their own car later. Allow them to earn money so they can give to those in need. One of the great benefits of long-term goals is they help you overcome short-term disappointments. Wise fathers plan for the future.
- Educational plans. Based on your circumstances and abilities, it is your responsibility to chart a course for educating your children. Consult with your wife and assess all the factors.
- Financial plans. As husband and father, you are responsible to provide for your family. I have known some who dismissed financial planning as “unspiritual” because “God is going to take care of us.” Some of these “super saints” died unexpectedly leaving their wives in debt with no money, and who then struggled to survive.
- Ministry plans. Our children worked in the children’s meetings, learned how to preach on the streets, assisted with conferences, worked in the office, and did manual labor. Your children should be trained to serve others. The local church is an excellent place to involve them in various ministries, whether ushering, setup, maintenance, children’s programs, or singing. As you minister to people, take your children with you.
- Discipleship plans. Write down the things you want to teach your children before they leave home. Select topics for your family devotion time. Assign them books to read—and then discuss them. When they get older, put them in charge of family devotions.
- Transition plans. Life’s seasons change. You will need to prepare and change your trajectory as you enter new seasons. Changing careers, new arrivals, challenges, college, the empty nest, illness, and a host of other factors require new plans. Be astute and think ahead.
- Daily plans. One businessperson had the habit of writing down six tasks for the day. Daily the first task was completed before moving on to number two. After decades of honoring this practice, this individual had amassed a successful business and achieved financial security. Your habits determine your success.
Planning and revising plans are an important part of life. “A well-ordered life is like climbing a tower; the view halfway up is better than the view from the base, and it steadily becomes finer as the horizon expands,” said William Phelps.
To Think and Pray About…
- “Wise fathers plan for the future.” How does this relate to you?
- Consider three strategies you could use in your family to encourage planning.
- Be thankful for the Lord’s purposes and plans seen daily as He works all things according to the counsel of His own will.
This chapter was written by Evangelist Harold Vaughan
This chapter is taken from “The Extraordinary Father”. CLICK HERE to order your copy today!