01 Sep THE BEAST OF INCONSISTENCY
We, as people, have a natural bend, some more than others, toward inconsistency. This is one of the main reasons not everyone is healthy, or successful, or enjoying a strong and lasting marriage.
Better health is granted to those who fight the beast of inconsistency by creating a habit of diet and exercise. Success is granted to those that fight the beast of inconsistency by being punctual, diligent, flexible, by being a team player and by striving for excellence. Strong and lasting marriages are granted to those that fight the beast of inconsistency by being selfless, loyal, by expressing affection and by listening.
If you’re anything like me then you continually face this beast in your role as a father. Let’s take a look at a few of the areas I think we can find inconsistency attacking us in as dads and how we can slay it.
1. Affection shown
Maybe your father, or lack thereof, didn’t show you affection and now you’ve translated that into the way you parent. In any case, you, dad, have the responsibility to model for your daughters what healthy affection is and our sons need to know the strength of our arms in an embrace not just in our discipline.
2. Time and undivided attention given
Time given is one thing, but undivided attention is another thing entirely. We can effectively carve out time for our children and yet not give them our attention. We have therefore become a body that is present with a mind and heart that is absent. This has been increasingly difficult in our era of technology where many of us, myself included, have the need to keep our phones close by like a sick man his oxygen tank.
3. Diet and exercise
We are shaping our children’s present and future health every day, from the moment they wake up to the moment they fall asleep, by what we consistently feed them and the activities we engage them in. I am all about loading up and getting ice cream, but not every night.
4. Discipline and follow through
Sometimes we don’t feel like having the talk or going through the hassle or interrupting the meal or spoiling the family outing, but sometimes we have to. If we are not consistent with disciplining specific behaviors and/or attitudes, how can we expect our kids to come to the understanding that certain behaviors are unacceptable? If you didn’t follow through the last time, why should they take you seriously the next time?
5. Promises made and promises kept
I’m not sure if there are many things more devastating, or portrayed more in film, than a father who makes promises he cannot or does not keep. We don’t make promises in our house. If I intend to do something then I say, “I will try my best buddy.” This is not a cop-out because I will truly try my best, but neither your nor I can control all of the circumstances of our day. Let’s be men of our word, especially to our children.
As you read these, my hope is that you will find yourself encouraged by your consistency in some areas and challenged by your inconsistency in others. Consistency, not perfection, in all of these areas is the goal and the way to accomplish that goal is to choose to be consistent in one of them where you find this beast lurking. What will you choose to be consistent in today?
Written by: Matthew Young
Matthew Young is a life coach, leadership trainer for middle and high school students, and the creator of Diaper-Dad.com, a blog focused on empowering dads to be their kids’ heroes. He currently resides in West Georgia with his wife and two kids.